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Making Job Sharing Work for Your Company or Office

Job sharing helps many responsible workers pursue their careers while also meeting special family needs that are often tied to caregiving. For example, many adults have to put in long hours taking care of young children (or aging parents) and they know that job sharing is one way to stay more available to their families. Likewise, men and women battling various health and disability issues know that they must get plenty of rest to avoid exacerbating their conditions.

 Regardless of the specific reasons why many people seek job-sharing arrangements, it’s critical for the arrangement to be beneficial for the employer, as well as for the two employees involved. Once you get past that hurdle, it becomes paramount for the two people sharing the job to communicate in a highly effective manner on almost a daily basis with each other.    

Here are some of the other challenges and important requirements for this type of arrangement to prove successful.

Special Challenges Posed by Job Sharing Arrangements

  • Your immediate boss and his/her superiors must approve of the arrangement.  If you’re the one proposing the idea, be sure to stress the advantages involved for your employer. One way is to note the inherent advantage of having “two heads and not just one” fully invested in all of the position’s challenges;
  • You must choose the right person to share a job with you. In some ways, it’s the workplace equivalent of a marriage. You must find someone with whom you can “easily communicate, collaborate, and disagree;”
  • You have to figure out the best way to divide up the work. Sometimes this is done by just assigning specific days and hours to each other to handle the job – after agreeing that you’ll both do a little bit of everything. However, other job sharers may want to divide up duties based upon the individual tasks involved and the two people’s separate strengths and weaknesses;
  • You must try to make sure your co-workers are truly onboard with the idea. Sadly, many other workers will be envious of your job arrangement, even though full-time workers make so much more money and are often provided with benefits that you’ll be eligible to receive. Nevertheless, it’s important to try and win these people over. Most experts say that the best way to do this is for you and your fellow job-sharer to truly excel in your shared work output. Whatever else you do, make sure everything knows how to easily reach you and the other job-sharer. It may prove very wise for the two of you to share an email address and even a phone number. It’s also wise to “cc” or “bcc” each other on every single business email that comes in (or is sent out) regarding various duties.

Basic Requirements for Succeeding at Job Sharing

  • Both parties must be willing to be contacted during their “off” hours. The success of your shared job must always come first. However, you may want to work out the details of how you go about both locating and contacting each another when not officially “on duty;”
  • Be sure all of your clients know when they can reach you personally and/or the other person who is sharing the job duties with you. You should not only keep your combined hours posted in readily visible places at the office (including on your door and shared desk) – you should also send out emails that perhaps close with a direct reference to each person’s current, assigned hours. If you are clearly splitting up certain duties on a regular basis, make sure everyone you work with knows who should be contacted normally. However, you must always be willing to respond to every communication you receive, even if it requires you to contact the other job-sharer during his/her “off” hours;
  • Both job-sharers must be real “go-getters” and ambitiously proactive. The quickest way for a job-sharing arrangement to fail is if one party is always trying to load up the other person with the majority of the work. Make sure you really know the other person’s work habits well before trying to split a job with him/her. Otherwise, one or both of you may wind up unemployed;
  • Constantly seek out other people’s feedback on how well your job sharing arrangement is working out. This is one of the best ways to be successful and avoid having others believe that both of you are failing to do your best work. When you receive criticism, assume it’s intended as constructive and readily act upon it along with your job partner.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia