Successful job shares rely on trust, accountability, agreed ways of working, and teamwork. Job Share teams highlight good handovers, clear communication, avoiding competition, and equally sharing praise and responsibility as key ingredients to being a top team.
We’ve looked at some of the top job share teams to discover the key ingredients in working partnerships. Use these tips to improve how you work in your Job Share.
Job Share Guidance and Tips
1. Find the Right Job Share Partner
Sharing a job is an investment in your career, so it’s essential you trust each other and work well together naturally. Each member of the job share team should benefit equally from working with the other. Try to choose someone who shares your values, compliments your experience with their skills, and aligns well with what you hope to achieve in your role.
2. Work in a Similar Way, Agree on Core Procedures
Before starting your job share role, create a single page set of procedures and stick to it. Following a predetermined course of action avoids having to contact your job share partner on days off, eliminates confusion, diffuses conflict, and creates easy handovers.
3. Maintain Seamless Handovers
Have a structured to-do list with a clear outline of who should do which tasks. Try to keep your desk clear of residual tasks and communicate clearly with each other.
Many job share teams find it helpful to have an overlap each week to discuss handover topics. This builds trust, strengthens the sense of unity, and discourages either partner from deviating away from the usual way of working.
4. Ensure Communication is Fully Visible
Job share partners perform best when they behave as a single employee, with shared visible communication. Internal communication, meeting memos, and correspondence with clients should always be transparent and accessible to both partners. Shared communication enables either partner to take charge and be fully informed when they are in the role during their working days.
5. Take Time to Explain to Peers How You Work
Make sure your peers (team, and wider stakeholders) know how you work and how they can best work with you. It’s important they know how to contact you and the office hours for each person in the Job Share. This will avoid being contacted when you are not the primary person in the role and away from the office.
6. Decide What to Tell Your Clients Together
Some job share partners benefit from explaining to their clients how their schedule works, so that clients know who is available on which days. Other partnerships prefer to act as one without sharing the details with clients. Decide on what’s right for your partnership, and your job, then stick to it.
7. Avoid Competition With Your Job Share Partner
A job share team is a partnership working towards the same goals, with both members benefitting equally from the arrangement. Try to avoid competing with your job share partner, instead find ways to collaborate and boost each other. If one partner is successful, the other partner will also be successful, so it’s in your best interest to help each other as much as possible. The key is to provide each other with continuous feedback. Not only will this reduce competition, but it will also support more open communication and continuous improvement.
8. Never Criticise Your Job Share Partner in Public
Trust and loyalty are essential in strong job share partnerships. If you undermine your partner, you will each feel the impact equally, and your combined performance will be negatively affected. Before starting, it’s important to outline how you will handle conflict and disagreements within your shared role should any issues arise. Any criticism should always be resolved privately, or potentially with the help of your manager, but never aired in public. Successful job share teams are confident in their partner and generally talk about them with praise in public.
9. Take an Equal Share in Responsibility and Praise
Your job share journey is a collective experience. Mishaps can happen in any role, and there will be some mistakes made.
Take the blame together, with shared responsibility. Praise, promotion, and achievements will also happen, so celebrate them together, both members will benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Job Sharing for you?
If you are looking to work fewer days than full-time, Job Sharing along with part-time is an option. Job Sharing enables you to continue in your chosen career as any job can be shared, but not all can be part-time. Job Sharing requires you to coordinate with your partner and hand over activities actively. This coordination is additional work unique to a Job Shares, but it also enables the person who is not working to be truly out of the office as their partner is working and available.
What is the difference between Job Share and part-time?
Job Shares have two people working in one role, whereas part-time should be a smaller role that can be achieved in fewer days by one person. Job Shares report better work-life balance as the position is covered full-time reducing calls on days off. Job Sharing requires you to work closely with another person, and handover activities are additional work not present in a part-time role.
How does Job Sharing help employers?
Flexible working is now proven to have many benefits for employers, with Job Shares being a major type of flexible working.
1. Improved talent retention – some people don’t want to or are unable to work full-time, Job Sharing provides a path for these people.
2. More skills in the role – two people in role bring more diverse skills and thought processes to the position.
3. Enhanced workforce resiliency – spread the knowledge of the role across two people simplifying coverage issues and
4. Increased employee productivity – Job Share teams are productive, increased employee wellbeing from having a less demanding work schedule often leads to significant performance in the role.
What happens when a Job Share partner leaves?
Employees should get the option to take the role on full-time or look for another partner to fill the other part of the position. Your employer may put a time limit on finding the partner to avoid having the role understaffed indefinitely. They may also ask you to work more days to cover or redistribute some of the work. You employer may have a policy that covers this so talk with HR.
Sharing a job is an exciting, rewarding opportunity that can progress your career with an enhanced work-life balance. Finding the right partner, implementing a strong working relationship, and developing your sense of unity carries lasting benefits for a long-term.