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Pros and Cons of Job Sharing

Gauri Huddar
Job sharing is a very tempting option for those who find it difficult to commit to full-time jobs, due to other obligations/ pursuits. Although on the surface it seems a perfect way out, there are some drawbacks that can't be neglected. In the following story, we will take a look at the advantages as well as disadvantages of this type of work arrangement.
Job sharing from an employer's point of view, is equivalent to obtaining two employees for the salary of one, whereas for employees, it means sharing the responsibilities and pay with another individual.
The reasons why an individual may want to share his job responsibilities, pay, hours etc., may vary depending on his priorities/ financial situation/ lifestyle/ personal obligations, and so on.
Some may want to share their job so that they can dedicate more time to their extra curricular interests/ hobbies/ pursuits, etc., while some others may be experiencing a burnout due to too much stress related to their jobs.
Some may want to dedicate more time to themselves and their spiritual inclinations, while others may have personal obligations that makes it difficult for them to hold a full-time job (particularly new moms).
Whatever may be the reason, it is better to know how sharing a job will affect you - personally and financially. Here is a list of the pros and cons related to job sharing, that will help you make an informed decision if and when you plan to share a job.

Pros Of Job Sharing

Listed below are a few benefits of job sharing, which make it a very lucrative arrangement for the parties involved.

Shared Responsibility

With job sharing, your responsibilities reduce by half, and you always have someone else to consult before making a big, risky decision. Besides this, you can distribute your responsibilities either 50-50, or according to the field of expertise of the people involved. While one person handles one part of the job that he is good at, the other can manage another part.

Reduced Working Hours

Sharing a job means sharing your total work hours, which can be distributed according to the responsibilities of the people involved. If someone has more responsibility, he could work more hours in that particular week, while the other could work more hours when he has more responsibilities.
Although, in this case, it becomes very important to keep the other person updated about whatever progress has been made in his or her absence. In case you are sharing the responsibilities equally, the hours can be distributed equally as well.

Tailored for Convenience

Job sharing is tailored for those individuals who find it uncomfortable to work all day, and within a specific duration of time, i.e., strict in time and out time. They can adjust with their partner and agree to work either in the morning or afternoon.
Holidays too, can be taken after consulting each other, and a few adjustments can be made where both parties are satisfied with the end result. In short, a conveniently flexible arrangement.

More Productivity, Less Leaves

When an employee is satisfied and happy, he will obviously be more productive and efficient at his job, than if he is discontent and stressed. With a decrease in the workload and working hours, the employee will have more time to devote to his personal life.
Thus, he will be able to focus better while he is at his job, consequently working better, taking better decisions, managing deadlines efficiently, etc. And since he now gets enough time to dedicate to himself and his personal work, there will be lesser chances of him taking leave as often as he would have done otherwise.

More Balance in Life

Some people work 50/ 60 hours a week, and this can cause immense stress and burnout. Because of this, although the hours remain the same, the corresponding output reduces, which is definitely not a good thing for any company.
Job sharing gives the employees more time off work, which they can successfully invest in rejuvenating activities. This will help them maintain the balance between work and non-work related activities, reducing the chances of an early burnout.

Tempting Job Benefits

Companies usually offer job benefits to their employees, so that they get loyal, long-term employees, who are happy with the company. Also, if an efficient employee is thinking of retiring/ looking for a more stress-free and less demanding job, this option can help in retaining him, while also meeting his requirements and keeping him happy.

Good Part-time Job

Job sharing offers people stable jobs which pay better than most part-time jobs, and are a regular source of income as compared to part-time jobs. This is ideal for new moms, or for those people who have sick parents/ siblings to take care of, or other responsibilities to shoulder.
Also, this is the perfect transition from not working to working full-time, and vice-versa, and can provide a gradual shift.

Cons of Job Sharing

Listed below are the problems associated with job sharing that you must know, before opting for this arrangement.

Financial Considerations - Pay and Pension

The pay is halved when you share a job, and the fringe benefits also decrease with job sharing. Future financial stability is also a major point to consider, since the pension plans offered are not up to the mark. To sum it up, the financial scene will obviously be much better if you are holding a full-time job.
But again, this comes with increased responsibilities, and you have to decide whether your priority is money, or job satisfaction and time for other things in life, and decide accordingly.

Ego Clashes and Discontent

If the two people sharing the job eventually disagree about more things than they agree about, ego clashes may start building up and affecting the communication that is very important in job sharing. Without communication, a shared job will just tumble into chaos.
Also, if one of the partners involved in the job share is more dedicated, hardworking, meticulous, and responsible than the other, while drawing the same salary, then he will eventually get dissatisfied and discontent with his partner and the sharing arrangement.

Increased Administrative and Paperwork/ Increased Communication

The administrative/ paperwork is more for the employers than the employees, since now they will have to maintain the records of two people instead of one, which is quite tedious. The communication part is for the people involved in the job sharing.
They will have to set aside a common day, when they both can sit down together and plan the schedule for the week & update each other on what progress has been made so far. It is necessary that the subordinates of job sharers be properly informed of who is in charge, when & for which matter & that both the partners are reachable in times of emergencies.

Future Job Prospects/ Career Advancements

The future job prospects for those in a job sharing arrangement are not as good as people who hold full-time jobs, and the chances of changing jobs are also greatly reduced when you are caught in this situation.
So, if you have just begun your career, then this may not be an advisable move career wise, but if you are planning to retire in a couple of years or so, then you can definitely give this a shot. It will get you accustomed to having more free time, instead of having a job one day, and no job the next day, which is how newly retired people feel.
Overall, job sharing is a great idea if you want to work/ earn, and yet have enough time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Not an idea to be dismissed easily, job sharing can prove to be a boon for you if you are experiencing a burnout or heading towards a breakdown due to stress. No job is one to literally die for!