Could job sharing benefit your business?

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Could job sharing benefit your business? (image credit: iStock/g-stockstudio)

A process that many business leaders may underestimate the benefits of implementing is that of job sharing, as while the level of communication and teamwork needed to make this a success is high, there are some significant benefits for both the employer and the employee.

Alan Price, HR director at employment law and HR advisory firm Peninsula, told Smallbusiness.co.uk that job sharing as a practice represents a fantastic opportunity for firms to both improve productivity and levels of work-life balance for their staff.

Essentially, a job sharing agreement sees two or more people taking on the responsibilities for a single role. This means that to be a success, all those taking part in such arrangements need to demonstrate some key traits. These include an ability to effectively communicate and work as part of a close-knit team, as well as a commitment to ensure all aspects of the shared role are being taken care of.

However, if those involved do get it right, the advantages for businesses can be numerous, including:

  • Reducing levels of absence
  • Creating flexibility in departments
  • Bringing multiple skills to bear in a single role
  • Providing increased time off for those involved
  • Improving motivation
  • Increasing staff retention

Mr Price explained: "Jobs with clearly defined individual tasks are the best to consider for job sharing. Those that are more complex have a tendency of failing under this type of arrangement.

"Above all, employers have to be committed to the job-sharing programme, as do the employees who are participating in it."

He concluded that job sharing can be an intimidating prospect for those new to the idea; but done well, this practice can free up valuable time for staff and lead to improved levels of morale. It is a practice that should therefore be considered for businesses currently struggling with these aspects of their corporate structure.