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NextGen Magazine


Job Sharing Can Be Beneficial for Employees and Employers Alike

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Feb 23, 2024

iStock-918035570 Women Working Designer Designing

Job sharing is a simple solution that helps to attract great talent and improve productivity, data scientist James Neave wrote in Fast Company.

Despite having been around for generations, this flexible working arrangement is experiencing a resurgence of interest, as employers explore new ways to find and retain talent, wrote Neave, head of data science at job hunting site Adzuna.

Job sharing—dividing one full-time role among two or more people with one full-time salary—can be undertaken in various ways, Neave wrote. Splitting a role between two people, with one taking two days per week and one taking three days per week, is one way. Sharing across slightly more than full-time hours, allowing two employees to work three days each, is another.

Many employers don’t actively promote job shares, Neave pointed out. Sometimes employees or job seekers approach a company to ask for job sharing as a solution to fitting work around their life needs. Some job seekers may even apply for positions as a team, laying out how the idea would work.

Whatever the approach, “[j]ob sharing brings flexibility across all seniority levels, which is important for gender equality and to increase female participation in the labor market,” Neave wrote. It could also help employers to support disabled workers, students, or those seeking greater work life balance, and to widen the available talent pool.

Neave also cited a 2023 report by Empower, an organization whose goal is to accelerate female and minority empowerment, which found that job sharing can make businesses more profitable, as “job sharers have been shown to be 30 percent more productive than their full time counterparts,."

There are drawbacks to job sharing, he acknowledged. The employee would have to accept lower pay, while the employer would incur twice the cost of onboarding, training and setting up multiple employees for a position.

To overcome some of these considerations, “[c]reating clear boundaries is fundamental,” Neave wrote, as is setting out key performance indicators for each participant, a well-thought-out time management schedule and open lines of communication. He added that not all roles are suitable for job sharing.

Adzuna's data showed that the job-sharing trend is rising in the United States. The proportion of job ads offering job shares nearly doubling since the pandemic, from 0.013 percent in January 2020 to 0.02 percent in January 2024. While this still only accounts for 1,532 job ads, Neave asserted that this could change, as workers demand more flexible options and many employers struggle to attract the talent to fill open roles.

“Job sharing isn’t for the naive or underprepared,” he wrote in conclusion, “but for those who make a success of it, the rewards are multiple—for both job seeker and employer.”