Job sharing had been declining in the UK since peaking in 2013, but the pandemic may have rejuvenated the relevancy of this operational method.
Job sharing refers to hiring two or more part-time workers to perform the task of one full-time worker.
As a result of hybrid working’s growing popularity and the rejection of pre-pandemic workplace norms, Google searches for job sharing have grown over the last few years.
In the UK, 122,000 employees had job sharing contracts, a 3,000 person increase from the year prior but still below its peak of 185,000 in 2013.
Although it may seem redundant to hire multiple people to perform the same task, some experts argue that organizations who do not provide this opportunity are alienating a significant talent pool
“We call our off days ‘home days’ because they’re definitely not days off with toddlers in tow. But on the days that I’m not working I know that Rachel is progressing the role, which means I don’t worry about it and have some proper time with my children,” said Hannah Hall-Turner, who shares her role with Rachel Maguire at The Job Share Pair. “The business also doesn’t lose out on any urgent deadlines and it helps with business continuity, succession planning, and retention.”
Despite its benefits, the concept is still far from being mainstream as just .4% are currently considered job sharers. However, as interest seems to grow, who exactly would make up these roles?
Realistically, not everyone can afford to work just a part-time position. Those who can and are also balancing home responsibilities may find this arrangement most ideal, which could help close some of the job gaps the global economy is currently experiencing.
By being more open to job sharing, employers show prospects that they are inclusive, flexible, making an effort to retain employees, while also giving workers more opportunities to upskill.
“One thing we are seeing more of is pairing younger people [who are] eager to enter the workforce with older people who are in a position to cut back hours, as a way of skill sharing,” said Graham Joyce, cofounder of hybrid work platform DuoMe. “It’s a great way for young people to get their foot in the door with companies, learn new things and eventually take on more hours, should they wish to.”