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1.1 Introduction

The recent tough times on global economy, a rapid pace and fierce competition amongst
organisation require a crucial need for the organisation to strive harder, in keeping par with
international standard. The availability and fast responsiveness expected from employees. This
results in higher demand on the job and longer hours for them. In order to have a sense of
meaning into their job, employee demands pressure from the employer. This is accordance to fit
into their modern lifestyle especially working mothers that juggling with childcare
responsibilities. Rather than losing out good performing talents particularly women due to
working inflexibility, job-sharing strategy now used in many contemporary organisations.

Job-sharing considered to be promoting equal opportunities for women since the challenges of
women returning to work after childbirth is well documented. It is known thatthe promotion of
job sharing is very limited and its implementation is often restricted. (Branine 2004, p.136)
Although career advancement is slow, it offers better than part-time roles. The main driver of job
sharing comes from woman with senior leadership roles although it does accommodate working
women and others regardless of age and gender.

1.2 Definition

Job sharing involves two individuals who are responsible for the duties and responsibilities of
one position within an organisation. (Dixon 2009, p.71). This type of flexible employment is
retained as part-time or reduced-time basis by doing one job description of a traditional one-role
full-time worker morph under one identity. The working hours can be within certain time of the
day or alternate days based on agreeable rotation or schedule. According to Daniels (2011, p.20),
job share is workable for any job roles and not just limited to support functions.

2.1 History

Job sharing practice already started in the early of 70s and 80s but only getting more popular
since 2000s when the workers particularly working moms were looking for flexibility in their
job despite seeking career advancement. During this era, people are seriously looking into the
importance of work-life balance.

2.2 Reasons of job sharing

2.2.1 Working flexibility

The main would come from the flexibility of working especially women with children. As more
people emphasise on work-life balance, they need the working flexibility to:

Accommodate other important aspects of their life or have different commitments such as
doing part-time study or hobby.
Due to changes in the family for example taking care of elderly or having a new family
Coping with certain disabilities like mental or health related.

Job share differs from traditional job where it will keep continuing even when the person is

2.2.2 Provide opportunities for seniors and women

The difference of job shares and part time job is the pay and benefits. Job sharers are able to
enjoy greater benefits and have the same level of pay as a full-time worker. An example of
opportunity given to seniors is, before approaching retirement most seniors are looking forward
to enjoy their relaxing working life thus job sharing offers the benefit by reducing the time of
working hours. As for working moms, their chances of career progression will not be dampened
and they get to enjoy good benefits compares to doing part time.

Working shift is an extended part of job sharing that commonly practiced in manufacturing,
retail and service industry that operates 24 hours. In order to attract and lower the turnover rate,
many organisations are considering and adapting to this concept.

The perspective view of the key shareholders: employee, management and organisation explored
as below.

3.1 Advantage

3.1.1 Employees

The best advantage that comes with job sharing is that it enhances the work-life balance. Flexible
working hours let employees achieve their desire by having more time for personal activities.
Employees who experience work-life balance will find that their work is more enjoyable and
may effectively contribute to their work.

Job sharing not only reduces employees' workload but also able to exchange skills and
knowledge between working partners through their key expertise and key strength on certain
field. It is a good opportunity for job sharer to grasp enough knowledge and improve their skills
so that they can achieve greater results through enthusiasm, inspiration, confidence and

It also gives a better option for those who require longer leave in their job, particularly women
returning from maternity leave.

3.1.2 Management

It is easier for manager to deal with emergencies of job sharers, such as sick leave, holidays or
training while reducing the number of absenteeism and tardiness of employees. Through this, job
sharers can be more productive at the same time providing continuous service to customers.

According to Tiney (2004, p.430) job share can give the best result in retention of valued future
employees by preventing employee burnout from stress thus, managers may not worry too much
about recruiting more employees and enable the business gain from it.
3.1.3 Organisation

Job sharing provides two brains and two sets of creativity, ideas and enthusiasm in work and
enables a complex job to be done. Indirectly this will increase employees' work satisfaction in
their job, resulting in an increase of work motivation. Means employees can provide excellent
services for customers and therefore increase in productivity. It also promotes accountability
between job sharers thus indirectly can help organisation to accomplish their goals and mission.

If an organisation has a high reputation for providing flexible working time and helping their
employees achieves the work-life balance, this will be good for recruitment. Offering this type of
work style can attract many high qualities of employees who not into working full-time. This
situation can improve the diversity of the workforce.

3.2 Disadvantages

3.2.1 Employees

Employees will have to compromise and adapt to their partners way of working. Everyone has
his or her own way or style. If the partnership is not compatible and they have trust issues or they
are not collaborative and supportive with each other, they will hardly able to work as a pair. As a
result, this can cause employee resentment and job-sharing model cannot work effectively.

In fact, job-sharing may lead to a high level of competition. After all, two job sharers are
responsible for the same job; their manager will compare which one of the employee doing it
better. This situation will make employees feels demotivated and stressed.

Apart from slow career progression, the partnership needs to work the extra mile than traditional
3.2.2 Management

When manager choose job-sharing model, it actually means that managers have to spend more
time to do supervisory work. The supposedly focus more with problems and contradiction
between partners to ensure smooth workflow. Otherwise, this might lead to the situation where
customers were uninformed and maybe uncomfortable with two approaches. Managers may not
keen on this concept, as it is much more complicated compares to the normal working style.

Management may have troubles in recruitment of job sharing. It is a challenge for manager to
recruit employees who can really work together. The employees they choose should genuinely
like each other and can get along well.

3.2.3 Organisation

With job sharing, the administrative costs will increase because each employee needs to be
treated equally so the organisation has to pay full benefits and doubled the salary.

For some organisation, they might have some problem in adapting this concept, as their Human
Resource may not know how to do job share approach. In addition, this will be another workload
for Human Resource, as they have to arrange this up-front.

Lately job share concept becomes mainstream in organisation because provides as an alternative
to traditional patterns of working. It is no doubt that job sharing is not suitable for everyone but
the successful stories of job share do benefit the stakeholders (employees, management and
organisations). With the change of lifestyle, more people are seeking a better balance between
work and life. As a result, many people prefer to choose job sharing instead of a traditional 9-to-
5 working model. It is also workable as a path for woman to progress in their careers as
management do not want to suffer female drain in organisation.

It can be a challenge as to both employers and employees to experience such concept but worth
the try if both have well-coordinated, clear communication and strategic arrangement. It also an
excellent option for the employer to provide employees the best of both worlds into having
privileges on doing the job they like and having extra time for personal activities. This way, it
keeps both parties happy since organisations are able to retain their best performing staff.

There are few suggestions on job share arrangement to ensure its effectiveness. Performance
management needs to be review regularly to ensure it meets business needs. If there is a business
case that requires job share arrangement, then only it can be adapt and accepted by management.
They have the right to discontinue once it no longer serves the business objective. Most
important is, both employers and employees must agree to do some assessment prior to the
beginning of the working arrangement

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