This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 14, 2001

Job-Sharing Expanding

Job-sharing has been around for many years. It's a concept that has worked well for people who didn't want to work full-time. Essentially, two part-time workers share a job normally performed by one full-time employee.

We've seen a number of variations on the theme of job-sharing. The most common seems to be one person working the first half of the shift, with the other person working the second half. The greatest application has been in administrative office jobs. We've also seen one employee working three days and the other working three days-effectively covering a six-day workweek. Then there were the factory workers who split their job on a semi-annual basis. The employer was in Ohio. The worker who liked snow was scheduled during the winter months and spent the warmer months in cooler climates. The other worker was scheduled during the warm months and spent the winter in Florida.

In most cases, the two workers split the job by the time they work. In other cases, one employee specializes in certain aspects of the job; other tasks become the responsibility of the second worker.

The job splits have lately become even more creative. We recently worked with a national company with offices in many cities. A vice president with an ffice in one state had two assistants, job-sharing, in two other cities. No more geographic limits.

Today's workers are looking for flexibility, more control over their lives, and time to achieve that elusive work-life balance we all talk about. Job-sharing can make this possible and, with technology, there are infinite possibilities. Communication between people sharing the same job is no longer constrained to notes left on the desk or shared lunches to transition each day.

Interest in job-sharing is increasing, and will continue to increase with all sorts of creative approaches. A lot of people are interested in working, but not necessarily full-time. Included in this group are mothers with children in school part of the day, retired or semi-retired folks, students-full-time and part-time, and entrepreneurs who need a steady income while they're building their own businesses.

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