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Common workplace Article – Commodity Business Restructuring

The trend of job-sharing is on the rise. It gives employees the opportunity to better reconcile work, leisure and family, and it helps employers retain talented workers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both parties?

At a time of record low unemployment, Czech companies are struggling to retain talented workers and attract new employees to fill vacancies. There were around 364,000 of them in May 2019, while there were only about 200,000 job seekers. One of the growing trends is also called job sharing. In practice, it works through the participation of one or more employees in a single job. They share a scope of work, and depending on working time, they share one salary proportionately. According to Fleximetr project data, only about 7 percent of companies in the Czech Republic offered to share jobs in 2015, but abroad the trend was stronger – in Germany it was 20 percent of companies, in the UK up to 50 percent.
The concept of joint jobs has already reached the Domestic Work Law, as its amendment, which will come into effect on July 1 this year, provides for this. Experts have already indicated that while this new product will provide employees with more flexibility, it can also bring companies more management without saving costs. What other benefits and pitfalls does job sharing provide?

Better work-life balance for employees, lower corporate turnover

As mentioned earlier, job sharing is another way to accommodate employees who want more flexibility, mostly to balance work and personal life or to deal with family responsibilities such as caring for young children or grandparents. “Work-life balance is especially important for younger generations of workers, especially millennials, who already make up more than half of the working population. With a better work-life balance, the benefits come to companies and employees: higher productivity, higher job satisfaction, or less stress.” . Says Jerry Gemilka, Director of the Corporate Intensive Care Unit that provides company revitalization and interim management to small and medium-sized enterprises. By offering a joint job offer, companies can retain talented employees who may want to quit, for example, due to a lack of work-life balance. This way, they can also attract the attention of candidates looking for shorter working hours, such as mothers on parental leave or with young children. An indisputable advantage could be the fact that for one set of work tasks, employers get two “brains,” two personalities who can complement each other and balance their weaknesses. Last but not least, job sharing makes it easier for companies to take situations such as sudden illness of an employee or planning a vacation. In short, during the specified period, only one partner in a joint job can do the second half of the work, of course with adequate compensation.

The human factor is central

Now, however, to the risks of common functions. First of all, it is imperative to realize that the success of this concept depends on how people who share a single job collaborate and work together. “It can be very difficult for companies to find fully compatible people who are interested in job sharing. Not only do they have to sit humanly, but they should ideally have the most similar level of ability as possible. Yes, it has been said that they can complement each other. In their weaknesses, but for situations where one has to support the work of the other, it is definitely more appropriate for both of them to master all the necessary skills.It is also necessary to avoid situations in which, for example, one of the partners will be constantly assigned the task of taking care of the lighter elements of the scope of work, Because he will not be able or willing to learn to deal with the most difficult. This can easily turn into quarrels and resentment. “ Jiří Jemelka warns and adds that a joint function is, in simple terms, always a matter of compromise. Therefore, none of the working partners can always expect to be behind. Other problems can arise in situations where completing a task requires someone to lead the work and be accountable for the results. Therefore these situations must be determined contractually at the beginning of cooperation or the performance of individual tasks. Mutual communication between working partners is also important – both should always have the same information, otherwise unnecessary misunderstandings and mistakes may occur, which takes time, effort and money to correct.

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