Is it the next big thing?

changing-the-world

The world of work is changing; as of the 30th June 2014 everyone has the right to request flexible working, so it’s no longer restricted to parents and carers. This is a strong acknowledgement by the UK government that the world of work is changing, we all have different life priorities and are limited by one mainstream working model (40+ hour full-time), which means our career consumes the majority of our attention during the week.  Current limitations surrounding career and work life balance and part-time career progression has led to startling statistics, such as:

• Stress and anxiety cost the UK government £15 billion each year and 35% of that is due to anxiety and depression.
• 57% of UK employees say their personal lives are affected because they spend too much time at work.
• 1/3 of organisations experience employee burnout
• Presenteeism is an issue, this is where people turn up to work because they believe being seen to be working is more important than being productive at work.

If you’d like to raise awareness in your organisation of these trends and how they can respond, you can use this infographic.

It’s great news that the government is creating a framework to enable flexible working, but it’s now up to individuals and organisations to make it work for us.

Jobsharing is the only flexible working solution which offers the opportunity and responsibility of a full-time career on part-time hours, without compromising on continuity. However, to achieve this win-win, it’s important:

  1.  that the hiring manager understands how to effectively manage a Jobshare
  2. that the Jobshare is well matched and tested
  3. have their plan in place so that they are ready to hit the ground running.

Jobsharing is different to other forms of flexible working, in that successful Jobsharing develops a number of skills. Apart from a heightened self-awareness, successful Jobsharers engage in an ongoing process of communication, compromise, creating shared identity, commitment, trust and working through difference. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about Jobsharing and Leadership, these essential leadership skills are developed “on the job” during a Jobshare, so it’s great personal development, but the set up process in terms of matching partnerships and setting their expectations of how to successfully Jobshare is essential.

The status quo of Jobsharing is that matches are made based on two people wanting to work a role part-time, often the Jobsharers have sought the partner themselves as they have been lucky enough to know someone in their department who shares the same motivations and skill sets. This is a highly risky strategy and as a result can yield both positive and negative experiences of Jobsharing. There is no doubt however, that the successful Jobshare partnerships such as those published in case studies by Deloitte, Eversheds, Lloyds, Unilever, have in common best practices which can be used to prepare Jobshare partnerships for success.

Over the next 5 posts, I’ll be sharing top tips of successful Jobsharing, which I have created based on my own experience as well as my experience researching, analysing and working with both successful and unsuccessful Jobshare partnerships.

If you are unemployed or work full-time but would like to reduce your hours, take control and join Ginibee’s Jobshare Network at http://www.ginibee.com. If you’re already a member of the network then you can attend one of the first Jobshare Accelerator Workshops that will take place in September, by registering at http://bit.ly/Ginibeews1

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