Managing a jobshare will create twice as much work – won’t it?

Managing a jobshare will create twice as much work – won’t it?
The Jobshare Coach at work

At the start of our jobsharing journey (5 years ago now!), Clare and I encountered the concern that “Managing a job share will create twice as much work for me!”. We know from experience from our relationship with our manager as well as the jobshare we manage that this does not need to be the case. and (it was something we were keen to disprove). 

It’s a phrase often voiced by line managers, but is this the reality of the situation? And more importantly what options are there for managing a jobshare to keep the process as efficient and effective for all involved?

We believe one of the foundations of a successful jobshare is joint responsibility and shared accountability. From this the logical step for us was to be treated as a single unit. For line managers this means only having one set of 121s and performance review meetings with the jobshare rather than separate meetings with the individuals. So no doubling of work there! From the jobshare point of view, any issues are raised with the pair and are then addressed by the pair…after all we are jointly responsible and accountable. It also helps to avoid any potential for mixed messages or misunderstandings. 

There will of course be occasions when a line manager has to speak to one rather than both, but that should be about operational or urgent issues and then that message will be passed between the jobshare. 

And in some aspects having a jobshare partner to use as a sounding board for ideas and problem solving can actually reduce the need to ask your line manager questions, or at least require less input on issues. 

So the only issue it leaves are the unavoidable HR system related actions around pay and bonus awards and any other related admin. We haven’t yet seen or heard of any ways to reduce this side of line management so yes that does mean some additional work versus managing a single person in a role. 

So to sum up our experience so far…..yes there are some tasks that are doubled up when managing a jobshare, but equally, because the jobshare can support each other on development and task queries, quite often the workload in this respect is reduced.