22 Apr 2015

Sharing economy: is it possible to share a job?

Some topics on our blog examine things you can share – apart from cars. This time we will talk about job sharing. For many people working is not the most important purpose in life anymore. They are dreaming about having more time to live and about working less. But what does job sharing mean exactly and how does it work out in practice?

In principle, job sharing means nothing but sharing work.

There are lots of different reasons: Some would like to have more leisure time for them, others would like to have more time for their family; but for most of them, it is important to achieve a balanced relationship between their job and private life.

But what exactly is the difference between job sharing and a regular part-time-job?

  • Job sharing means that compared to a part-time-job at least two employees are sharing a job. There are also different versions possible. A distinction is made between job-Splitting, job-Pairing and Top-Sharing.


  • Job-Splitting is the most widely used version. This offers two employees the unique opportunity to share a full-time job 50/50. Both are working independently from each other, only in the case of time, they have to come to an agreement. But there are also other divisions possible: So for instance, five employees could share four full-time-jobs and so on.


  • Job-Pairing is quite similar to job-Splitting, however, the decisions have to be make collaboratively, because also responsibilities are shared.


  • The last version – Top Sharing – refers to leading positions, where the responsibilities are divided like in the job-Pairing version. Collaborative decision making and collaborative implementation of strategies are required. This constellation is also known as dual leadership. However, a dual leadership can also be consisting of two full-time jobs, because the primary focus is both on the shared authority to decide and the shared responsibilities.



Advantages for everyone: The job-Sharing model (Picture: Share by GotCredit, CC BY 2.0, fitted)

What is the use of job sharing?

The advantages for the employee are significant: You gain more freetime and do not have to carry all responsibilities on your own – especially in higher positions. But how does this benefit the employer?

For him this means, first of all, bearing higher costs. He has to spend around ten percent more for social contributions and salary.

Furthermore, a not insignificant part of work is likely going to be invested for communication and coordination among each other.

However, two employees generate more know-how and competencies than a single one, as well as two different views and more ideas. Moreover, the employer has the opportunity to revert to two employees during periods of high demand.

Last but not least, the position is almost always staffed: Fault time due to illnesses or holidays practically never occurs.


Not always balanced: Work-Life-Balance (Picture: Berlin Startup Tour by Heisenberg Media, CC BY 2.0, fitted)

How to find a job Share job?

Have you ever seen a job-advertisement that searches for a “Jobsharer” explicitly? No? Then you are faring just the same than most of the others.

But how do you obtain a shared job in the best way?

One possibility is applying jointly with a partner for a vacancy. And maybe with a little bit of luck you can directly convince the HR department with your crafty proposal.

A more promising way are platforms specializing in job sharing, such as Tandemploy. After creating a profile you can search for a job sharing partner or companies supporting job sharing.

What experience have you gained with job sharing? Have you already found your working mate? Or do you maybe feel that such a solution would never make you happy? We look forward reading your input.