Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Job share

The AFR has an article today (subscription only as usual) about job sharing. It is very favourable, basically saying that most of the myths about how hard it is and complete rubbish. A few myths:

- it costs too much
- takes twice as long to supervise
- needs a perfect match to work properly
- too hard to communicate with two people in one role.

The report (with research from consulting firm Catalyst) suggests that not only are these things not true, but you don't need a formal cross-over day either - a handover telephone call is enough. I'd love this to be true. Apart from any long term interests I have in family friendly organisations, I have a real shortage of good people and if I could add to my pool by using part-timers, it would be particularly good.

I have had one experience, though, and it was mixed. A secretary in my team (not my own) was a job-share position. They even had a whole handover day. There were still things that got lost in handover. I probably had high standards, as when each of them was full-time, they were fantastic, but I thought there was some loss of follow-through.

The case study in the article talks about the two job-sharers running a journal with the tangible and intangible "stuff they need to know" - maybe my secretary friends just needed to be slightly more organised (I suspect they relied too much on their handover day).

I'm starting to think I should do that for my job so that I keep track of my brain better day to day.


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