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Job share tips: Dividing work and hours

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Images of Civil Servants job sharing

There are lots of different ways of dividing up the work and hours. You need to think about:

  • what kind of work it is
  • what your colleagues need from you
  • what your personal preferences are

Different people have different experiences and views on what works best for them. Try to share out the tasks fairly, so there is no sense of resentment that one person is getting an easier/more interesting job. This is particularly important if the job is not split 50-50.

Roles are usually divided in the following ways:

  • splitting the number of hours, with both job share partners doing the same type of work
  • allocating separate duties to each job share partner (also known as a job split)
  • partners working alternate weeks. This may require contractual recognition to ensure continuity of employment

In practice, many people have worked out a balance of job sharing and job splitting that works for them and that particular post. Often people cover for one another even on the tasks that are officially ‘split’ – for example if an important meeting comes up on the day that they are in. If the job share does overlap, you may find that by working side by side at least once a week, you strengthen the trust and team orientation that will ensure the success of your partnership.

Pilot and experiment

Once you’ve settled on an arrangement that you, your partner and your manager think will work, try it out. Set a pilot period and experiment with how you split the work and communicate. Then tweak as necessary. It is good to give the process some time to work out the kinks and for colleagues to get used to it. After some experience of the job sharing partnership, most people react positively. No matter how long you’ve been sharing a job, it’s a good idea to continually reassess and make adjustments based on what’s working for each of you, your manager and the department.

Common job share arrangements

Two and a half day split:

Example 1






Job Share Partner A works: ✔ - AM
Job Share Partner B works: ✔ - PM

Morning afternoon split:

Example 2






Job Share Partner A works: ✔ - AM ✔ - AM ✔ - AM ✔ - AM ✔ - AM
Job Share Partner B works: ✔ - PM ✔ - PM ✔ - PM ✔ - PM ✔ - PM


Job split

Role divided by capability, activity and projects. Essentially two part time roles

Hybrid job share

Role division based on strengths. Combination of shared and divided responsibility

Pure job share

One role covered by two people who are interchangeable


  • Objectives
  • Job description
  • Accountabilities
  • Expertise
  • Objectives
  • Job description
  • Accountabilities
  • Expertise
  • Responsibilities
  • Performance measures
  • Stakeholder management


Two separate job descriptionsObjectives

  • Responsibilities
  • Capability
  • Activities
  • Stakeholders
  • Work streams
  • Projects

Different but related and complimentary:

  • performance measures
  • capabilities
  • expertise
  • Complementary capabilities
  • Responsibilities divided based on capability and expertise
  • Divided but overlapping performance measures
  • Divided with backup support from partner:
    • stakeholder management
    • team ownership and management
Time – hours, days, weeks
Geography (if appropriate)

Role types

Project based roles that can be divided by project, activity, stakeholders or staff.  No line management Wide variety of roles, including senior management.Line managersStakeholder facing rolesRoles that can be divided by capabilityStakeholder facing roles Wide variety of roles
Line managersStakeholder facing rolesProject based rolesProcess based roles

Learning opportunities

There are a number of Civil Service Learning products that will help you develop your skills, including ‘Getting the most from Matrix Working’.

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