Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Want to Share a Job? Some People Do

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Want to Share a Job? Some People Do

Article excerpt

Barbara Brown has a deal many working mothers would be envious of. She works at an office job Tuesdays and Thursdays and spends the rest of the week at home with her children. Yet her job is a management position; she is co-manager of corporate communications at National City Corp., Cleveland.

What enables her to divide her time satisfactorily between career and kids is job sharing. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while Brown is at home, co-manager Margie Flynn takes over the job, which includes supervision of three officers and two administrative level employees. Brown and Flynn each have three kids and a part-time nanny.

Two heads heifer

How can two people share a job without being in the office at the same time? Communication. Though their work schedules don't overlap, Flynn and Brown talk with each other at least once a day. They both have fax machines at home and they share a portable computer. They each have an answering machine at home and voice mail at work.

They share a desk and each takes up projects where the other left off. If Flynn is working on a document, she leaves it on the desk to be edited or finished the next day by Brown, who may disagree with portions of it and make changes. "We can only make our work better by doing that," says Flynn. The staff they co-manage apparently are comfortable with the arrangement, which has been in place for over two years.

Productivity goes up

Some banks find job-sharing costs less than employing one full-timer or two independent part-timers.

NationsBank provides 100% of full-time employee benefits to anyone who works more than 20 hours a week, so the bank pays twice as much for benefits in a job-share than for a single full-time employee. Nevertheless, "job-sharing is less expensive than replacing somebody," says Virginia Stone Mackin, director of work and family programs.

Mackin has seen estimates that it costs 75% of a year's salary to replace a non-exempt employee, and 150% of salary to replace a manager. "We see it as a short-term adjustment for a long-term investment in the person," she says. "Usually people come back full-time."

Banks that allow their employees to job-share often find that a pair of job-sharers is more productive than a single full-time employee. …

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