The practical implementations and effectiveness of the concept of job sharing remain under-researched. The benefits are intuitive and emotionally understandable – but tangible evidence and numbers lag behind. Tandemploy would like to change that by exploring the pitfalls, advantages, cultural conditions, and much more using diverse, collaborative research.
A recent collaboration with the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen and the University of Hamburg has just brought to light some amazing things. Three different types of job sharers were identified whose “career concepts” do not have much in common with our previous understandings. It has become clear that commitment is the new diligence!
In search of the perfect match
Markus Kreysch from the Corporate Management and Economics (CME) degree program at Zeppelin University, together with Prof. Dr. Rick Vogel from the University of Hamburg and Tandemploy examined the motives of job sharers. Based on a survey of 300 job seekers and those interested in job sharing, the study investigated which attitudes and characteristics job sharers look for in a potential tandem partner and which ones they do not, as well as the factors that play a role in partner choice.
The most important results of this research at a glance:
- There are three types of job sharers: Freedom-loving pragmatists, motivated meaning-seekers and modern traditionalists.
- Freedom-loving pragmatists seek self-fulfillment and flexibility, and do not see work as the sole center of their life. Motivated meaning-seekers also seek self-fulfillment, but like for their work to impress others and show above-average commitment in their job. For modern traditionalists, a secure livelihood is particularly important; they also make it a point to impress with their work.
- “Enthusiasm”, “Commitment” and “Motivation” are the key criteria when it comes to choosing the perfect tandem partner – this is where job-sharing enthusiasts attach the most value to their counterpart.
- The factor “diligence,” however, falls far short in tandem partner choice. Much more important to those interested in job sharing is that their partner “goes the extra mile” and engages as they do – without, however, clinging to purely quantitative features, such as the hours they have spent on something.
- Job sharers often look for “cultural doppelgangers;” i.e., people who have the same basic values as they do.
The career concept in transition!
The research results confirm and substantiate much of what we already know from our everyday job sharing: job sharers are usually very self-sufficient, freedom-loving people who think and act independently, but at the same time they are willing to get involved more than the average person. Their focus is clearly on the best possible results, not purely on working hours or presence at work. It is particularly interesting to see how the concept of career is reversed in this context. Most respondents would not call themselves typical career people, but they are the “changemakers” and innovators that businesses need today to make a difference. When choosing a tandem partner, a common basis of values and mutually compatible goals are important criteria for success. Character and experience, on the other hand, are allowed to diverge – that makes the collaboration even more exciting!
More detailed information on the research results and other exciting articles on job sharing can be found in this anthology.