What is more obvious than sharing your workplace with a nice colleague, having more free time and at the same time maintaining your accustomed responsibility? That’s what job sharing is all about – and this model is also used within companies in Germany.
“We have been working together for many years and complement each other very well in many ways,” says Sabrina Preußler, Head of Contract Logistics at the Berlin / Großbeeren location. “With the end of my parental leave approaching, I thought about how I can reconcile work and family well.”
“We have been working together for many years and complement each other very well in many ways.”
After a few conversations with Sebastian Eckhardt, the idea of job sharing was born. He had taken the leadership position during Preußler’s parental leave and wanted to start a second course of study focusing on innovation management and digitization.
With their employer, they and their project encountered open ears. Carsten Rutkowski, head of the office, recognized the benefits of tying two highly motivated executives to the company. It took about half a year to plan the project, and two full-time jobs became two 60-percent jobs.
Position sharing is regulated by law
Job sharing has been possible in Germany for many years. Paragraph 13 Part-Time and Fixed-Term Act stipulates that several workers can share working hours at one workplace. Each job sharer arranges their own employment contract with the employer, which regulates the number of hours, salary, vacation and sick leave.
There are three forms of job sharing in Germany today, which differ mainly in the organization of jobs: In job splitting, employees work independently of each other and coordinate the work organization with the boss. In job pairing, employees work full-time and work together. Top pairing, on the other hand, concerns executives who divide a leadership position – as in the case of Preußler and Eckhardt.
All three models offer advantages: It makes sense not only for people who are looking for flexible work in every phase of life, but also for the companies: happy employees are motivated employees. In addition, automatic stand-in preserves know-how, eliminates information deficits and increases productivity.
And finally, DB Schenker can prove itself to be a pioneer and attractive employer because the logistician accepts and facilitates new ways of working in this rather traditional sector.
“The project was well received by both the team and the customers.”
Rethinking within the company
However, job sharing requires rethinking within the company, because it breaks up traditional forms of work. Because now Eckhardt and Preußler are both head of contract logistics and thus responsible for new and existing customers as well as the completion of day-to-day business. “The great thing about this job is that we’re dealing with many different clients from many industries. Always new topics, new ideas – there is always something going on, “says Preußler. “Our job moves between down-to-earth business and complex calculations”
Monday and Tuesday Preußler has the hat on, Thursday and Friday Eckhardt. On Wednesday, they share the responsibility and coordinate with customers, projects and projects.
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This is above all a question of organization. “Coordination is complex, but focuses on a manageable period. It is important to sort and efficiently exchange the matters,” says Preußler. “The project was well received by both the team and the customers,” adds Eckhardt. Since 2008, he has been working in contract logistics at DB Schenker in various functions. Preußler has been with DB Schenker since 1999 as an “Original Berliner”. As a business administration graduate, she joined the logistics company and has been responsible for contract logistics in various functions since 2004. Now with the job sharing model, another exciting section is added to both resumes.
How job sharing succeeds
1. Choose the partner with whom you want to share the workplace. The concept is based on a lot of trust.
2. Present yourself with a well thought-out concept to win colleagues and supervisors over to the idea.
3. Communicate openly and transparently – job sharing makes more exchanges necessary.
4. Give up personal vanities – in the shared workplace, you must be able to surrender.
Head of HR Marketing & Recruiting
Schenker Deutschland AG