Be clear what job-sharing position entails

Over the last decade, more has been done to make Singapore a better place to meet the needs of a workforce that now sees that life is more than just about work.
Over the last decade, more has been done to make Singapore a better place to meet the needs of a workforce that now sees that life is more than just about work. PHOTO: ST FILE

It is great to see that many people have benefited from job-sharing and flexible work arrangements (More family time with job sharing, March 6).

Over the last decade, more has been done to make Singapore a better place to meet the needs of a workforce that now sees that life is more than just about work.

In a nutshell, there are various types of flexible work arrangements - flexi-time, flexi-place, flexi-load and flexi-career.

It was also announced that the WorkPro Work-Life Grant will focus on job sharing, which is a more complex flexible work arrangement.

I hope the various government agencies will give an accurate picture of the nature, scope and experience of job sharing.

Currently, job-sharing features are mostly restricted to turning jobs into part-time work based on the number of hours and days of work that a person does.

Two decades ago, I shared a job with a colleague in the regional office of a multinational corporation. We had both just had babies and took on a newly created position that handled a few projects.

Each of us took a couple of projects covering more than 10 countries in the entire Asia-Pacific region and the workload was modified to suit our availability.

We had core working hours but remained contactable and accessible like our full-time colleagues.

This arrangement allowed me to remain in the workforce to continue an enriching career while meeting my childcare and family needs.

There is tremendous potential in using job sharing to keep young parents in the workforce, enable stay-at-home mums or caregivers to return to the workforce as well as allow older employees to remain in the workforce according to their health situations or desires to pursue other dreams.

I hope that this will inspire more employers and individuals to tap the benefits of job sharing.

Yeo Miu Ean (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2019, with the headline 'Be clear what job-sharing position entails'. Print Edition | Subscribe