Here, Mandy (above left) and Zoe (above right) share what a job share is like, how it benefits them and Kier.
How long have you both been at Kier and what made you want to join?
Mandy: “I re-joined Kier in March of last year. This was the same time as Zoe and we took on a job share."
“We work as support technicians, which means we are responsible for improving and working with systems to help those across the business work effectively with them. When I was at Kier before, I was in a totally different role, but I knew this position would offer me a good work/life balance, and flexibility, which is something that is important to me."
Zoe: “Like Mandy, I joined the team back in March after working at an information services company for nearly ten years. I wanted a new challenge and this role interested me because I’ve had past experience in a job share, as well as the fact that Kier has a strong name within the industry."
“[A job share] works for me, being a mum and it’s given me that work/life balance, where I’m now able to fully commit to all of the things in my life such as work, being a mum and a friend, without feeling like I’m letting one of those things down to focus on another."
“Lots of people will assume that it’s just mums who want to work in job shares, but it can really be anyone of any age looking for the same sort of balance.”
What does a typical week look like for you and your team?
Mandy: “We have our own allocation of work within different projects, though at the same time we can both cover each other and the team in the case that anyone may be on annual leave. It works well because Zoe and I are able to work together, bounce ideas off of one another and we each know different things and because of that, we can support each other better.”
Zoe: “The team meet up once a month in the office and it’s nice to be able to have that day to see Mandy, our line manager and the rest of the team. I work Monday to Wednesday from 09:30 – 17:30 and Mandy works from Tuesday to Thursday from 08:30 – 16:30."
“It’s important as part of a job share to have that overlap day to be able to catch up, give each other an idea as to where we’re at. Communication is definitely the most important skill you need in a job share.”
Mandy: “That piece of communication does work really well between us as well, and I think the fact that we’ve both worked in job shares previously contributes to that. We fitted into the role from the start so there didn’t feel like there was much of a transition period, and if either of us didn’t know something we’d speak with our manager, Louise."
“At the time, the focus was probably more on the role itself rather than how we could adjust to working with each other!”
How do you both make the job share work effectively?
Zoe: “We’re very direct and honest with each other. We make sure we go to each other first, talk about things and have a clear plan of action. This approach works really well for us."
Mandy: “As we have both worked in job shares in the past, we both have a good understanding of workload and how we can support not just each other but the wider team, our experience really helps."
Is it confusing for colleagues to work and manage in a job share?
Mandy: “No not at all, Zoe and I know each other’s strengths and weaknesses which makes the role a lot easier for us to navigated through. We check in regularly and our handovers at the end of our respective weeks allow us to know where we’re at with our responsibilities and tasks.”
What is your favourite part of your role?
Zoe: “I’d probably say Kier’s culture to agile working. I love it and it’s just another inclusive way of working for people who may not be able to get to an office five days a week. I used to hate working from home, but once I was offered a role elsewhere that didn’t facilitate home-working, reality kicked in and I realised how much it benefits me.”
Mandy: “I’d say the same. I definitely did miss the social side of it at the beginning, but we have regular calls and catch ups, and all in all it’s just great that I don’t need to travel every morning!”
How has working in a job share benefitted you outside of work?
Zoe: “I see it from a mum’s point of view, but it really is my work/life balance that benefits from this. I’m able to work, be a good mum, be good at my job and all of these things whilst being able to point equal attention to all of them."
“This is the life of a modern mother if you ask me, having the opportunity to have these different things in life.”
Mandy: “It’s also my balance that’s improved in a job share, and it’s fantastic that Kier is taking it on board and encouraging it because it makes a huge difference to those who want to have a career and a personal life."
“Kier’s attitude towards having job shares in the business is just one of the ways that the business has become so inclusive and kept up with the times."
"They offer fantastic support for people. From mental health support to other things like menopause, and it’s gender inclusion network, everything!”
Zoe: “It’s absolutely improved my mental health, I’m not run down and I can enjoy being and doing my work and outside of work.”
Would you recommend a job share?
Zoe: “I’d absolutely recommend it, to anyone at all. It doesn’t always have to be a mum who’s just had a baby, it can be anyone, dads, grandparents or anyone looking to reduce their hours towards the end of their career to have some time for themselves. I cannot recommend it enough!”
Mandy: “A job share works for us. I’ve known people who I’ve worked with before who condensed their hours into less days in order to have some more personal time. Having a job share is a way of working that would support that, whether you’re looking to provide childcare or have time to yourself.”