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Two people, one job

Job sharing is in high demand, by employees at least. Yet in Germany only 10-15% of employers offer it, compared to an EU average of around 25%. The UK is leading the way with around 48% of employers recognising its value, both to them and their staff. While some businesses are resistant to change, Beiersdorf has led the way as a proud supporter of shared positions in it’s HQ.

Natali Proff-de-Hadviger and Martina Schuldt – Global Senior Brand Managers on NIVEA SUN - were the first duo to job share at Beiersdorf of seven in total today.

Martina had taken time off to have a baby and wanted to pursue her career in a senior position. “I wanted to continue working at this level,” explains Martina. “If I had gone part-time I would have had to take on a less demanding job – which I didn’t want to.”

Natali’s children were a little older and she was looking for a more senior role than part-time jobs were offering. When she saw the NIVEA SUN position advertised she came up with the idea of sharing the role with Martina. “When I asked her, she agreed to apply together immediately,” says Natali.

Beiersdorf Live Jobsharing
Beiersdorf Live Jobsharing

Job sharing at Beiersdorf is exactly what it sounds like. Two people handle the same projects, talk to the same clients, manage the same team and take responsibility for the same budget. Their salaries and benefits are also shared.

“We succeed together and we make mistakes together. With this working model, you share everything – and that should be quite clear from day one,” says Natali. “So far it’s working very well. So well, in fact, that we’ve discussed applying for the next, higher position together.”

The success of Natali and Martina’s job share has had a positive effect on the business with a further 12 employees now working in partnerships.

Being open-minded about job sharing allows Beiersdorf to attract more high-quality employees and, importantly, keep them motivated. Not only does it provide a better work-life balance but it’s a smart way to combine a career with something else, whether that’s children or an out of work interest.

Job sharing isn’t for everyone. Both partners need exceptional communication skills to ensure that they hand over projects seamlessly. Both must be flexible. “This isn’t the kind of job where you stop work at exactly 18.00,” explains Martina. Both must be highly organised – and there’s no room for rivalry.

Beiersdorf Live Jobsharing