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MANAGING STAFF

7 things to require of your moonlighting employees

By Lynne Curry

“One of our highly paid professionals works remote. We don’t want to lose his talent, but he used to work 45 to 55 hours a week and now half the time I can’t find him when I call. He always calls me back, but it’s hours later. Last year, he was the first to volunteer for special projects. He doesn’t anymore. I heard a rumor he’s working another job, and I’m wondering if we’re getting what we’re paying for.”   

 “I found this site, overemployed.com. It taught me how to work two or three remote jobs at the same time and attain financial freedom. It even shows me how to negotiate a severance if one of the employers finds out and gets nasty.1”

            In recent weeks, I’ve received dozens of calls and emails like the above that document the 2022 phenomenon of employees holding multiple remote jobs at the same time—with many hiding it from their employers.

In October 2021, ResumeBuilder surveyed 1,250 U.S. workers and learned that 69% of remote employees work a second job with 37% of them holding two full-time jobs.2 Although 45% of employees with second full-time jobs work remotely for both employers, 32% work their second full-time job in person and 23% have a hybrid full-time job.2

Only 34% of remote employees holding two full-time jobs log 80 hours weekly. Another 31% work 50 and 70 hours weekly, and 47% report working 40 hours or fewer weekly at both jobs combined. 84% of those who have two full-time jobs consider their own business as their second job, a situation made easier by remote work coupled with flexible hours.

The above facts make employers uneasy. Not only do some employees shortchange employers, but some have transitioned from moonlighting to daylighting, double-dipping salaries during core working hours. Further, the fatigue felt by employees working two and three jobs may lead to declining performance and productivity. The labor shortage, however, makes employers reluctant to address moonlighting in a manner employees might resent.

Here’s what employers can do. They can meet with employees they suspect of moonlighting and agree on guardrails that protect the employer’s interests without inhibiting their employees’ freedom. These might include:

  1. Please let us know if you’re moonlighting.
  2. Please fulfill your job duties and maintain an expected level of productivity on employer-paid time.
  3. Please don’t “daylight” or moonlight during essential work hours.
  4. Please observe your fiduciary or confidentiality obligations.
  5. Please don’t moonlight for competitors or for an organization that creates a conflict of interest.
  6. If you’re creating your own business, please don’t siphon off our clients and customers or market them during paid working hours.
  7. Please don’t use employer-paid Internet service or equipment on behalf of other employers.

The bottom line? Career polygamy is here. While employers can’t stomp it out, they can address it.

1 https://overemployed.com/

2 https://www.resumebuilder.com/7-in-10-remote-workers-have-multiple-jobs/

 

 

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