Managing Employee Moonlighting During The Remote Working Era

A 25-year-old software engineer discovered that because his job was undemanding and seldom observed during lockdown, he was wasting a substantial amount of time each working day playing video games. Until he made the decision to use that free time to increase his income. He made the decision to apply for a full-time position with a competitor firm in software development without leaving his current employment after observing an increase in remote job openings during the lockdown. After a few months of working at both jobs, he claims to have kept his double life hidden from both of his superiors and is now earning twice what he was before.

Another employee claimed that when he started looking for a new job since he wasn’t satisfied with his previous one, he received two job offers fairly soon and took both of them. He is currently employed remotely by two unrelated Silicon Valley companies and was curious about if this was unethical.

These are actual accounts of workers who double teamed their principal employers by accepting and juggling multiple jobs. Another name for this is moonlighting.

Working a second job outside of your primary employment’s regular business hours is known as moonlighting. An employee might, for instance, have a 9 to 5 job as his main source of income and, in addition, work nights at another job to supplement his income. The majority of private employers and organisations have laws in place that forbid this and take strong action against employees who take on a second job, however for some organisations, an employee’s second job is irrelevant, especially if they are on a temporary contract.

If their regular work pays poorly and they need a second source of income to supplement it or if their primary salary is insufficient to support their luxury lifestyle, employees may choose to take up a second job. Whenever an employee is unhappy with their job, their chances, or their ability to advance their career. Employees might also think about taking on a second job in order to develop new skills or pursue careers that more closely align with their interests. Or just to make use of the available free time when staff members don’t have enough work to keep them busy in their primary occupations or throughout the day.

According to industry reports, individuals who moonlight cite the following justifications for taking on several jobs:

  • to have more money to spend,
  • pay off debt,
  • put into savings or investments,
  • get more experience at work,
  • pursue a hobby,
  • beat boredom

Even if the majority of people now work from home, the epidemic has increased the amount of occurrences of moonlighting because it is now simpler for workers to work on a side job or business without the knowledge of their primary employer. In 2020, when COVID-19 first appeared and caused a lockdown, the economy stalled, which resulted in the layoff of thousands of workers. In order to retain job security and a constant stream of income, this also led to employees looking for and/or working several jobs, with as many as 70% of remote workers holding down second employment.

Even though moonlighting might not pose a serious threat to some businesses, management should be on the lookout for specific warning indications and take disciplinary action if it begins to negatively affect the business. Here are some examples of situations in which employers should take action: Moonlighting is against business policy, is changing to daylighting, may be against the law, affects employee productivity, and increases the danger of data and confidential information leaking.

To identify and prevent problems related to moonlighting, such as data leakage and daylighting, several businesses use tools and procedures. These methods produce a red flags report that emphasises employees who may be moonlighting, showing signs of data leaking, or abusing the company’s intellectual property. Is it OK to moonlight? That is reliant on the employers and the conditions of the appointment. Because of potential conflicts of interest, effects on primary work performance, misuse of corporate resources, absenteeism, inattentiveness, or exhaustion, employers may discourage their staff from moonlighting. Before looking for side jobs or starting a business, it is crucial for employees to carefully check their employment contract with their principal job to ensure compliance with any moonlighting policies. Employers should make sure that their employment rules, as well as other documents like the employee contract and IT, are explicit about the company’s position on moonlighting. Employers could also consider performing a quick assessment to spot any warning signs utilising methods and devices intended to spot and report behaviours linked to moonlighting.

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