Employee moonlighting has always been a controversial topic in the workplace. Some employers see it as a way for employees to boost their income and gain new skills, while others view it as a potential conflict of interest.
Now that more and more employees are working remotely, moonlighting is taking on new significance. With employees working from home, it’s easier for them to take on side hustles and freelance work without their employer’s knowledge.
However, when an employee takes advantage of remote working and moonlights on the side, employers might worry about whether they’re losing control over the situation.
This article will explore the pros and cons of employee moonlighting in the age of remote working to help employers make informed decisions about their policies surrounding it.
How Do We Define Employee Moonlighting?
A moonlighter is a person who holds a regular job and works extra hours doing something else, usually for financial gain. Moonlighting usually refers to jobs that are not the primary source of income, such as starting a business on the side or taking on a second job.
Moonlighting is often used to describe employees who work additional hours outside their regular work schedule. They do moonlighting occasionally, or it can also be a full-time affair. Employees may moonlight for various reasons, including earning additional income, gaining experience in a different field, or pursuing a passion project.
Some employers may frown upon moonlight employees because it can create scheduling conflicts and disrupt workflow. However, others may view moonlighting as a positive way for employees to gain new skills and experiences.
Understanding The Pros Of Moonlighting
1. Save Money
Many workers have become so concerned with job security that they don’t want to risk losing their full-time jobs. Taking up a second job on the side is, for many, an appealing option for bringing in more money or simply for gaining valuable experience in a different field.
If you’re considering taking on a part-time gig, make sure your current boss knows about it and that you plan to work hard at both jobs without sacrificing performance in either one.
2. Experience Different Cultures
One benefit to working as a part-time employee is having exposure to different cultures. Most times, you’ll be exposed to other cultures that aren’t your own. This can open your eyes and broaden your horizons, leading to better self-development and a greater understanding of society. For example, as an administrative assistant at a small business, you may have access to an international customer base.
That could mean traveling abroad for business trips or developing relationships with people worldwide through email and phone calls. Although these experiences might not be directly related to work, they will help you become more well-rounded and educated about different people.
3. Learn New Skills
Employee moonlighting offers many benefits to employees beyond earning some extra money. It can also be an educational experience that helps develop skills you never thought you’d need. For example, maybe it’s time to give coding a try. Becoming an expert coder can seem daunting at first, but moonlighting is a perfect way to take baby steps toward learning new technology.
As with anything in life, practice makes perfect—and moonlighting can help you get there a lot faster than sitting in front of your computer every night after work and on weekends for months or years.
Flexibility can be a significant benefit to an employee. If you’re already working a full-time job, employee moonlighting is one of your few chances to be truly flexible in what you do and when you do it. You can easily fit your side hustle into busy weeks and late nights at work by doing it on your days off.
If there’s anything new you are looking to try or an idea that has popped up recently, moonlighting as a steady income source makes a good time to get started.
Understanding The Cons Of Moonlighting
It’s easy to overcommit when you’re moonlighting. It’s hard to say no, especially when you’re offered an opportunity that could push your side hustle to a whole new level. Your dreams are calling, and it’s hard not to answer.
Unfortunately, taking on too much can lead to less time for everything, including your business and personal relationships. Work-life balance is vital in any professional capacity—don’t neglect one at the expense of another.
2. No Time for Other Pursuits
Many employees take on a second job to make some extra cash. However, one of their chief concerns may be that they’ll have even less time for their friends and family in taking on more work. A second gig affects your relationship with your loved ones—it could also affect your overall quality of life.
You may start experiencing sleep deprivation and other health issues while working more hours consistently. Before taking on an additional gig (or gigs), consider what life will be like if you do so; is it something you can balance with your commitments? If not, perhaps it’s best to stick with one job rather than two.
3. Bad Case of the Mondays
It’s so common to start the week on a bad note. But when you’re in the middle of multiple jobs, that Monday feeling will feel all-consuming and prevent you from being productive. That just leads to a more significant workload, which ultimately leads to stress and anxiety—the last things you need on top of everything else.
If the idea of multi-tasking stresses you out, consider simplifying your schedule by focusing solely on one job at a time. Chances are it’ll pay off in both peace of mind and productivity.
4. Stress from Facing Too Many Deadlines
Trying to balance a side gig with your other responsibilities, like family and work, can be stressful. It’s challenging if you have several deadlines for all of your roles throughout the week. Taking on too much responsibility at once could lead to anxiety and overwhelm—the opposite of what you want when trying to start a business!
Taking care of yourself is extremely important. If you’re having trouble juggling everything on your plate or dealing with feelings of stress, start by learning how to manage different stressors in your life and looking for ways to de-stress.
How Can Employers Deal With Employee Moonlighting?
There are three main ways employers can deal with employee moonlighting once it’s been identified as an issue. The first is that you can just ban moonlighting and tell people they will be fired if they continue to work for other companies. However, because people need to pay their bills and employees love working for multiple companies (people want choices), enforcing a moonlighting ban can be difficult.
A second option is to put policies in place—and use technology like employee monitoring software—to ensure no moonlighting occurs without approval from management. This method works better than banning it outright but still isn’t perfect: depending on how rigorously managers enforce policies and monitor staff, employees may still have opportunities to work under the radar.
Essential features of an employee monitoring software that help prevent moonlighting
1. Ability to track employee internet usage- This allows employers to see what websites employees are visiting and how much time is being spent on specific websites.
2. Track employee key logs- This records every keystroke made by an employee, which can help identify passwords or specific phrases typed into the computer.
3. View screenshots of employee activity- This gives employers a visual representation of what employees are doing, which can help with monitoring productivity or detecting inappropriate behavior.
4. Monitor email and chat conversations- This allows employers to see the content of emails and chat conversations between employees, which can help investigate workplace disputes or harassment allegations.
5. Location tracking- Tracks the physical location of employees at all times using GPS technology.
6. Attendance Management- Employee monitoring software with a face recognition attendance app allows you to track who is in the office and when.
Try the best employee monitoring software to monitor employee productivity and avoid moonlighting issues in your company-
So what’s the verdict? Is employee moonlighting a problem in the age of remote working? It depends. If you’re an employer, you need to decide what’s best for your business. If you’re an employee, you should remain honest about whether you can handle the workload. Know more how to deal with employee moonlighting
Moonlighting can be an excellent way for employees to save money, learn new skills, and experience different cultures. However, employers need to monitor that any of their employees should not be indulged in employee moonlighting. They should create a plan for dealing with employee moonlighting once it has been identified as an issue.
One way to help manage a remote workforce is by using remote workforce management software. This software can help employers track employee time off, performance, and more.
Sign up to try the best remote workforce management software to overcome any moonlighting issues with your employees-
Thank you for reading! I hope this article was helpful. Do you have any experiences or thoughts about employee moonlighting? Do share with us through comments.