The recent recession has resulted in many people doing whatever it takes to make ends meet and pay off debt. This sometimes means moonlighting by working a second job.
Moonlighting is defined as “to work at an additional job after one’s regular, full-time employment, as at night”.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that an average of 4.9% of workers have multiple jobs.
The reasons employees moonlight varies but common motivations are: to earn extra money, pay off debt, start a business, and the enjoyment that comes from working a 2nd job.
So should organizations be concerned with their employees moonlighting?
And, at what point can or should an organization speak to employees about working a second job?
Through the years, I’ve worked with many people who worked a second job to support their families.
They would often have a couple of jobs doing the same types of work.
For example, a nurse working shifts at a couple of different hospitals.
A common scenario would be an employee working one job during the day and a second job in the evening.
My heart went out to those people because I had a difficult enough time managing one job so being able to juggle two jobs had physical, as well as practical logistical, challenges.
Practical things like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other personal responsibilities needed to be done in between the two jobs.
According to the BLS, employees moonlight for several reasons:
- To earn extra money
- Pay off debt
- Start a business
- For the enjoyment of the 2nd job
Advantages of employees who hold multiple jobs:
Employees can learn and improve job skills on someone else’s dime. Employees may have the opportunity to learn new skills that can benefit both organizations.
If one employer pays for skill development the second employer will benefit from it.
Moonlighting also can also improve employee retention because workers may not feel as much pressure to look for another job earning more money when they are struggling financially.
Working a second job can provide employees with added income which can reduce the pressure of financial obligations.
4 Employer Concerns about Moonlighting
1. Trade Secrets
Moonlighting may give employees the opportunity to divulge trade secrets if they are working in a similar industry and job.
Employees need to understand the importance of maintaining confidential information that could benefit a competing organization.
2. Exhausted Employees
If employees are working long hours, the second job may cause the employee to become distracted, unproductive, and neglect job responsibilities because of physical fatigue.
This may also result in a worker sleeping on the job.
3. Use of Company Resources
Employees may use company resources for their second job which increases operating expenses.
4. Impact on Health
Poor diet, lack of sleep, and exercise can impact employee health.
Holding down a second job can not only detract from job responsibilities and focus but can also have an adverse effect on the employee’s health.
What can organizations can do to manage moonlighting employees?
But most importantly, the organization should be meeting its business goals, and if an employee is not pulling their weight to support those goals, there should be a conversation that asks the question – why?
The organization should determine if the second job interferes with organizational objectives and should have conflict-of-interest and confidentiality policies that employees understand and sign upon employment.
The bottom line is, employers need to hold employees accountable for their job, regardless of their responsibilities to another employer.
A good management process can result in the employee meeting job requirements as well as being able to earn a little extra cash. A win-win for both parties.
How do you handle employees who work a second job?