Moonlighting – Is there a problem

Organizations have traditionally objected to employees moonlighting, believing that it can hurt their interests in the long run.

For one, moonlighting can lead to employees working on projects that are not related to their primary job. Thus they may miss important meetings or deadlines due to the time they devote to their secondary jobs.

Second, employees who moonlight are less likely to stay at the company for very long. These workers may feel neglected and undervalued by their employers, which could cause them to look for other opportunities elsewhere.

Third, it may also be difficult to monitor employees who are moonlighting. Unlike employees who remain at the company during the day, these workers do not have supervisors who can keep a close watch on their activities to ensure they are doing their jobs properly.

Finally, employees who moonlight may end up stealing proprietary information from their employers and selling this information to their competitors. This can threaten the survival of the organizations they work for, especially if they use the information to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Given this, organizations should consider allowing their employees to moonlight only if it can provide them with certain benefits. For example, such an arrangement could help an organization expand its operations and improve its bottom line if it is able to hire more talented workers with more diverse skills.

However, it is important for these organizations to take the necessary steps to protect their sensitive information and ensure that their employees are doing their jobs properly if they are to allow employees to moonlight. For example, these organizations should limit the number of hours their employees can work at their second jobs and ensure that they do not work on projects that have any connection to their primary jobs. Furthermore, these companies should monitor the activities of their employees to ensure that they are not in possession or have access to confidential information that could hurt the interests of their employers.

Organizations often prohibit their employees from moonlighting because it can be detrimental to their overall interests. First, it can be very time-consuming for employees to moonlight, which may cause them to neglect their primary jobs and miss out on important tasks and deadlines. Second, many employees may not be able to balance their two jobs effectively and end up neglecting one or the other. As a result, they may find themselves making costly mistakes in their primary jobs or failing to complete their secondary jobs on time.

Third, some employees may be tempted to use their access to confidential information at their primary jobs to obtain a competitive advantage in their secondary jobs. This could have a serious negative impact and could end up hurting the bottom line of their primary employers.

The reasons why employees choose to moonlight

  1. Financial prospects – When employees feel that they are underpaid or not able to meet their financial needs, they look for alternatives or side hustles that could provide them with much-needed support.
  2. Career prospects – When employees do not see career growth prospects or see that there are not enough possibilities or opportunities to expand their roles, then they may choose to find or work towards greener pastures. This they do to secure their future prospects.
  3. Workload – Employees may find that they are being overloaded with work and the financial rewards are not commensurate, then they may be looking at moonlighting as an option to safeguard their prospects in case they eventually choose to quit their primary jobs. It could also be that they do not have enough work in their primary jobs and would like to use their spare time to explore options outside.
  4. Learning opportunities – When employees find that there are not enough opportunities to learn and enhance their skills in their primary jobs, they would find gigs that would help them not just learn but also additionally give them some money as an added benefit.
  5. Lack of trust – When employees see signs that their jobs are not secure and their employer is laying off people and/or there is news/gossip that goes around about such an eventuality, then they may choose to moonlight as a defensive response to safeguard their own interests in case such an eventuality does occur.

There could be many more reasons unique to each employee. It is for organizations to be able to proactively deal with the eventuality of employees moonlighting and take corrective action that could help mitigate the business risks.

One must remember, that as much as organizations can look for a diversified business portfolio based on the changing market conditions, employees are entitled to do the same.

One can’t complain!

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