When a person does a second job or a side gig while also being paid by a primary employer, it is known as moonlighting. Usually, this happens without the employee’s awareness. The major employment is often a full-time position, whereas the side job may be part-time.
For instance, your employee may perform a 9–5 shift for you while also taking a second job for two hours to supplement their pay. They could even work the second job while using your time and resources without your awareness.
Although “moonlighting” has been discussed for years, the concept has just taken off. This can be due to the predominance of remote working situations without the necessary regulations or productivity tracking tools.
what is moonlighting?
Moonlighting is any activity conducted by a worker outside of the primary job they hold. It has become popular again, especially among millennials.
While all employers can benefit from employees who are interested in moonlighting, it can also pose some unique challenges for employers.
New employees who moonlight are often hesitant to discuss their outside activities, which can make it difficult to track the competencies that are relevant to both jobs. At the same time, employers who understand the benefits and risks of moonlighting—and who can adapt their policies to address them—can maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks.
Reasons for an employee to do the Moonlighting
To supplement their income
The employee is not paid enough or wants to earn some extra money.
To gain work experience
A person wants to have experience working in another field but does not want to quit their current job. –
To stay connected with their network
The employees are interested in working for companies that are in their network or in their interest area.
To enhance their CV
The employees want to increase the value of their CV and make it more appealing to future employers.
To gain skills
The employee wants to improve their skills or learn new things.
To have a flexible schedule
The employee does not want to work in a certain time schedule and moonlighting can be a good option.
To learn new skills
The employee wants to learn new things and may consider taking online courses. –
To gain a new perspective
The employee wants to experience something new and may consider moonlighting as a good option.
To stay connected with the industry
The employee wants to stay connected with the industry and may consider taking part in networking events, conferences, and other industry-related activities.
Other reasons – There are many reasons why a person wants to moonlight and they all depend on the person.
How does Moonlighting affect the Company?
Increased employee engagement and communication
When an employee is interested to work in another field and also earns money from that side job, they are more likely to engage with the company.
Increased employee loyalty –
If an employee gets a good amount of money from an outside job, he/she may be more loyal to that company and work for longer hours.
Increased work/life balance –
When an employee has a flexible schedule and can choose to work for another company or not, he/ she can have a better work/life balance.
Helps the person to learn new things
The person may take online courses or take part in competitions and other activities which are related to the company. They can learn new things and stay connected with the industry.
Increased work productivity When an employee works in another field they can learn new things and also increase their work productivity.
Increased corporate social responsibility –
When an employee has some work experience, they can choose to work in other companies and learn new things and also make a contribution to society.
There are many reasons why an employer allows to do moonlighting and they all depend on the company.
Why do companies hate moonlighting?
Businesses are concerned about the decrease in output at the main position because moonlighting causes overwork. Employees exploiting business tools like computers or software for side jobs is another issue they face.
It is significant that while there is no general rule against moonlighting, specific businesses have policies against it. Future businesses may develop new rules concentrating on moonlighting and attempting to outlaw the practice.
Does the US allow moonlight?
In most nations, including the US and the UK, dual employment is permitted. In the United States of America, businesses and governments have clear laws requiring employees to report whether they are taking on such activities outside of their normal duties.
As a result, if workers take on extra employment outside of their principal position, they won’t be required to pay taxes on their income.
Business owners should have a formal moonlighting policy, according to industry experts. If a person violates a “duty of loyalty” to their company, such as by using that employer’s ideas or clients to launch their own business, moonlighting may be unlawful even if it does not go against a stated policy.
Yet, the Factories Act forbids the practice of dual work in nations like India. Nonetheless, a few IT firms in the area have given their staff an exception to this regulation.
Solutions for the moonlighting
- Ensure that company policies are clear about the types of outside activities that are acceptable to employees.
- Train the managers about proper oversight of employees’ time.
- Use tools like time-tracking or employee time-tracking systems to track the employee’s time spent moonlighting.
- Restrict the amount of time an employee can work in the secondary job.
- Make it clear to the employee that they need to inform the manager about the second job and the work schedule.
- Keep employee records and logs of secondary job activities.
- Make sure that the company benefits are available for both jobs.
- Make sure that there is transparency in the company.
- Make sure that the employee is aware of the company’s policy and the policies of the other company.
What Big companies say about Moonlighting.
Amazon: We’ve seen many employees use their second jobs to gain work experience, to make ends meet during slow cycles on the full-time job market, or to be able to work from home (or anywhere) with the flexibility they need. –
Dropbox: We do not have a formal policy on moonlighting per se, but managers are encouraged to take a long-term view of their team and are urged to be mindful of how their team’s time is allocated. –
Disney: Most employees use their extra hours in a second job to earn extra money and/or experience.
Google: Employees use moonlighting to gain work experience and make extra money.
LinkedIn: Most employees use moonlighting to make extra money and/or gain work experience. –
Microsoft: There is no formal policy on moonlighting. –
Slack: Slack employees use moonlighting to make extra money and/or gain work experience. –
Twitter: Most employees use moonlighting to make extra money and/or gain work experience.
What rules and Policies should be made against Moonlighting?
When it comes to moonlighting, it is important to distinguish between working outside the company and working for a competitor. Working for a competitor is a clear and serious violation of the rules and policies of the company. Working outside the company, on the other hand, can be done with proper permission from the company and it does not violate any rule of the company.
When employing an employee, employers must have non-compete agreements in place. These contracts limit competition, safeguard the company’s intellectual property and trade secrets and forbid employees from taking on projects or cooperating as independent contractors with any rival businesses.
You may track your employees’ working hours using a variety of employee activity-tracking programs. These tools offer a variety of capabilities, including screenshot capture, activity tracking, productivity monitoring, and much more, making it simple for managers to monitor the activities of their staff and confirm whether or not they are working for rival companies.
How to handle the Moonlighting employees
Make sure that the employee’s secondary job is legal and does not violate any rule of the company. Make sure that the employee is aware of the company’s policy, which prohibits moonlighting.