Are your employees working double time? According to Alexandre Tanzi in a recent Bloomberg report, their survey found that half of US employees earn extra cash on the side. That’s an astonishing number of employees who also freelance, participate in the gig economy, or have a second job.
With the rise of remote work, I heard from multiple individuals that they worked two fulltime remote jobs simultaneously by managing different monitors on their desk and making sure one wasn’t seen by the other. When I would dig into this, there was a lot of justification. I heard comments such as, “I can easily get all of my work done and still manage the other job. It really isn’t a problem.” I heard a few stories about how they manage their conflicting video meeting schedules as well.
As an employer and a company who has built a reputation for placing great candidates on our client’s teams, this is not something I am a fan of. The only context where this might be ok is when the person has clearly informed both employers that they are working their job and another simultaneously. That wasn’t the case with those who shared their work habits.
If you’re the primary employer, what should you do to keep your employee’s focus while they are on the job?
First, while it is legal in many states for employers to limit the rights of their employees to work a second job if that work substantially interferes with or competes with the duties of their primary job, this is something that should be well thought out. If you’re inclined to have employees sign this type of an agreement, make sure that you do not live in a state that prevents it. You may use this as an opportunity to learn about any activities and other jobs that will impact the hours the employee can work. Just remember, in general, employers have no right to ask about your employee’s life outside of work.
Other ways to keep employees engaged and focused on the job you hired them to do include:
- Pay a competitive wage for the work employees are asked to perform.
- Review your benefits package and make sure it’s also competitive with the market.
- Communicate in different ways and often, keeping employees to be in the loop on as much as possible.
- Communication should also include being curious and interested in your employees thoughts on their work and other relevant aspects of the company.
- Offer training and growth opportunities for all employees.
- Find out how individual employees want to grow their careers and when possible, meet those needs within your company.
The gig economy is here to stay. In some cases, it’s beneficial for your employees to tap into other opportunities to earn income. They may pick up additional skills and be more inclined to stay if the balance of two jobs fits their personality and goals. The exception is when an employee is deceptive about what they are doing during their work hours for your company.
“When we feel confident that our skills can be a contribution to others, we discover another source of internal satisfaction.”
Stacey Hall, Author