6 Tips To Deal With Employee Moonlighting ?

December 19, 2022

Gone are the days when employees spend 6 to 7 hours in the office. And today, we are living in an era of remote jobs where managing employees have become a herculean task that most companies face. Nevertheless, there is another mess to deal with, i.e., Employee Moonlighting.

Moonlighting is when an employee takes a secondary job along with their regular full-time job. A Recent study says that, about 50% of employees have moonlighted and 25% are considering it. And that’s about a total 75% of employees thinking about freelance opportunities.

It’s no wonder that employee moonlighting has become a widespread practice among today’s working professionals. This is because employees can earn more money by doing something they’re already familiar with as a side hustle instead of being tied to their only full-time job.

Let’s explore Moonlighting in detail and we have also offered some tips on tackling employee moonlighting and freelance activities to ensure they don’t interfere with your business.

What is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting refers to an employee doing a job or jobs outside the primary employment for extra income. It is when an employee gets hired by a primary company and works on a project in the same field in a secondary company, usually without the knowledge of the primary company. Various studies have found that moonlighting employees are well compensated.

Moonlights can be app development, digital marketing, content writing, online tuition, campaign running, data analysis, and many more. These jobs directly relate to the employee’s skills and knowledge. In most cases moonlighting jobs will be flexible to time and the employee can do them at their free time without interfering their regular work schedule, and allowing them to gain additional benefits.

Employee Moonlighters

As the name suggests, moonlighters are employees performing a part-time or a secondary job counting with the primary job.

As they have to manage time between both jobs, moonlighters often suffer burnout and feel detached from the company where they officially work. This leads to less dedication and productivity as they only spend less time on their full-time jobs due to working on 2 jobs simultaneously.

Types of Moonlighting

Blue Moonlighting

Some people go for a second job but find it challenging to balance the second job with the regular one. They become unproductive and unable to perform well in either position. This unsuccessful attempt at dual employment is called blue moonlighting.

Quarter Moonlighting

Quarter moonlighting is when an employee goes for a part-time job after regular working hours. Here the employees work for 2-4 hours after their primary job without affecting the productivity of the primary job.

Half Moonlighting

When an employee spends more than half of their time than necessary in their secondary job to earn extra money, this is called half moonlighting. This eliminates the priority and sincerity towards the prime job.

Full Moonlighting

This is when an employee manages both jobs without any trouble. Some employees kickstart side business or startups while doing part-time jobs. Most of the employees run their own business parallelly along with their job.

Why Do Employees Go For Moonlighting?

There are many reasons why people go moonlighting. The following are some of the reasons for moonlighting.

They need another source of revenue because they fail to meet their needs with the current income.

They are discontent with their current situation, so they seek new opportunities to broaden their knowledge and experience

They want to explore their skills via other challenging projects or hobbies.

Perhaps they are not appreciated by their company and find solace in contributing elsewhere.

They worry about their termination and job security. Current massive layoffs and pay cuts are examples of why employees prefer moonlighting.

In some cases, passion may not be financially rewardable but they are so dedicated with their passion that they can’t leave it then they will moonlight with their passion

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Moonlighting in The News

Moonlighting has been a new hot topic. Here are some stories that show how businesses are taking significant steps to deal with moonlighters.

  1. Wipro terminated 300 employees who moonlighted for its top competitors. According to Rishad Premji, anyone who works for Wipro while moonlighting for a competitor will not be part of Wipro.
  2. Infosys alerts its employees against moonlighting and says it could result in termination. They have a contract that states that the employees will not engage in moonlighting or any other outside employment, as it will be regarded as a clear violation of the company’s employee code of conduct. Every new staff must also confirm that they have no outstanding commitments to any other employer who would interfere with their work at Infosys.
  3. Despite the enduring debate about moonlighting in India, technology giant IBM has stated that moonlighting is unethical, and the firm does not accept this practice from the employees. While these companies oppose moonlighting, there are some companies that support moonlighting.
  4. Swiggy employees are allowed to work on external projects, said the food delivery firm’s moonlighting policy, which it claims is the industry’s first. “Our goal is to encourage employees to pursue their passion without any constraints due to their full-time employment with us,” said Girish Menon, HR head at Swiggy.
  5. Tech Mahindra CEO N Ganapathy Subramaniam said that if the employees meet efficiency and productivity standards and do nothing that harms the company, I have no problems with them earning extra money through moonlighting.

Tips to Manage Employee Moonlighting

1. Open Communication With Employees

A kind approach is appointing an HR expert and openly communicating with your employees. You can ask them the reason for moonlighting and help them if you can.

For example, Some may be pursuing their passion by doing a secondary job. So try and accommodate your employees by giving them a flexible schedule where they can maintain both their profession and passion.

Passion is not only the reason but there are also many other reasons as we have mentioned earlier. So communicate with the employees, find the issue, and solutions to solve their problems.

2. Introduce a Moonlighting Policy

There is no particular law to prevent your employees from moonlighting. But you can ask your human resources department to draft a company moonlight policy that employees must follow.

In this policy, you should include a prohibition against seeking employment outside while employed by your company.

In addition, you can also prevent your employee from aiding another business who is your competitor, and ban activities of an employee who tries to uncover confidential information.

3. Take Actions If Necessary

You can approach your employees by telling them how much you care about their well-being and value their trust because this makes them more sincere towards their job. But even after, if your employees’ external job affects their performance or productivity, you can take disciplinary action as an employer.

Some may take moonlighting without the employer’s knowledge. Then remind them of the consequences of moonlighting.

In this way, they will know that serious actions will be taken against their behaviour. This will let them know how concerned you are about them and your working culture and that there is no room for practices that could harm company policies and efficiency.

4. Make Aware of the Moonlighting Policy

Every employee should be aware of company policies. This includes understanding what is allowed and what isn’t.

The HR Department should give them a brief description of the overview of the company’s code of conduct, such as how companies will treat employees who moonlight, what action will be taken against them if they violate moonlighting policy, and much more.

5. Regular Increments

As the cost of living increases, many employees pursue dual employment due to low salaries and employee benefits. Employees may feel undervalued and exploited if their wages are low.

Increased salaries, peer recognition programs, performance appraisal, and yearly bonuses are some of the measures where you can motivate your employees to stay with you.

6.Use Employee Productivity Tracking Tool

If you are still concerned that your employee will practice moonlighting against your company policy, you can use a Productivity & Time Tracking Tool.

A time tracking tool has features like automated time tracking where you can track employees’ arrival time, left time, idle time, offline time, abscence calendar and app & url tracking, making it the ultimate tool to help you protect your company from moonlighting.

Desklog is a perfect solution to solve the problem of moonlighting. It is user-friendly employee tracking software that tracks employee performance without affecting employees mentally or physically. This tool have advanced features like:

  • Automated Time Tracking
  • Idle Time Tracking
  • Offline Time Tracking
  • Private Time tracking
  • App/URL Tracking
  • Document Title Tracking
  • Automated Screenshots
  • Absence Calendar
  • IP Restriction
  • Real Time Notification
  • Automated Project Time Tracking

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Winding Up

Moonlighting results in exhaustive, distracted, and unproductive employees. The best way to handle this situation will differ depending on the individual, the company, and the industry. We have provided a few tips to manage employee moonlighting.

A deep understanding is necessary between you and your employees. Do follow the tips mentioned above and make your company productive by giving your employees a perfect atmosphere to work.

Meet The Author
Sreejitha Ashok

Product Specialist & Research Head

Sreejitha Ashok began her career as a software developer following her graduation . Later, she joined "Desklog," an automated time-tracking software, as a project consultant. The author has six years of expertise as a productivity and time management researcher. Her vast knowledge in the industry has enabled her to address issues pertaining to time tracking software,project management, productivity analysis and performance management. She has been researching several strategies for how productivity and time management might assist a business in effectively managing its time flow.

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