Moonlighting: What it is, Pros and Cons

Multitasking Person

It is not commonplace for people to hold two or three jobs in today’s labor market. Some do it out of necessity, while others do it to earn extra money or learn new skills. One of the trending topics for all IT organizations is Moonlighting.

Recent discussion around Moonlighting in the IT industry has highlighted a number of problems with the practice. Swiggy, a prominent online food ordering and delivery company, implemented a “Moonlighting Policy” to allow their employees to work second jobs last year. The controversy was fueled by IT giant Wipro’s dismissal of approximately 300 employees for Moonlighting. According to the corporation, the employees worked for the companies while on the company’s payroll. 

When Swiggy announced Moonlighting, it stated that people in India acquired new skills and interests during the Covid-19 lockdown, which may provide families with a new source of income. Premji tweeted the following in response to the Moonlighting craze that is sweeping the tech industry:

“There is a lot of chatter about Moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple.”

Therefore, let’s study moonlighting’s definition, types, motivations, advantages, and disadvantages.

What Is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting is the practice of working a second job outside of regular work hours to earn additional revenue. It may involve accepting various assignments, projects, or gigs in addition to one’s primary position with a primary company. The term is frequently used to describe those who hold two jobs.

Moonlighting can be a difficult undertaking. Managing two jobs can be challenging, and finding time for additional work can be difficult. To ensure that both tasks receive the attention they need, it is essential to be organized and plan ahead.

Types of Moonlighting

Based on their nature, Moonlighting is classified into four categories according to Human Resource Management. They are as follows:

The Blue Moonlighting

Blue Moonlighting refers to reckless moonlighting endeavors. Blue moonlighting is when an employee struggles to juggle multiple jobs. Many individuals find it challenging to juggle two jobs in a single day.

Quarter Moonlighting 

Every other employment does not need to be full-time. Additionally, it is feasible to work part-time. The practice of working a part-time job in addition to one’s regular job is known as quarter moonlighting.

Half Moonlighting

Half-Moonlighting is the practice of working more hours than a part-time job demands. Half Moonlighting is widely used when an individual dedicate fifty percent of their available time to part-time work.

Full Moonlighting

Full Moonlighting is the administration of two full-time jobs simultaneously. Some individuals even launch their own businesses while maintaining their regular employment. In some instances, a person’s social status may even be determined by their secondary occupation.

Reasons for Moonlighting

There are numerous reasons why someone would prefer to moonlight.

To Earn Extra Money.

This is likely the most common reason why individuals moonlight. A second job can provide a financial boost, enabling individuals to pay off debt, save for a home’s down payment, or finance a trip.

To Pursue a Passion or Hobby.

Some individuals may have a pastime or interest that they would like to pursue professionally but are unable to do so full-time. Moonlighting enables people to pursue these passions while maintaining their core employment.

To Gain Additional Experience or Skills.

People may moonlight to obtain expertise in a different field or acquire new talents that can be used in their primary profession or career advancement.

To Look Into New Job Opportunities.

Some people use moonlighting to test the waters in a new industry or try a different job before committing to a full-time job.

To Be Able To Change Plans.

Moonlighting can give you a lot of flexibility. They might be able to choose when and where they work, which can help people who have other responsibilities. 

What Factors Have Enabled Moonlighting?

Flexible Work Hours: During the Covidian-19 pandemic, a policy was implemented to let people work from home. After the pandemic, many companies have kept allowing employees to set their own work hours. Since employees no longer have to be in offices, many of them can look for other jobs.

Technology: Things like online video conferencing, cloud sharing, and online workplaces make it possible to work from home. This makes it possible for people to work two jobs at the same time because they don’t have to travel between them.

Gig Economy: In the gig economy, people work only part-time jobs. So, gig workers can do many different jobs. Because they only work part-time, gig workers have much more freedom in their work.

Person Working on Tablet

What Are The Arguments In Favor of Moonlighting?

Financial Benefits: People can make more money by working a second job. This helps them meet their financial responsibilities and improves their quality of life.

Upskilling: Working extra hours can help you learn new things and improve your skills. People with a lot of skills are usually the last ones to lose their jobs when the economy is bad. Getting new skills could help you keep your job.

Growing Opportunities: Getting a second job could give workers more options. Many people who have worked for the same company for a long time can get “tunnel vision.” That is, they couldn’t see anything but their own industry and company. People can gain a new perspective and learn about a new industry when they get a new job.

Building a Better Network: Having a second job gives you a chance to meet more colleagues and business partners. A strong network makes it easier to find work in the future.

Longer Retention: Some experts say that moonlighting can help people stay at their jobs longer because it gives them extra money, and they may not feel the need to look for a better-paying job elsewhere.

Social Life: A large part of a person’s social life is made up of coworkers and colleagues. Also, having a job could give you more social opportunities.

What are the concerns associated with Moonlighting?

Confidentiality: Data and confidentiality leaks are companies’ biggest problems with moonlighting. Employees who have access to sensitive and/or proprietary information about a company’s procedures and/or products may tell competitors about it, making the company less competitive.

Loss of Productivity: Working long hours can make a person tired physically and mentally, which can make them lose focus, be less productive, and forget about their most important job duties.

Misusing Resources: Employees may use company resources for a second job, which drives up operational costs. Also, this is not right.

Conflicts of interest: In the IT industry, conflicts of interest are a big problem when employees use the skills they’ve learned at their main job to help their competitors. Because of this, employers insist on having the right to their employees’ intellectual property.

What has been the response of various companies regarding Moonlighting?

Wipro: After discovering that 300 of its employees were also employed by a competitor, the business fired them.

Infosys: Infosys has issued a warning to its employees about moonlighting. It has, however, permitted employees to perform gig labor outside of business hours with the approval of HR and industry executives.

IBM India: IBM India has stated unequivocally that moonlighting is unethical and that it does not encourage such behavior in the workplace.

Tech Mahindra: If moonlighting permits employees to earn extra money, the company should have no problem supporting the practice.

Swiggy: Swiggy’s “Moonlighting Policy” allows employees to pursue gigs or initiatives outside of work that benefits their professional and mental wellness. 

Advantages of Moonlighting

Moonlighting is a wonderful way to supplement your principal source of income. This could be a wonderful option if you’re looking for a way to supplement your income. Here are some of the benefits of moonlighting:

New People And Opportunities

One significant benefit of moonlighting is the opportunity to learn new skills and perspectives in your spare time. You can take a class, learn a new skill, or pursue a long-neglected interest.

Innovative Skills and Perspective

A key advantage of moonlighting is the opportunity to acquire new skills and perspectives in your leisure time. You can enroll in a course, acquire a new activity, or explore a long-neglected passion.

Employer Evaluation

Moonlighting allows you to try out a new clinical site, practice partner, or prospective organization without making a long-term commitment. As a result, if you decide to take a position with them after completing your residency training, you may be confident that you will be a good fit.

Disadvantages of Moonlighting

Data Breaches or Privacy Breaches

Data breaches, privacy breaches, and internal information leaking are all major blows to businesses in this digital age. An employee may sell the data or technology to other organizations at a trivial cost that the parent company has factored into its budget after spending money, time, and effort.

No Work-life Balance

Obtaining a work-life balance is unattainable when employees use their weekends or after-hours employment to work on another project for various organizations. In the long run, they may become exceedingly exhausted and unproductive for both the firm and themselves.

A Decline in Employee Performance

Employees who work 9 to 5 and other part-time jobs are bound to become mentally exhausted. Employee productivity will suffer as a result of mental tiredness. Employees will be too weary of innovating or thinking outside the box, resulting in long-term losses for the organization.

Professionals Working on Laptops

To Wrap Things Up

The bottom line is that if your employer does not have a Moonlighting policy and you wish to work on other projects outside work hours, you should ask yourself first. Before determining whether or not to pursue those tasks, consider whether they are compatible with your major obligations.

Your ability to moonlight will be determined by the amount of time and energy required and your current employer’s policies; therefore, think carefully before committing to long-term moonlighting.

Stay tuned for more exciting posts.

Continue reading!!!

What do you think?

Written by Anjali Rajput

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