Moonlighting and its negative impact on the employee and the employer | The Financial Express

Moonlighting and its negative impact on the employee and the employer

Interestingly the most important part was that a staggering 65% of the respondents highlighted that they knew of people pursuing part-time opportunities/moonlighting while working from home.

Moonlighting and its negative impact on the employee and the employer
With moonlighting, focus of the employees get divided, there is pressure to perform for both the jobs. (Image – Unsplash)

Moonlighting has triggered a big debate in the corporate world and the jobs’ sector. While some are calling it unethical, and something that breaches contractual obligations others are supporting it as the right of young and low paid professionals to earn extra and diversify earnings. Many believe that the trend of moonlighting was triggered by the onset of work from home culture necessitated by the pandemic. According to Kotak securities report, 90% of employees are now expected to return to offices within six months and this has highlighted several cases of moonlighting and many companies have taken extreme measures as well to prevent it further.

The survey results shows that 90% of employees in the IT/ITes sector are likely to be back in office within six months and over 71% feel less connected with their teammates due to WFH and over 60% managers are having issues with availability of subordinates during WFH. As much as 69% of the employees surveyed were open to return to office, though almost all the employees wish to have a reduced number of working days in the office with hardly any employee looking for a full 5-day working week in office. Interestingly the most important part was that a staggering 65% of the respondents highlighted that they knew of people pursuing part-time opportunities/moonlighting while working from home.

Also Read | Moonlighting: Why it’s a big deal for companies

On asked about the negative impact of moonlighting, Narayan Bhargava who is MD and Chairman of Calibehr, told Financialexpress.com that “With moonlighting, focus of the employees get divided, there is pressure to perform for both the jobs and also it affects their me time which is highly required to balance the mental health! There is a chance that the current company’s data can get leaked, the secret of excellence in process could be shared unofficially by working for another company. There is productivity loss, ability to do justice to the company is compromised.”

It also impacts the existing company where the employee is working full-time in terms of cost. “It has caused cost cutting in the salary, loss of the jobs. Employees in order to earn additional income which could suffice the needs of their family chooses to go for alternative jobs. If employees are working long hours, the second job may cause the employee to become distracted, unproductive, and neglect job responsibilities because of physical fatigue which may affect the timelines of projects which in turn might lead to cost escalation. A company may incur huge losses in terms of revenue generation as moonlighting may give employees the opportunity to divulge trade secrets if they are working in a similar industry and job. Employees may use company resources for their second job which increases operating expenses,” Narayan Bhargava said.

Smruti Kasulwar, Vice President – Human Resources & Administration at Salaam Bombay Foundation adds, “While technology and remote working have helped boost employee morale and productivity by cutting down on unnecessary commute time, it has also enabled moonlighting. According to a survey by PwC India ‘Workforce Hopes and Fears 2022’ it is imperative for organizations to think creatively about career paths and provide new advancement opportunities for employees within organizational constraints. And while each organization works towards this goal in its individual capacity, let us also remember that when it comes to moonlighting, the terms of employment were discussed with the employee upon joining. Dual employment is often not permitted. In case an employee still goes on to take up assignments with a different organization, it could lead to a breach of policy and of trust – with productivity compromised. More importantly, a clash of interest or leak of confidential information to a competitor would be detrimental.”

“Instead, I would advise that the individual seek roles as a freelancer, or consultant or take up a full-time role with companies that do not have an exclusivity clause,” Smruti Kasulwar suggests. If companies are serious about stopping the trend of moonlighting impacting their work, they have to focus on various aspects of salaries at par with industry standard, employee satisfaction and well-being, etc.

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First published on: 29-10-2022 at 04:09:14 pm
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