HR Management & Compliance, Talent

Pros and Cons of Employees Having a Second Job

Employers want employees who are loyal and unlikely to leave the organization. Where does having multiple jobs fit into that? Does it mean employees are more likely to stay because they appreciate the flexibility or more likely to go because they have other options?

Source: Delpixel / shutterstock

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer, but it highlights the complexity employers face when they have employees who work more than one job. This may come in the form of two full-time jobs, two part-time jobs, a side gig, or some other combination.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons employers face when an employee has another job.

Benefits of Employees Having a Second Job

It may sound counterintuitive, but there are actually quite a few benefits for employers when employees take on a second job. For example:

  • It can take the pressure off of employers to increase hours for part-time employees because they’re getting enough total hours between their jobs.
  • Employees may be more financially secure and less likely to have financial difficulties that cause stress at work.
  • If there’s another source of income, it may take the pressure off the main employer to increase wages, as these employees are less likely to leave over wage issues.
  • Other outlets for their passions may enable employees to meet more personal goals. A side or secondary job can be a way for employees to do something they enjoy without risking their main employment or income.
  • An employee’s other network could be a source of customers or other employees for the main employer. The employee may also gain additional useful skills.

Drawbacks of Employees Having a Second Job

Of course, this situation has some fairly obvious risks. For example:

  • It may make scheduling tougher.
  • Scheduling conflicts may make it more difficult for employees with another job to be present for important meetings.
  • It can be tough to keep up with whether important communications were delivered to the employees who have variable schedules.
  • Employees who want to take days off for reasons unrelated to another job and receive pushback may feel unfairly treated.
  • It may negatively impact employee loyalty, especially if the other job offers better benefits or wants to increase their hours or pay.
  • Productivity may suffer if an employee doesn’t get enough sleep or time off.
  • It could increase the chances of employee burnout.

No matter your take on employees working second jobs, be sure to treat them fairly and consistently. For example, if some employees are allowed modified schedules due to competing work requirements, other employees should also be allowed modified schedules for other reasons. The key is to be fair and consistent with how employees are treated and to be clear in your policies and communications, regardless of your stance on the issue. Think carefully before implementing policies that prohibit employees from taking other jobs; doing so could backfire.

Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.