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As businesses increasingly embrace remote work arrangements to cut costs and promote a more flexible workplace, employee moonlighting has become a growing concern. Whether your business is structured as a traditional nine-to-five office or operates as a remote team, it’s essential to have policies in place to deal with employee moonlighting.
Giving your staff the flexibility to work remotely can help make them happier, more productive, and overall more loyal to your business. While there are many benefits to remote working arrangements, you may find that some of your employees choose to take advantage of the flexibility by moonlighting (working remotely outside of regular working hours).
How can you deal with this situation?
Read the complete article to know the popular ways to deal with this issue in your business.
What is Moonlighting?
Moonlighting occurs when an employee engages in another job or activity that is not directly related to their primary employer. Employee moonlighting is nothing new, but moonlighting cases are on the rise as remote working arrangements become more popular. More and more employees are gaining flexible work arrangements and choosing to work remotely for a company outside their region.
Unfortunately, employees who engage in moonlighting activities tend to be less productive at work because they’re spending time involved in other activities like volunteering or starting their own business—activities unrelated to their main job. In some cases, a high level of employee moonlighting can even reduce productivity levels across an entire team; team members may start feeling like they can slack off because one teammate is busy engaging in a second activity.
Employee moonlighting can have a negative impact on business operations when employees are spending time in other unrelated activities. The best way to reduce moonlighting risks is by fostering a workplace culture that encourages productivity and continuous learning.
The Rise in Cases of Moonlighting
As workplace expectations continue to evolve and technology makes it easier for people to work from anywhere, more and more employees are moonlighting. While moonlighting comes with its own set of pros and cons, it also creates a unique problem: How do you keep tabs on your employee’s behavior? As employees have become increasingly independent from their employers over time, they’ve become less aware of when their secondary jobs cross over into places where conflicts might arise.
According to a recent survey, there has been a significant rise in moonlighting by 28% over five years. More than 10% of employees surveyed admitted they performed their day job while also working a second job on the side. Another 12% of workers felt forced into moonlighting to make ends meet.
Why Does Moonlighting Occur in a Remote Work Environment?
Remote working arrangements give employees more control over when and where they work, but it’s not always a good thing. A recent study of thousands of virtual workers revealed that moonlighting (working for another employer while on your main job) is much more common than companies realize.
Nearly 1 in 3 workers admits to moonlighting at least once a month! There are moonlighting cases every week, and it’s typically not reported because most employers do not consider it illegal or an issue—but they should, especially when they engage their staff remotely.
Remote workers are twice as likely to moonlight as their office-based colleagues. Because many companies employ a global team that can work remotely or relocate for short or long periods of time, it’s hard for managers to keep track of where everyone is and what they’re doing at any given time. It’s even more complicated if you don’t have a set schedule, especially if you manage people on different continents.
The truth is, moonlighting is more common than you think, and it can easily happen in any remote work arrangement.
You must be wondering-
How to deal with Moonlighting? Read the following section to know the answer-
Top 5 Ways to Deal with Employee Moonlighting
1) Talk to your employees
The first step is to talk to your employees about moonlighting openly. Let them know that you’re aware of the trend and that you understand that some of them may want to do it on the side. Ask them what their reasons are for moonlighting, and see if there’s a way you can help accommodate their needs. You may give them a flexible schedule or allow them to work from home occasionally.
After you’ve addressed your employees’ needs, be upfront with them about what moonlighting means for your business. Let them know that you’d like to continue having a strong relationship with them and that it’s essential to make sure they’re being productive when they’re on company time.
2) Create a Policy
If you’re not comfortable with your employees moonlighting, you can create a policy prohibiting it. This will make sure that everyone is on the same page and there is no confusion about what’s allowed. Ensure to communicate the policy to your employees, and remind them that they need to get approval from you before starting any new side projects.
You may even consider using some workforce analytics tools to monitor where your remote workers are spending their time when they should be working for you. If a few of them start spending more time on their side businesses than you expect, talk to them about how much time off-the-clock work is reasonable.
You could also use remote employee monitoring software like WorkStatus to check how much they work outside of regular hours. Some companies implement fines for unapproved off-hour work as part of their policies. You can avoid problems by having good communication with all parties involved.
Make sure that everyone understands what’s allowed, and if someone starts moonlighting without letting you know first, discuss it directly with them before deciding how to proceed.
3) Measure Performance
It’s essential to keep an eye on employee productivity when they’re working for you. If you notice that their performance has decreased since they’ve started moonlighting, talk to them about it. Let them know that you’re concerned and see if you can do anything to help them balance their work and personal life.
You should also keep an eye on how remote employees are performing. They may work for you in a traditional sense, but they’re not based at your office and therefore don’t have to follow your daily schedule. Track their performance using workforce analytics software so you can determine if they need additional help or encouragement to get their job done.
Remember that remote workers need more attention than their local counterparts; provide them with as much feedback as possible to help them improve. Remote employee monitoring apps will allow you to check up on them when needed and ensure that they’re producing quality results—something that’s not always possible when someone is working from home.
4) Monitor Employee Activity
Remote employees are your employees, which means you’re responsible for keeping them productive and accountable. This can sometimes be difficult because they aren’t in an office with constant supervision—but that doesn’t mean you can’t track their progress. Using remote employee monitoring software is an excellent way to see what your remote employees are actually doing when they say they’re working on a project. This information will help you manage your workforce more effectively, giving you more insight into productivity—and catch slackers who aren’t really trying hard enough.
Knowing what your employees are doing and how hard they’re working will give you better insight into their productivity, helping you manage your workforce more effectively. Remote employee monitoring software makes it easy to see when an employee has been inactive for too long or when an employee is slacking off.
5) Take disciplinary action if necessary
If an employee violates the policy, the employer should take disciplinary action. This could include a warning or termination. Employers need to document disciplinary actions in case of later disputes.
Ensure that all employees have a copy of your company’s guidelines and understand what is considered moonlighting. Depending on your company policy, you may also want to include clear consequences for breaking these rules.
It’s also essential for employees to know how to contact their employer if they have questions or need assistance. For example, provide an email address or phone number where your employees can reach you during off-hours. You may also want to allow them easy access to an employee handbook or other reference materials so they can review relevant policies while they work.
If possible, regularly conduct performance reviews, so you can discuss issues early on and often instead of waiting until after disciplinary action is necessary.
Moonlighting can be a positive experience for employees and employers when it is managed correctly. When done responsibly, it allows employees to explore other interests or develop new skill sets while maintaining their commitment to the organisation.
Employers should take care to put policies in place that protect both the employee and the company’s interests, such as setting clear expectations about work hours and communication. By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risk of any negative consequences associated with moonlighting in your remote working arrangement.
Try the best remote work monitoring software that comes with a GPS time tracker to help you in managing workforce moonlighting in your remote working arrangements.
Have you ever allowed an employee to moonlight in your remote working arrangement? If so, what tips would you share for making sure it goes smoothly?
Thanks for reading!!