Moonlighting is making news in India now, but it has been a surging trend in the US since 1996. The pandemic has only accentuated the problem of moonlighting amongst remote/hybrid employees. Before we dig deeper, let’s understand the concept of moonlighting and why it is picking up.
Moonlighting refers to taking up an additional job in parallel to one’s primary job. These kinds of jobs are taken up secretly by employees while working for their actual job at a workplace. Some businesses have strict rules against moonlighting, they do not permit their employees to work elsewhere along with them while some organisations may not even care what employees are doing post their working hours.
What Triggered Moonlighting?
Since the pandemic has hit, people have suffered financially. A watershed event in most people’s lives, the pandemic made people think about their life differently, including their workplaces. Additionally, the hybrid world of work offered opportunities and room to take up an additional source of income. Some people work extra to earn extra whereas some work to enhance their skills, fulfill their passion and utilise their skills in different ways.
Different Ways In Which Moonlighting Exists
1. Blue Moonlighting – Here the employees get certain benefits that may not be completely satisfying, and the workers opt for a second source of income to fulfill their needs.
2. Quarter Moonlighting – Quarter moonlighting is when the employee is not happy with their salary and ultimately, they end up looking for a part-time job.
3. Half Moonlighting – Employees who want a luxurious lifestyle and save a satisfactory amount for the future, start investing time in a secondary source of income. This is termed half moonlighting.
4. Full Moonlighting – This is when an employee’s salary does not meet their expectations or those whose friends are earning more and enjoying their status, such employees build their own business along with their regular jobs.
Is Moonlighting Ethical?
The Indian IT companies stand divided when it comes to moonlighting. While some consider it ethical, others oppose it. There are companies who are totally against it and if found guilty, fire or penalize employees. Others have accepted moonlighting at a policy level. Some of the common concerns around moonlighting are that it can impact employee productivity, could lead to compromise of company culture, and in the worst scenario compromise data and security of an organization and its employees. Moonlighting can also create a culture of distrust. Whether moonlighting is ethical or not is a subject of great debate, but almost all organizations recommend transparency and honesty where moonlighting is concerned.
Here are Top Media Highlights on Moonlighting:
Infosys warns employees on moonlighting, says could lead to termination
Wipro sacked around 300 employees for ‘moonlighting’ as this IT services firm toughened its stand against staffers taking a second job after work hours. Its chairman Rishad Premji said the company has no place for any employee who chooses to work directly with rivals while being on company payrolls.
“There is no Diet Coke employment; you can’t have the security of permanent employment & moonlight too,” says, Manish Sabharwal, Teamlease