Second jobs: should businesses embrace extra-curricular endeavours?

Second jobs: should businesses embrace extra-curricular endeavours?

Workers are increasingly pursuing second jobs. According to a survey by Bankrate, 53% of Gen Zers have one, as do half of millennials and 40% of Gen Xers. As a business leader, your tendency may be to worry that this could make your employees less committed when they’re working for you. But think again: second jobs bring numerous advantages you can harness to create a workplace where innovation thrives. Let’s look at the business benefits and what you can do to support your employees’ pursuits.

The business benefits of second jobs

  • Employee wellbeing: happy employees are more productive, and if they have the satisfaction of being able to pursue a passion via a second job (not to mention the extra income and financial security that comes with it), there’s a wellbeing boost that they also bring to work with you.
  • Diversified skill sets: when an employee pursues a second job, they naturally develop a range of new skills they may not have done in their role with you, accelerating their professional development. They can bring these skills to your workplace. 
  • Enhanced creativity: the creativity fostered by pursuing a second job can bring fresh perspectives and an entrepreneurial mindset to your workplace – and this, in turn, can drive innovation that your business benefits from.
  • Employee loyalty: by supporting and encouraging your workers in their pursuit of something that’s important to them, you demonstrate loyalty and commitment, and make them feel valued, boosting staff retention. 

In short, supporting employees to pursue their second jobs ultimately results in building a more dynamic, skilled and resilient workforce.

How to support your employees

Here are three practical steps your business can take to encourage and benefit from your employee’s second jobs.

1. Set some boundaries

Make sure employees know that you support their extra-curricular endeavours, but at the same time, be clear about the boundaries – perhaps even writing them into employees’ contracts. For example, you might want to address conflicts of interest, and clarify that an employee can’t compete with your business via their second job or use your company’s intellectual property. On a practical note, ensure employees with second jobs tell your HR team so that they can get their tax codes right.

2. Beware of burnout

The Henley Business School estimates that 45% of those with a second job work more than 40 hours a week when combined with their day job, and 25% are working more than 50 hours per week.

When employees spend their leisure time working on a second job, even if it’s a passion of theirs, they could be at heightened risk of burnout – something that would negatively impact not just the individual, but your business as well. So, be extra alert to the symptoms of burnout among employees with second jobs, and learn more about beating burnout so you’re ready to support them.

3. Embrace Hybrid working

The flexibility and autonomy of hybrid working empowers employees to pursue their second jobs without impacting their work for you. According to Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom, hybrid workers save an average of 70 minutes a day when they don’t have to commute. Of those 70 minutes, the survey shows they’ll spend 30 minutes working more, and use the other 40 minutes doing other things – such as second jobs. This is backed up by an IWG survey published earlier this year, in which 81% of hybrid workers reported that they have additional personal time compared to before the pandemic. 

Embrace the future of work

It’s key to support flexible ways of working in order to cultivate a workplace where innovation thrives. By minimising commute times and providing employees with more time of their own, they are empowered to pursue other passions - and ultimately - transform into a more resilient workforce for your business. 

Discover how IWG can help your company move towards a hybrid model that supports your employees. What’s more, get advice on your workplace strategy and access to 4000 flexible workspaces worldwide.