Trust Us – You Want Your Employees to Have Side Hustles

Let’s talk about side hustles. That’s right — we said it. The Gen Z and Millennial side hustle. (GASP!) If you’re wondering what on earth a side hustle is – it’s not Jay-Z’s new single. It’s something most Gen Z and Millennials are doing to earn a little cash on the side. They’re working a job outside of their primary place of employment to earn money.

An employee can participate in a side hustle position any time they’re not required to be on duty in their primary job. A side hustle could be anything from a gig as a freelance writer, to teaching yoga, to creating and selling art. For example, a person may have an 8 to 5 position with one company as their primary place of employment, and then have a secondary role that requires them to work Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 6 pm to 11 pm. Those are hours outside of the primary place of work that allows for 15 extra paid hours of income per week.

According to CNN, the people most likely to have a “side hustle” or secondary income job are between the ages 18-36, and they are earning about $500 per month. The purpose behind the side hustle might be to (1) pay debt, (2) fund a passion project, (3) or simply to use free time to earn more money. No matter the reason, this is becoming more and more popular in the workforce.

There is no law governing side hustles at this moment. Your employees are able to have a “side hustle” if they choose to as long as:

  1. It does not interfere with their primary job responsibilities or hours.
  2. They are not using resources from the primary job for the secondary income position.
  3. There is no conflict of interest between the 2 positions.

Seems simple right?

Here are the benefits of allowing your employees to have a side hustle:

  1. Employees could hone existing skills and gain valuable new ones. With a secondary position, people are often able to learn new skills and gain experience in areas they have less exposure to in their day job. These skills could ultimately serve your company.
  2. Employees may be energized by a new sense of fulfillment. A side hustle may give your employees a renewed sense of purpose, allowing them to approach all of their endeavors with excitement and enthusiasm.
  3. Employees will feel more financially secure. We all know that financial independence reduces stress, anxiety, and tension. Having a side hustle may give employees the means to take vacations or indulge in other experiences that broaden their worldview and make them more positive employees.  Side hustles can create an open-minded approach that increases productivity and creativity.
  4. The “side hustle” allows your employees the opportunity to dabble in another career field without leaving your business. They can get a sense of how much they truly like another industry before they take the next step. This is a wonderful opportunity to mentor and guide an employee as they are navigating a potential career change.

Of course, allowing your employees to have a side hustle comes with its own challenges. It may be necessary to have challenging conversations about time management, use of resources, etc. It’s critical to set boundaries and guidelines, so you can manage your employees’ expectations when it comes to pursuing a secondary source of income.

If you would like to create a culture that is more open to side hustles, or if you’re having issues with employees starting a side hustle, we’re here to help! We can run a compensation analysis, assist with policy development, and improve employee satisfaction through performance management and other tools. Set up a time to talk here!

Jessica Lorello, HR Operations Specialist