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How to Find Out If Your Employee Is Moonlighting?

How to Find Out If Your Employee Is Moonlighting?

In this article, you’ll find out more about the rising trend of moonlighting, the practice of working multiple jobs simultaneously, learn how to reveal it and what to do once it is identified, and discover how Kickidler can help identify and prevent moonlighting.

In the current rapidly evolving economic landscape, moonlighting has become a rather common practice in the workplace as it helps employees withstand the rising cost of living.

But while moonlighting can be a way for employees to earn extra income and acquire new skills, it does also pose a significant risk to employers through potential conflicts of interest and a drop in employee performance and productivity.

How can employers detect if their employees have moonlighting jobs, and what can help they do if such instances are identified? 

You’ll find out the answers to these questions and more in today’s article, where we’ll discuss all the ins and outs of moonlighting and help you learn how to detect and deal with it.

What Is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting at work refers to individuals taking up an additional job or doing extra work outside their regular employment. 

Individuals may engage in this practice for several reasons, including pending financial obligations, career advancement goals, or the pursuit of their interests and hobbies. They may also take up additional work to gain new skills, explore different industries, or test alternative career options before transitioning to an entirely new career path. 

However, companies may establish rules and restrictions on employee moonlighting seeing how the implications of this practice pose potential risks for employers. Staff distracted by other work often demonstrate a decrease in productivity at their primary job, with possible conflicts of interest arising, such as working for a competition or misusing confidential company data and resources.

What’s interesting, the term itself most likely originated from the traditional concept of people working a second job ‘under the moonlight’ after completing their regular job in the daylight.

The meaning of moonlighting can be defined using a few examples:

  • a doctor who works as a medical writer in their spare time
  • a software engineer who works as a freelance developer at night 
  • a teacher who works as a tutor on the weekends

How to Detect Moonlighting? 

Now that we have a better understanding of what a moonlighting job is, the question arises how to recognize employees involved in moonlighting activities. This poses a formidable task in modern workplaces, especially considering that remote work is on the rise. 

Let’s take a look at four effective methods how employers can identify moonlighting work of their employees in order to maintain productive and focused teams.

  • Method #1. Using employee monitoring software

    Employee monitoring solutions give employers a comprehensive view of what their employees are engaged in on their PCs during working hours. Such software has the ability to work stealthily, without impacting employee productivity in any way. It has proven its value at uncovering any instances of moonlighting or protecting company assets.

  • Method #2. Observing employee behavior

    Monitoring changes in employee behavior is another way to uncover moonlighting by employees. A sudden decrease in productivity or changes in their work schedule, for example, late arrivals or early departures, could be signs that an employee is moonlighting in addition to their day job.

  • Method #3. Promoting open communication

    Fostering an inclusive workplace culture is critical in managing the complexities of moonlighting. Open communication lays the foundation for understanding employee motivation in seeking additional work, which allows employers to address any underlying issues such as job satisfaction, compensation, or work-life balance that might contribute to them seeking extra work.

  • Method#4. Creating a dedicated policy

    Creating a policy regarding working multiple remote jobs establishes clear guidelines and expectations as well, so that employees understand what’s permissible within their employment. This could include conditions under which external work can be permitted, any specified required disclosures, as well as details regarding necessary approval procedures for moonlight job activities.

How to Deal with Moonlighting Employees? 

After uncovering a moonlighting employee, here are a few ways an employer could go about dealing with moonlighting:

  • Assess performance. Before taking any actions, employers need to evaluate how an employee’s moonlighting activities impact their job performance. If work quality, productivity, or engagement haven’t suffered as a result of additional workload, moonlighting doesn’t present such a critical problem; otherwise, it’s ought to be dealt with immediately.
  • Review company policies. Employers need to review their company’s policies regarding moonlight jobs and outside employment so that clear expectations are established regarding possible outcomes of such arrangements and expected actions that are to be taken. If additional employment activities violate the company policies, employers must follow the appropriate disciplinary procedures stated in such policies, which may include issuing a warning, implementing a probationary period, or taking further disciplinary action, like suspension or termination.
  • Create an open dialogue. An honest yet supportive dialogue with the employee in question should be promoted by employers, where they can express their observations and discuss possible concerns regarding employee performance. Employers should offer guidance and support to the employee based on the circumstances. For example, if the employee takes up additional work due to financial difficulties, employers must think how they can help address the employee’s needs through systematic increments in salary or overtime salary for additional work hours.
  • Collaborate on a solution. Employers may arrange a private meeting with the employee to discuss their concerns. The purpose of such meeting should be communicated clearly, and the employee should be allowed to share their perspective. If moonlighting adversely impacts the employee’s job at the company, employer needs to work collaboratively with the specialist in order to find optimal solutions, such as altering employee workload or schedule to help them avoid burnout. 

Once the issue has been addressed, the employers need to monitor the employee’s behavior and performance and provide additional guidance or support when necessary.

How Can Kickidler Help Identify and Prevent Moonlighting and Other Workplace Problems?

It's quite easy to track employees moonlighting by monitoring their working trends and that’s what Kickidler employee monitoring software does for you. It provides a comprehensive picture of the workdays of employees, no matter whether they work remotely, hybrid or from the office.

If your employee is moonlighting, Kickidler’s features can help you gain actionable insights into employees’ work activities, learn their work trends and patterns, get a live vision of their work and evaluate their actual workload. 

Here are some of the features that can help you identify employees who are moonlighting:

  • Real-time monitoring provides visual examples of employee performance, offering context in case of disputes and helping with identification of potentially inefficient work patterns.
  • Time tracking functionality automates and optimizes the very process of time tracking in the company, thus aiding in boosting productivity and efficiency without the need for direct supervision.
  • Productivity analysis shows exactly how productive employees are with their working hours. 
  • Reporting options on both worktime and productivity help optimize work operations and increase business efficiency. Powerful analytics provide the most precise data regarding employee involvement in the internal business processes and help take appropriate managerial steps to increase the overall performance.

In Lieu of a Conclusion

Moonlighting continues to be on the rise. And while getting a second stream of income can help employees make ends meet, it also poses risks if that second job compromises their performance in their primary employment.

It’s critical for employers to establish clear moonlighting policies and leverage monitoring tools to identify potential violations or insider threats. Fostering open communication and monitoring employee behavioral changes are crucial steps toward effectively managing this challenge.

With this in mind, any company looking for employee monitoring solutions to detect policy violations or insider threats ethically and effectively needs to see what Kickidler has to offer. 

Kickidler stands out as an innovative tool designed to safeguard companies against moonlighting risks while supporting employee well-being and productivity.

Kickidler Employee Monitoring Software

Alicia Rubens

As a tech enthusiast and senior writer at Kickidler, I specialize in creating insightful content that helps businesses optimize their workforce management.

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