What is Moonlighting? The new trend which industry is witnessing!

Moonlighting means taking up a second job or multiple other work assignments apart from one’s full-time job. Companies have opposed the practice, saying that employees doing multiple jobs can impact their productivity.Moonlighting has become a topic of debate in the IT industry as working from home became the normal norm during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is believed to have led to a rise in dual employment.

However, Indian IT firms are divided when it comes to moonlighting. For some, it’s unethical while others call it the need of the hour. Wipro has sacked around 300 employees for ‘moonlighting’ as the IT services firm toughens 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 Wipro payrolls.

Tata Consultancy Services’ chief operating officer (CFO) NG Subramaniam has termed it an ethical issue. Infosys has also warned its employees against taking up a second job without letting the company know. Meanwhile, Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani said he could be open to the practice if it helps employees make extra money.

Mohandas Pai also disagrees with Premji on the issue. The former director of Infosys does not consider moonlighting “cheating".“Employment is a contract between an employer who pays me for working for them for ‘n’ number of hours a day. Now what I do after that time is my freedom, I can do what I want,"

The primary concerns companies have against moonlighting is data and confidentiality breaches, and loss of productivity. Employees need to understand the importance of maintaining confidential information that could benefit a competing organization. If employees are working long hours, the second job may cause the employee to become distracted, unproductive, and neglect job responsibilities because of physical fatigue. Employees may use company resources for their second job which increases operating expenses.

Community Manager.