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Four out of 10 techies in India prefer moonlighting: Report

Four out of 10 techies in India prefer moonlighting: Report
Photo Credit: Pixabay
22 Nov, 2022
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Amid the growing debate on moonlighting – an act of taking up a second job or multiple other work assignments apart from one's full-time job – a new report by job portal Indeed has revealed that 43% of employees in the Indian IT sector prefer moonlighting. 

Except for techies, employees in most other sectors however do not see moonlighting as a very lucrative option as a majority of them believe it is unethical, said the report published on November 21. It further said that overall, less than one out of five employees (19%) surveyed wanted to moonlight in India, while the remaining 81% said they do not wish to take up another job, alongside their current employer.   

Employees in the IT sector and the scanty others who indulge in this practice however said the key reasons why employees work outside their jobs are to safeguard against job loss and supplement their incomes. However, employers have a different view of this tendency as 31% believe that employees moonlight because they are not adequately engaged in their work and 23% believe that employees have ample time on hand for a second job. 

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While moonlighting or taking projects or other work, besides an employee’s daily job, to make extra money, is not a new concept, it sparked widespread debate in the Indian IT sector following the comments made by Wipro’s Executive Chairman, Rishad Premji, on ‘moonlighting’ in August. In a tweet, Premji said that moonlighting is “cheating, plain and simple” which led to other industry experts, employees and analysts voice their opinions on the practice.  

For example, C.P Gurnani, managing director and chief executive officer, Tech Mahindra noted that “as long as an employee is achieving the set productivity and efficiency targets and is not doing anything against the ethics of the company, moonlighting should not be a problem.” He also said his company will probably "make a policy" so employees can be open about pursuing more than one job at a time. 

Some like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) took a neutral view like Chief Operating Officer N. Ganapathy Subramaniam last month told that action against moonlighting can ruin a person's career and, hence, it is important to show empathy while dealing with the issue.   

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Others however, opposed to the practice. In September, IT major Infosys cautioned its employees against moonlighting, saying that such activities will lead to termination of contract. 

Other tech companies like HCL Tech and IBM too informed its employees that they cannot engage in a second job or gig in any capacity as it is against the company contract.   

"The pandemic has made employees step back and reevaluate priorities. In an era where talent is valued more than ever, employers are shifting from a focus on employee experience to employee life experience," said Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, Indeed India. 

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As per staffing firm TeamLease, official figure of moonlighting is currently about 10-15% in the IT industry. It noted the practice to continue in smaller IT organisations that may not be in a position to afford and attract full time resources, they resort to encouraging such practice to control costs.  

Arjun Ramaraju, CEO of Conneqt Business Solutions, a Quess Corp Division and a digital IT and BPM services provider in India, too believes moonlighting, triggered since the pandemic, is inevitable in the IT industry and will continue, especially in roles like high-end coding, marketing and content jobs and data analytics, where there is a clear demand-supply gap. In an interview with TechCircle, he said, “Only with adequate policies and protocols in place, employees will be more open about moonlighting."