People who hold two jobs, otherwise known as “moonlighters,” are just as engaged and productive in the workplace as their colleagues who have one job. However, moonlighters are likely to sacrifice personal time and family as a result, says a new study from Ball State University.
Bryan Webster, a management professor at Ball State University led a multi-university research group that recently published the study Is Holding Two Jobs Too Much? An Examination of Dual Job Holders (PDF) in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology.
The study challenges the commonly-held notion that people who “moonlight” are not as focused or dedicated as those with only one job. Before this study, little research had been done on moonlighters’ job performances and productivity, even though the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found 7.2 million Americans had two jobs in 2016.
Downside of a Second Job
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with two jobs work an average of 46.8 hours, which is significantly more hours compared to the 38.6 hours per week an average American employee works. According to the study, neither small businesses or larger companies need policies to keep their employees from taking on second jobs, since it is not in fact harmful to their work performance. The downside, however, is that spending so many hours away from home can cause family strife.
“In general, it appears that dual jobholders are able to perform as adequately as their single jobholding counterparts,” said Webster. “However, dual jobholders reported higher levels of work-family conflict as compared to single job employees.”
This study is among the first to challenge the popular notion holding two jobs can reduce employees’ productivity. While this study disproves the notion, Webster advises small businesses and companies to enact policies to help dual jobholders strike a healthy balance between work and life.
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