7 In 10 Remote Workers Have Multiple Jobs

That raises an important question: What else can we change about work?

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Are you working remotely? Do you have multiple jobs?

Join the club.

Seven in 10 remote workers have multiple jobs — and 37% of them even have a second full-time job. Three-fourths of these multi-job-havers are running their own business (and I’m one of them). Those are the results of a new survey from resumebuilder.com.

I know some bosses are freaking out as they read this. Juggling multiple jobs must mean employees aren’t focused on any job, right? Well, no, of course not. Bosses should be THRILLED about this! They should WANT these people!

A person who’s driven to pursue an extra job is probably perfectly competent at whatever job they’re doing for you — and they’re going to be happier doing it if they can also pursue the other things that excite them.

Show me the data

Just dig further into the data to see how true this is: “Most people with two full-time jobs work fewer hours than the standard for full-time employment. Forty-seven percent of respondents from this group say they work 40 hours or less per week at both jobs combined. In contrast, only 23 percent of remote workers, with two full-time jobs, log 80 or more work hours each week.”

All of which means, of course, that people with multiple jobs are generally more productive than people attending to only one job’s responsibilities.

The thing is, people have always had side hustles; they’ve just kept them secret. And finally, finally, finally, through the mass shift to working from home, people have been given the flexibility to do more than just their "full-time" job. Some employers probably still don’t know when their employees are running side businesses, but others are opening up to the idea that this could be a good thing: Hubspot pays employees to pursue outside interests, as long as they share their learnings with their teams. Brandon Evans launched CrowdTap from his job at MRY, an agency where side projects are framed as a metric of success.

When workers aren’t policed, they’re happier and more efficient and are going to bring that good energy and those new ideas back to their employer while also building something for themselves. Everyone wins.

Tell me something I don’t know

While I am excited about this news, I can’t say I’m surprised: I drew this conclusion in Entrepreneur in 2019:

There is a word for someone who is always discovering and creating and building, and that word is entrepreneur… An entrepreneur works at 150 percent capacity -- and if theyʼre on your team and afforded the freedom to thrive, theyʼll give you 100 percent and keep 50 for themselves. If you are an employer, seek out and embrace those people, because they are your future.

Why? To pull one more line from my two-years-ago self:

Flexibility is a retention strategy. A companyʼs best people -— its entrepreneurial minds! -— are going to feel itchy. Theyʼll always want to do more, to create things for themselves, and to leave no good idea unexplored. If a company wonʼt give them that room to thrive, theyʼll leave. If the company supports them, then theyʼll stick around for longer, solve problems more creatively, and provide value for everyone.

Boy I’m smart! But I am not (just) here to gloat.

What else does this mean?

When an idea sounds crazy — like the idea of a person with two jobs being MORE productive — and then that crazy idea is proven out, it should tell you something: That wasn't an outlier.

If one turns-out-it-wasn't-crazy idea is for real, then there must be endless ideas out there just waiting to be proven un-crazy. I’ll give you one more example: Charlie Warzel has written about the four-day workweek experiment that happened in Japan. That one sounds crazy, right? Until you see that productivity grew by 40 percent. "Oh, and 92 percent of employees said they were happier," he wrote.

Happier AND more productive employees? What an idea!!!

This ResumeBuilder survey should prompt us not to say, "oh good, I'm glad we changed," but rather, "what ELSE can we fix around here?" That should always be the lesson of change: It is not about what's proven. It's about what's left to prove.


This podcast will change your brain!

People worry that technology changes our brains. It’s the reason why tech critics talk about dopamine, a chemical that they say turns us into social media addicts. But when I called actual brain scientists and asked them to fact-check the critics, I heard a very different story: Our brains are way more flexible than we think, they say. And dopamine? It’s complicated.

7 In 10 Remote Workers Have Multiple Jobs