For the uninitiated, side hustles are typically understood as projects or gigs that people do outside of their full-time jobs to make extra money. They can be anything from selling crafts on Etsy to writing books, consulting, or freelance work.
It’s not uncommon for employees to have side hustles. More than 44 million Americans have some sort of side hustle.
But while they might be commonplace, having your staff do work outside of their regular job description can feel like a threat to your business. So why should you as the business owner help employees with something that doesn’t benefit your business?
Well, supporting your employees’ side hustles can benefit your small business in many ways. Here are the reasons to consider offering support for your employees with side hustles:
Side hustles aid your employees to gain new skills
If you’re an employer, you can benefit from side hustles just like your employees. Side hustles give your employee a chance to gain new skills while sharpening the existing ones.
Let’s say one of your employees has a freelance writing business on the side, or maybe they’re a graphic designer for another company after hours. By doing this, they will learn new skills that they can bring back into the workplace.
In fact, as an HR, if you see that their side hustle will not get in the way of their primary job, you should offer them your own business expertise and advice.
For instance, if an employee wants to sell handicrafts, you can direct them towards building an e-commerce website and even recommend using a free domain registration tool. These little things can go a long way in showing your support for their venture.
Your employee’s side hustle jobs increase your business revenue
If you’re a small business owner, you know that every little bit helps. If your employees have side hustle jobs, they can help increase your business revenue.
That’s because they’re able to leverage skills acquired in their side gigs and apply them to the job that pays the bills.
For instance, some side hustle jobs require new skills, like salesmanship or marketing knowledge, which employees can then apply at work. Others may use the side job as an opportunity to learn new technical skills through hands-on experience with new technology or software applications.
Those employees, in turn, can apply those skills to help the company. And the employees are also happier as they’re pursuing their passions.
It allows them to feel more financially secure
Though your employees are earning from their day jobs, as many as 70% of employees feel financially insecure. They want to take up side hustles as they are worried about a shifting marketplace or a recession in the economy. When you diversify their income, you give them peace of mind.
And some employees may likely be in debt. And as per a study, getting out of debt could improve a person’s mental wellbeing. Side hustles could help achieve that, and in turn, your employees will be more productive at work.
It adds credibility
As you are evaluating your employees’ performance, you may consider whether their outside activities can help them become more productive and add more credibility to their resumes.
For example, Rebel Business School is a training firm that allows its employees to have a side hustle, provided the side hustle job does not pose competition. It is even in the employees’ contracts.
The CEO and co-founder Simon Paine suggests that it has business benefits. Since Rebel Business School offers courses in entrepreneurship, it is only sensible that the employees have first-hand experience of starting and failing and starting and succeeding. And this experience of running a side hustle venture firsthand adds credibility to the employee’s resume.
Save in employee benefits and infrastructure
While you may not like the idea of your employees working outside their regular employment, they can actually help you save money on employee benefits and infrastructure.
As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, employee benefits account for 31% of an employee’s compensation. When you hire side hustlers and freelancers, you can save on employee benefits as well as infrastructure.
Plus, when employees work a side hustle, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their employment at your company. If they’re happy, they’re less likely to quit — saving you money on recruiting and training costs.
It will improve employee retention
As per a recent survey, about 64% of millennials have a side job. So, it is likely that if you don’t allow your employees to take up their side hustles, they will leave for a company that does.
As an HR, you can issue a written contract letting your employees understand that their side hustle job should pose no competition.
The most popular side gigs include bartending, managing social media accounts and blogs, home repair, landscaping, Uber driving, child care, crafts, and selling products online. Be aware of the trends to direct your employees on the right path.
It builds loyalty among your staff
Likewise, loyalty — or long-term retention — is often tied to compensation and benefits, but it’s also tied to happiness on the job and the feeling of being valued by their employers.
When you support your employees’ work-life balance and aspirations outside the office, that goes a long way toward making them feel happy and valued in their current roles at your company.
Side hustles are now part of the mainstream. While many self-starters and creatives have always had a side hustle, this new wave of supplemental income is being driven by another group: millennials.
Why? In some ways, it’s a response to circumstance. Many millennials entered the workforce during massive inflation and faced stagnant wages even as they were growing up. Others just want more from life than their 9-to-5 can offer them. But whatever their motivation, the side hustle culture is not going away.