How Employers Can Support 💁♂️ Their Workers’ Creative Ventures
As the job market becomes more competitive and workers seek to carve out fulfilling professional lives, side hustles 🏃 and creative projects are becoming increasingly common. However, as an employer, you may be concerned about how these pursuits will impact your employees’ productivity and focus on their day job.
Studies have shown that the pandemic😷 has accelerated a shift towards a new model, one that reflects concerns of a slowing economy and more uncertain future. Employees are increasingly rejecting the belief that a single job can satisfy all of their financial and psychological needs. Instead, people are turning to building a portfolio of simultaneous roles to create their career. 🤹♀️
It can be a challenging situation for even the most experienced manager. The old standard operating procedures of decades past just simply wont cut✂️ it anymore. To start, it is important to recognize that side hustles can increase an employee’s creativity and help them enhance skills ⚒️ that they need to further their career with their existing employer. In fact, research has shown that side hustles can compensate for limited control in a traditional job, allowing employees to feel liberated by greater control over where, when, and how they work.
With today’s gig economy, it’s easier than ever for employees to carve out side hustles that give them the freedom and extra income they need. Services like DoorDash🍟, Uber🚗, and Airbnb🛌 allow employees to create a side hustle quickly and easily, often without any additional investment beyond a smartphone app and the car or spare bedroom they already have. For others, platforms like UpWork allow them to offer professional services like writing📝 or bookkeeping📖 on the side, using their skills and spare time to make extra money that their employer would be hard-pressed to match.
With “career portfolioing,”🤹♀️ employees become free agents, relying increasingly on themselves to carve out a meaningful and rewarding professional life. They put together a mosaic of positions to collectively fulfill their aspirations around income, advancement, skill development, and enjoyment. They are no longer subject to a longstanding relationship with a single, lifetime employer, or dependent on a strong job market.
One sign of the rise of career portfolioing is the increase in side hustles. In 2021, 34% of Americans reported having a side hustle, and over 60 million people planned to start one. As inflation rose, side hustles provided extra income in the face of soaring prices. But people also turned to side hustles for new learning opportunities (28%)🏫 and to find more enjoyable work (38%)😃.
As side hustles become increasingly normalized, those employers who put a foot down🦶and flatly reject them may find it difficult to hold their ground. A better path is to recognize the potential benefits that side hustles can bring to your employees and your businesses. By providing flexibility and understanding, you can help your employees pursue their side hustles while still fulfilling their work responsibilities. Encouraging employees to pursue their passions can ultimately lead to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity in the long run. 📈
However, it’s also important to establish clear boundaries and expectations around side hustles. Employees need to understand that their day job should always come first1️⃣ and that their side gig cannot interfere with their work responsibilities. Employers should also be aware of potential conflicts of interest🥷 and ensure that employees’ side gigs do not create any legal⚖️ or ethical issues for the company. These issues are easier to solve and manage if you create an environment where employees feel safe to discuss their side hustles with you.
In addition to setting boundaries, employers can also provide resources and support for employees with side hustles. This can include access to training and development programs🏫 that help employees enhance the skills they need for both their day job and their side gig. Employers can also provide networking opportunities🗣️ and mentorship to help employees grow their side hustle into a successful venture.
By providing support and guidance to your employees who have side hustles, you can help them feel valued🪙 and motivated😄 in their work. Ultimately, by embracing the trend of career portfolioing, you can help your employees feel more in control of their professional lives, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity😎.
Here are some tips for balancing your employees’ desire for personal fulfillment with the needs of your business.
- Set Realistic Goals and Boundaries 📈 Help your employees set realistic goals and boundaries for their side hustles and creative projects. Encourage them to think about how much time and energy they realistically have to devote to these pursuits without sacrificing their day job. By setting clear boundaries, employees can avoid burnout and maintain their productivity at work.
- Foster a Culture of Creativity 🌈 Creating a work environment that encourages creativity can help your employees thrive both in their day job and in their side hustles. Encourage your employees to think outside the box and share their ideas with others on the team. By fostering a culture of creativity, you can help your employees develop the skills they need to succeed both in their current job and in their future endeavors.
- Provide Opportunities for Growth 🪴 Offer opportunities for your employees to develop new skills and pursue their passions within the context of their day job. This can include providing training or mentorship programs, allowing employees to take on new projects, or creating opportunities for employees to work on cross-functional teams. By supporting your employees’ growth and development, you can help them feel fulfilled in their work and more engaged in their day job.
In conclusion, side hustles 🤹♀️ and creative projects can be a great way for employees to explore their passions and develop new skills. As an employer, it’s important to support your employees’ personal pursuits while also ensuring that they are able to maintain their productivity and focus on their day job. By encouraging transparency, setting realistic goals and boundaries, fostering a culture of creativity, and providing opportunities for growth, you can create an environment that supports 💁♀️ your employees’ full potential and helps them CRUSH it in all aspects of their professional lives.
The Morning Crush Team