Once upon a time, companies frowned on employees having second jobs (or even serious hobbies). The fear was that it would distract people from their main gig.
But this is changing for a few reasons. First, moonlighting has changed: running an Etsy store selling jewelry, or a blog reviewing books, can fit flexibly into almost anyone’s life.
Second, employers increasingly value entrepreneurial skills. When the market shifts constantly, even behemoths have to enter new spaces and find new ways of reaching customers. “Any brilliant business is built on an amazing ability to problem solve,” says Cillian Kieran, founder and CEO of CKSK, a digital advertising agency. How cool is it if your employees are already developing these skills on their own?
And finally, smart managers know that what people do outside of work can help them at work, too. Knowing what people enjoy “gives you insights into people’s true passions,” says Kimberly Palmer, author of the new book The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life. “They’re spending their weekends and free time doing this. They clearly love it. However you can incorporate it, it helps people feel more connected to their co-workers and their jobs.”