Despite the prevalence of side hustles these days, they are still not well-received by employers, who consider them a distraction from full-time work performance. In fact, some organisations continue to prohibit side-hustles in their employment contracts.
There’s no denying that side hustles require a lot of time, energy and effort.
In a series of studies involving over 1,000 employees, University of Iowa Professor Jennifer Nahrgang and colleagues found that participants worked on their side-hustles for an average of 13 hours per week spread across 4 days. In another study by Henley Business School in the University of Reading, UK-based employees with side-hustles were found to be working almost 13 hours more than the average UK employee.
With the extra hours going into side hustles, one might expect employees with side hustles to report higher levels of stress and even burnout. Interestingly, multiple studies have shown that side hustles have helped to make employees’ lives more interesting and fulfilling.
For example, the same study by Henley Business School showed that the sense of fulfilment from engaging in side hustles translated into happiness in both their main and side hustle workplaces. Professor Nahrgang and colleagues also found that side hustles empowered individuals to be in charge of their own work, which led them to become emotionally and cognitively invested in their side hustles, and also transmit the positive emotions associated with this experience to their main jobs, which subsequently improved their job performance.
Many employers are naturally concerned about the impacts of side hustles on their employees’ full-time work. Forty-five per cent of the businesses surveyed in the Henley Business School study felt that side hustles led to overworked employees, which may also lead to stress and absenteeism. Nevertheless, they also believed that allowing side hustles attracts and retains the best talents, helps to improve employee morale, and makes them happier and more productive.