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6 Reasons You Should Encourage Your Employees to Have Side Hustles

— December 11, 2020

Help your employees help themselves, and they will help your business, it’s that simple.

It seems that the “side hustle” is more popular than ever, particularly as people are finding they have more time around the house – and nothing to do with it. It’s a great way to earn a bit of extra cash, and whether it’s painting, photography, knitting, Uber, or whatever else it might be, side hustles can make up an essential part of people’s lives beyond their regular (sometimes mundane) 9-5, Monday-Friday job.

If you’re an employer, you might think it’s a risk if your staff have a side business as well as working for you. What if they get too good at their side hustle and want to leave? The following reasons, however, prove you should actually convince your staff to have a side hustle, rather than seeing it as a threat.

Financial Security

Maybe an employee (or several) are just getting by? Perhaps they’re living from week-to-week with no end in sight of that cycle. Encouraging your employees to have a side hustle will give them a little more money coming and help them feel a little more financially secure. This, in turn, will translate to them being more productive at their job(s) when they work with you, because they are less stressed about the money situation at home.

Exponentially Gain Valuable Skills

They say that you learn by doing. Another reason to be encouraging your employees to create a side-hustle for themselves is their exposure to and therefore learning of useful skills will increase. The more that they do of a certain task, the better they’ll get at it. Even if they’re not doing the exact job that they do 9-5, they’re utilising some of the same skills, for example if they’re driving for Uber, they’re using their observation skills. If they’re painting or photographing, they’re gaining greater attention to detail skills, if they’re repairing phones, they’re gaining technical skills. And all of that exponential skill growth can only benefit your business.

Become Open to Taking Risks

Starting a side-hustle is a risk. While, yes, your employees might be secure in their 9-5 job, starting up a side-hustle carries with it a different level of risk – they might fail in their endeavour, losing precious money in the process. They might not find it as fulfilling as they first thought it would be. They might lose out on valuable family time because they’re focusing on their side-hustle alongside their 9-5 job, which won’t help their home life. All of these things are risks that they will take in order to fulfill their new goal of having a side-hustle. Making a choice to have a side-hustle is not an easy one and it should be encouraged that your employees think that step through. But also, be open to the possibility of success. Deciding to have a side-hustle will increase your employees’ likelihood to take risks and that can be of great benefit to your business.

Working Toward a Larger Goal

Cup of coffee resting on planner open to November, “Goals this month” written in right margin; image by Estée Janssens, via
Cup of coffee resting on planner open to November, “Goals this month” written in right margin; image by Estée Janssens, via

Your employees are used to working towards goals, but the company usually sets them and so they are less personal. As such they might not be as invested in those goals as they would be in a goal that they set themselves. Maybe they eventually want to make this side-hustle their full-time hustle, and so that will only encourage them to work harder during the time they have to dedicate to it. Depending on the individual, this can translate positively for your business, too! Your employees might have a greater appreciation for what it is to work towards a larger goal, and depending on your work environment, it might be something that they could start to do for your business, as well as their own.

Reminds Them That the Grass Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side

It’s certainly true that owning your own business can be very rewarding, however, it can also be very challenging. It is a constant hustle to get your business up and running and then keep it running, as a business owner, your work is never finished. While encouraging your employees to start up their side-hustle, it’s also a good idea to remind them of the difficulties that they’ll face in owning their own business, even if it is just a side-hustle. Sometimes, while that side-hustle can be rewarding and bring in some extra cash, the grass is not always greener. It would be best if you were cautiously encouraging, but still encouraging.

Spur Their Creativity

Let’s say one of your employees wants to start a side-hustle, but isn’t quite sure what they want to do, or how they want to do it. Encourage them to start thinking creatively about this problem, think about the things they’re good at, and how they could turn that talent into money. Some side hustles are naturally creative and participating in the creative process, time and again, will infuse them with a new-found sense of creativity that they will bring to the table in their 9-5 job.

For example, if a graphic designer for a marketing agency, may feel like their skills are misused when they get tasked with mundane client work, so there’s no harm in encouraging them to take on extra work outside of office hours. From making t-shirts to designing jewellery, a graphic designer’s skill can always be further utilised in different verticals. 

If you’re employing somebody who is creative, in such a way that you can tap into that creativity, your business will be a far better place for allowing them to be their creative self, rather than suppressing that creativity with a rigid structure.

Side hustles are beneficial for both business and employee. They should be encouraged and supported every step of the way because the skills that employees learn from their side hustles are often transferable to their ‘regular’ jobs. Help your employees help themselves, and they will help your business, it’s that simple.

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