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Is The Traditional Workweek on Life Support?

Is The Traditional Workweek on Life Support?

Is the 40-hour workweek dead? If not, then it’s definitely on life support.

The growth of the hybrid workplace in the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced or eliminated commute times and flooded the job market with remote work opportunities, making it more convenient than ever to work multiple jobs.

When designing your recruitment and hiring program, you may be thinking about appealing to candidates interested in balancing multiple jobs. (You may even be thinking about taking on an extra job yourself). Here’s what you need to know about the trend.

27% of LinkedIn Users Picked Up Another Job During the Pandemic

Among the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on today’s working world is an uptick in people looking for second jobs.

September 2021 poll conducted by LinkedIn News found over a quarter of professionals on LinkedIn have taken on a second job during the pandemic.

17% of respondants said they’d picked up another job with 34/hours a week or less, while 10% took a new job with 35/hours per week or more.

A Second Job Can Be a Gamechanger for Some Situations

 For some professionals, the flexibility to boost their work hours with a second job makes it worth the time commitment. Gig and contract work has soared in popularity over the past few years as workers seek to up their earnings and add to their resumes. 

More and more companies are building their business models on part-time contractors and freelancers. These opportunities often offer flexible hours to attract workers and require less overhead management from the business.

A commenter with experience in professional consulting as a side job pointed out that there are sometimes phases of life where a second job is necessary: “It all comes down to what you need in life.” 

Working More Doesn’t = Working Better

As of September 2021, the average workweek for employed Americans is 34.8 hours, a few hours shy of the 40-hour standard. For some professionals, that’s enough—in fact, it still may be more than they want.

One LinkedIn user commented: “We have continually gained efficiency via automation. It’s time that some of the efficiency gains go the employees instead of employers.”

Indeed, studies suggest that working less can increase your productivity and make you better at your job.

four-year study in Iceland found that reducing worktime while keeping pay the same raised or maintained worker productivity.

Working Two Jobs, But Not Happy About It

While working multiple jobs is becoming more popular, it may be against the wishes of many members of the workforce. Due to a lack of high-paying jobs with full-time hours and good benefits, some people reluctantly take on multiple jobs just to get by.

A self-described “miserable” LinkedIn user with multiple jobs pointed out: “So yes, the new era of hybrid work has allowed for this multiple job trend. But let’s be careful what that really means for mental and physical health alike.” For company leadership, planning how to balance business goals with worker support should be a major priority as the modern work environment evolves. It is also a good time to check in with your employees and see if they have taken on a second job and how it impacts their mental and physical health.

For company leadership, planning how to balance business goals with worker support should be a major priority as the modern work environment evolves. It is also a good time to check in with your employees and see if they have taken on a second job and how it impacts their mental and physical health. 

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