Who is overemployment really harming? Often, it’s your colleagues

Who is overemployment really harming? Often, it’s your colleagues

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It seems like the perfect crime. Since remote work became commonplace, more and more people are now working multiple full and part-time jobs without their employers knowing.

Not all roles are conducive to it. You don’t want a job with too many time-intensive outputs or a role with lots of planned or impromptu meetings, but somewhere in between is the sweet spot. It takes a certain type of personality, too. Confident enough to blag it, and enough energy to want to do it.

There’s a dedicated Overemployed Reddit thread that makes for compelling reading. It’s such a rabbit hole of information and stories, it’s hard to believe actually overemployed people have time to contribute to it, but somehow they do.

Typically, overemployed people remove their social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn, and are adept at automating parts of jobs that are still manual in many organizations, or even outsource their work at a much lower rate than they are being paid.

For many, it’s a short-term solution, allowing them to build funds to buy a home or start their own business. For others, it’s a new way of life.

In an era of rising inflation, mass tech layoffs, precarious work contracts and high housing prices, it’s understandable that workers are putting their own needs above the company they work for.

Downsides of overemployment

However, it does have knock-on effects. On a day-to-day basis, overemployed colleagues can seem distracted and show a lack of engagement. They might avoid or drop off calls, and can be forgetful when it comes to knowledge of systems and processes it’s hard to keep track of multiple ways of working.

This often results in colleagues picking up the slack, and over time, feeling burnt out. Helping coworkers by covering for them or rescheduling time-sensitive work, or spending time improving their code or reports is time consuming, and this all limits employees from meeting their own KPIs.

In an age of workers adopting a bare minimum approach, as in “lazy girl jobs” and “quiet quitting”, it can be difficult to spot who hasn’t got the time from who isn’t taking the time.

Many overemployed people and quiet quitters aren’t reviewing or double checking their own work, nor are they looking ahead and innovating on behalf of the company. With AI hiring ongoing and AI knowledge building across industries, the days of creaming multiple salaries with automated work may be numbered.

Ultimately though, it’s up to managers to identify weak performances and pinch points within teams, and to ensure goals and KPIs are met, without unnecessary strain on any one or more team members.

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