What is Moonlighting? And How to Prevent it?

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Moonlighting, the practice of working on side projects outside of one’s regular employment, has become a hot topic in the tech industry. This trend has sparked a new debate among professionals, with conflicting opinions being voiced about its impact on productivity, creativity, and legal implications.

As a result, complex legal questions have emerged and need to be addressed to resolve the controversy and provide clear guidelines for those who engage in moonlighting activities.

In this article, we will explore what is moonlighting and its various types. And also risks behind moonlighting and efficient ways to prevent it.

Table of Contents


What is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting is a term used to describe the practice of holding more than one job at a time, often including a second job outside of regular working hours.

According to a survey by Kotak Institutional Equities, 65% of employees either engage in moonlighting or actively seek part-time job opportunities while holding a full-time job. Many experts argue that moonlighting should be accepted as long as employees maintain productivity and demonstrate a strong commitment to their primary job.

Despite its benefits, companies like Wipro have faced challenges as some employees sought additional opportunities elsewhere, leading to the termination of employment contracts.

Moonlighting, or engaging in secondary employment, has become a growing concern for major IT corporations. Recent reports indicate that 64% of individuals view moonlighting as ethical and unrelated to employee loyalty, indicating a shift in perspective on the matter. This trend has prompted IT companies to take proactive measures to address the issue.

Infosys, for example, has issued a warning to its employees regarding moonlighting activities. The company emphasizes that employees must refrain from engaging in secondary employment outside their contractual obligations, as outlined in their employment agreements. Violating this policy is considered a breach of the employee code of conduct and may result in termination. Employees are also reminded of their commitment to their current employer and are expected to dedicate their efforts exclusively to their current organization during their tenure.

These measures reflect a proactive approach by IT corporations to maintain organizational integrity and protect against potential conflicts of interest arising from moonlighting activities. By enforcing strict policies and fostering a culture of loyalty and commitment, companies aim to mitigate risks associated with moonlighting and maintain a cohesive work environment. Recent surveys highlight how moonlighting practices are reshaping the landscape of remote work, making it even more important for companies to address this issue.


Types of Employee Moonlighting

Here are the 4 types of employee moonlighting:

1. Blue Moonlighting:


Some employees may find it challenging to manage a Second job (full-time or part-time) along with their primary job. Then they may become unproductive and unable to do their work efficiently in both jobs. This type of dual employment is called blue moonlighting.


2. Quarter Moonlighting:


If an employee works a part-time job after completing their primary job working hours, it’s called quarter moonlighting. In this type of moonlighting, an employee may work 2-4 hours as a part-time job after completing their regular working hours.


3. Half Moonlighting:


In this type of half-moonlighting, employees spend nearly half of their free time working part-time after completing regular working hours in their primary job.

4. Full Moonlighting:


In this moonlighting, the employee manages both part-time jobs and regular jobs successfully. For example, some employees initiate or launch some additional sources of income or entrepreneurial undertakings outside of their primary job.


Is Moonlighting Legal or Illegal?

Despite what many people think, which might lead you to accept that there’s a legal law, pin-point or not, that completely bans the moonlighting practice, the answer to this is that many things determine whether moonlighting is legal or illegal ranging from employment agreements and work policies & laws to others.

For instance, moonlighting becomes illegal if one already is employed by another company and works for them. Unfortunately, the definition may vary. So, if the employee has only 1-2 hours of work for another company weekly basis, they may consider it cheating. The situation is only controllable if a specific contract exists, in which the case is ruled by its terms.

While the moonlighting policy could be up to your company that take a strict stand against this, you still need to think widely before you get involved in it. By and large, you want to make sure that you don’t risk your profession as a result and provide your friends with wrong info that might get you caught. Meanwhile, several IT companies in India also provide flexible employment like dual employment or moonlighting.

Before starting a moonlighter or an enterprise, employees must perceive their employment contract closely to ensure they are submitted to any moonlighting regulations. The way a baker accomplishes a delicious cake when he follows the recipe is a kind of parallel that governs the employee’s commitment to contracts that minimize legal complications.


What are the Hidden Risks Behind Moonlighting?

Among the primary risks of moonlighting is that the employee might not be able to fully satisfy the duties of each job since the employee is expected to work harder to do the two jobs well at the same time. Here are some of them:


1. Dual Loyalties:

A chief aim of the guideline mainly is that persons who perform more than one job can be given the choice (their duty). Also, they can be asked to decide for themselves which of the two companies has their sense of loyalty and they face ethical and legal issues in the second job. Competition in the area of social care may be competitors facing their employers and the employers may be having projects to carry out, that they are unable to do.


2. Ineffective Time Management and Tiredness:

Multi-tasking seems to be always accompanied by other adverse effects which makes the result not noteworthy enough. Those risky effects range from the inability to time management to steady fatigue. ‘Multitasking’ sounds good but the act of trying to do so is a threat to mental health. The stress it brings might result in a worse duty, and eventually, we will give up, making things even worse. Maybe, the problem might be the steal of attention from the machine resulting in its loss of efficiency. 


3. Legal Issues:

The managers must put in place rules and measures that do not allow for the negligence of the employees leading to their nature of suing the employers if they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. As an illustration: leading to the loss of personal data; is another kind of unethical behavior that may hurt the employer’s reputation.


4. Reduced Productivity:

Growing attraction to the idea of two jobs, at the same time, may significantly worsen the quality of performance from employees. Workers and multiple jobs stress the ability to pass the work 100% at both of the jobs. Another factor that contributes to stress is the pressure of getting on with things by sticking to an unchanged deadline which is otherwise unequally done and sometimes gets delivered past the deadline.


How to Detect Employee Moonlighting?

While it is true that multitasking and working a full-time job, may raise some legal issues and might affect your productivity negatively. So, identifying employees who are doing multiple jobs is critical for maintaining productivity and assuring commitment. 

To help you avoid these problems, here are some ways to detect moonlighting:


Spotting the Signs of Moonlighting

Decreased Productivity:

A noticeable drop in an employee’s performance, particularly if they were previously the highest achievers, could be a red indicator. This frequently indicates that they are spreading themselves too thin across multiple roles.


Change in Routine:

Keep a look out for sudden changes in work habits. This includes unusual work hours, a surge in requests for time off, and unexpected absences, all of which may indicate extraneous commitments.


Social Media Checks:

Social media platforms can be revealing. Employees frequently share their employment status online. If you find that an employee has mentioned working for another company, they may be moonlighting.


Fatigue and Distraction:

Balancing many jobs can be exhausting and distracting. If an employee appears regularly fatigued or unable to concentrate, this could indicate that they are working elsewhere.


2. Using EPFO UAN for verification.


One practical way to confirm suspicions of multiple employment is to use the Employee Provident Fund Organization’s Universal Account Number (EPFO UAN). If an individual receives PF payments from two distinct companies at the same time, this is a clear sign of dual employment. This strategy gives a simple way to back up your worries with solid proof.


Understanding and spotting the indicators of multiple employment and moonlighting can help businesses address any potential concerns early on, ensuring that productivity and workplace harmony remain stable.


3. Use Productivity Tools


Time Champ is a cutting-edge software designed to improve workplace productivity and transparency. It provides managers with a range of powerful monitoring tools, allowing them to get insights into employee activities and ensure tasks are aligned with business objectives. From real-time monitoring to productivity analysis, Time Champ provides organisations with the data they need to improve team performance, avoid moonlighting, and encourage a focused work atmosphere.

Here’s how its key features can assist in identifying employees who might be engaging in dual employment:


Live Screen Monitoring 

Live screen monitoring provides real-time visibility into ongoing work. You can observe what is happening on an employee’s computer in real time and even take screenshots at any moment during the workday. If someone is working on different things at once, particularly non-work-related tasks, you can see what apps they’re using and how they’re using their computer.


Application Tracking

Application Tracking helps identify if employees are using appropriate tools for their jobs or if they are deviating from their tasks. Sometimes you might find someone using websites or apps that aren’t for their assigned work, or just surfing the internet all day then this appears doubtful. This may make you think they are involved in another work, prompting you to keep a closer eye on them.


Activity Tracking 

Activity tracking measures how much time staff members spend working by monitoring their movements, mouse clicks, and keystrokes logging. If you see they aren’t active or are frequently offline, you may need to check how they manage their work and time.


Productivity Tracking

The productivity tracking feature helps you understand the real work your team is doing. It categorises websites and apps as productive, unproductive, or neutral depending on their relevance to work. This allows you to identify when work is being done that is not part of the specified tasks. Time Champ leverages this data to help managers and team leaders see how everyone is performing and identify ways to make better use of time, hence increasing team engagement and productivity.


Screenshots and Screen Recording:


screenshots and screen recording features serve as a visual journal of an employee’s workday. Employers can see directly how their employees spend their time at work by taking regular screenshots and video recordings of desktop activity. It is a direct technique to ensure that staff are focused on their job rather than engaging in work that is not related to the company. This visual evidence makes it easier to discuss work habits and productivity openly.

Location Tracking:


This feature is important for professions that need physical presence or location-specific tasks because it ensures that employees are actually at their specified work sites. By monitoring real-time locations, it can detect discrepancies, such as when an employee is somewhere not related to their work responsibilities. This could indicate that they are devoting work time to other, possibly unapproved, activities. Location tracking not only improves safety and efficiency but also helps in maintaining the integrity of work hours and responsibilities.


In short, these features help maintain productivity and identify if anyone is working another job by giving you accurate and detailed info on what everyone is doing. This enables managers to build an open and efficient work atmosphere, ensuring that everyone is working towards the company’s objectives.


Ready to enhance your team’s efficiency? Take the first step towards a more focused workforce. Sign up for Time Champ and ensure your team’s efforts are aligned with your goals.


How to Prevent Moonlighting?

1. Clear Policies


State the exact policies on moonlighting in the employee policy guidebook. Be very clear in outlining expectations, conditions of disclosure, and consequences for violating the policy.

2. Monitoring and Reporting


Establish mechanisms of checking up and recording moonlighting. One of the ways to do this is through encouraging workers to report any moonlighting they detect among their colleagues within the organization.

3. Communication


Maintain communication channels that are open with employees to provide the reasons why moonlighting policies have been enacted and the possible consequences of violating them. Answer any issues or complaints workers might have about working two jobs simultaneously.

4. Regular Reviews


Perform systematic appraisals of the employees’ workloads and performance as a means of spotting the indicators of overstress or tiredness that could result in moonlighting. Equip employees by empowering them in the right way to do their work well.

5. Professional Development


Provide for capacity building and career progression within the organization to motivate and satisfy the current employees’ work roles. Support employees embarking on additional training or certification to improve their competencies and further their careers through in-house training programs rather than the need for moonlighting.

6. Competitive Compensation


Make your organization’s salaries and benefits competitive enough to attract and retain excellent talents. Aim to balance differences in remuneration that could lead to workers going outside of work for additional income.

7. Flexible Work Arrangements


One way of addressing this is by providing the workers with flexible work arrangements, i.e., telecommuting or an hourly rate, that can ensure that the personal needs of the workers are taken care of and at the same time, reduce the possibility of them working for another company.

Through the application of these strategies, moonlighting can be effectively prevented and the workplace will become a conducive one which will help employees to stay efficient and be content without the need for additional employment.



To recognize those workers who are taking second jobs. employers need to adopt a strategy that successfully overlays advanced technology into policy implementation. Employing monitoring functions like real-time reporting, activity tracking, geolocation tracking, and analytics, Time Champ employee productivity software is capable of addressing and pursuing moonlighting cases.


Through monitoring active employee burden and observing business requirements, the organization can work out the possible aspects and enforce them thus keeping the interests safe.


See the difference Time Champ can make. Schedule your free demo now and learn how to keep your team solely focused on your projects.


Also Read


Top 5 Factors Affecting Productivity in Work Environment 


What is Employee Monitoring? Everything You Need to Know


FAQ’s on Moonlighting


A second job is not just an interesting occupation that employees undertake in their spare time but it is a definite job that they get engaged with and if a staff member starts mixing up the two jobs it may result in an incident if it has been carried out incorrectly or if a person forgets the main job duties and starts the secondary job. At times, a shortfall in supply above the forecast level takes place eroding grain market confidence. Even more options, which are not even considered today, may be introduced one day.


Considering that moonlighting is a very viable way for employees to widen their earnings while sustaining flexibility concerning their very own working schedule. Nevertheless, somehow, we need to take into account the issues related to conflict of interest, overwork and also balancing between the working life and private life. It is very vital to follow your employer’s moonlighting policy to avoid any hurting chances of having any issues with the latter.


Managers can intercept the many conversions of the employees who normally seem to have some issues in their relations, which may lead to bullying. The main source of undocumented immigrants in the United States includes other nations as well. Building childcare centres is, indeed, what needs to be done, and one has to find a way to make the people follow the laws about their emergence. Factory supervisors are sent to a very intense course of training.

If the organization doesn’t have policies on the moonlighting phenomenon it only serves to confuse and also produce uncertainty among the employees. It will cause breaking a rule unintentionally and it ends up in the negative consequence of that. The lack of compliance may result in unevenness and bias among the workers of the same class, rendering the practices of unfair wages and also treatment to people alike.

Effective monitoring helps employers identify potential conflicts, productivity issues, and unauthorized activities among moonlighting employees, allowing them to take timely action and enforce company policies.

Ignoring productivity problems can lead to missed deadlines, poor quality, and a general decline in performance, which harms the worker and the company.


Ineffective communication can affect workplace morale and culture by fostering miscommunication, mistrust, and resentment among staff members.

Employees’ physical and mental health may suffer as a result of moonlighting, which may result in burnout, stress-related illnesses, and a decline in job satisfaction.

Employers can automate monitoring, track activities, analyze data, and enforce business policies regarding moonlighting by utilizing sophisticated staff productivity tools such as Time Champ.


To avoid typical blunders, employers should prioritize communication, set clear policies, put in place efficient monitoring systems, address productivity concerns as soon as they arise, and put employee well-being first.