Home office: some workers in the US are holding down four jobs

The longevity of the pandemic is causing some employees to question their working future. — AFP Relaxnews

Workers in tertiary sector (office and admin jobs) are using the Overemployed.com website to try to combine several jobs. Out of boredom or fear of being fired, they test the limits of their productivity to double or even triple their pay.

The long duration of the ongoing pandemic has prompted some employees to wonder about their future. Some are bored with working from home, others don’t want to go back to the office, while still others are afraid of being fired or find themselves in sectors impacted by the pandemic and facing layoffs.

In order to find a way out from current, less than desirable situations, a community of “overworkers” has formed in the United States. Coming mainly from the technology, banking and insurance sectors, these employees are combining two jobs, as Wall Street Journal journalist Rachel Feintzeig reports.

“With rumours of an impending layoff, I started on my exit plan,” writes Isaac on Overemployed, the site he created. “After months of slogging through interviews, I landed a job offer....Then it dawned on me, why quit my job at all? That’s when the idea for an Overemployed community was born.” A community that has spread on the social network Discord, where nearly 5,560 people share tips and stories about their new life as multi-workers.

Numerous studies on working from home suggest that employees overall feel more productive in such a context. A recent survey of 2,000 individuals working from home since the start of the pandemic conducted by the Ten Spot platform reveals that nearly half feel more productive working remotely. Productive and organised enough to hold down two jobs?

US$300,000 (RM1.26mil) in extra income

If the many testimonials are anything to go by, multi-working is a delicate and sometimes tricky exercise. “Earlier this week I was presenting on one job, second job was standup. Got to me and I couldn’t talk so I’m dialed in with mute on my phone. I unmute and re-mute a couple of times. And then ask in the chat? Can you not hear me? I completely avoided talking during the meeting,” says one of the Discord group members.

But of course this exercise also brings benefits. A double job means double pay. Further down the page on the Orvemployed website, the creator explains that he has earned an additional US$300,000 (RM1.26mil) in income, “income I’d have forgone had I simply quit my job”.

The discovery of this method has encouraged some members to look for other types of work depending on the pay of the position: “I was looking for accounting positions, but now I’m looking for well-paid remote staff and senior accountant positions,” says another Discord member. Other workers, caught up in the cycle, hold up to three jobs and even aim for a fourth. – AFP Relaxnews

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