They were bored. Or worried about layoffs. Or tired of working hard for a meager raise every year. They got another job offer. Now they have a secret.
A small, dedicated group of white-collar workers, in industries from tech to banking to insurance, say they have found a way to double their pay: Work two full-time remote jobs, don’t tell anyone and, for the most part, don’t do too much work, either.
Alone in their home offices, they toggle between two laptops. They play “Tetris” with their calendars, trying to dodge endless meetings. Sometimes they log on to two meetings at once. They use paid time off—in some cases to juggle the occasional big project or ramp up at a new gig. Many say they don’t work more than 40 hours for both jobs combined. They don’t apologize for taking advantage of a system they feel has taken advantage of them.
“It’s two jobs for one,” says a 29-year-old software engineer who has been working simultaneously for a media company and an events company since June. He estimates he was logging three to 10 hours of actual work a week back when he held down one job. “The rest of it is just attending meetings and pretending to look busy.”
He was emboldened by a new website called Overemployed. Started by two tech workers this spring, it aims to rally workers around the concept of stealthily holding multiple jobs, framing it as a way to wrest back control after decades of stalled wages for some.
Back when I was a police officer, we were suffering through a mayoral administration that used the 2008 economic downturn as a reason not to give raises for 7 years. When the police department finally had enough, our own HR director posted on her personal facebook page: “HR Tip: …The salary offer on the table doesn’t consider your daycare expenses, car note or mortgage… or future circumstances such as weddings, divorce or death.” The post ends with a slew of hashtags including “not my fault you bought a Mercedes on a Ford salary,” and “get a side hustle.”
I never felt bad while working night shift, after the radio calmed down, parking my crown vic near a business that gave me their wifi password and doing my side hustle tax prep business on my laptop while also on the clock available to run 911 calls.
Haha. Knowing this lady, she would definitely be on the political side of the aisle that is campaigning for that exact treatment, all the while privately believing that meritocracy got here where she was and she has no patience for losers not willing to work as hard as her.
I got out of that department a few months after this “scandal” broke (she got a slap on the wrist). If anyone high up in the department had asked me why I was leaving, I wouldn’t have hesitated and told them exactly “My HR manager told me to.” I left about 3 months after the long awaited raises were finally announced (they didn’t get us to where we would have been had the payscale never been frozen). I thought the department experienced a severe exodus back then. That was nothing compared to what they are dealing with right now. For the first time that department’s modern history (since all patrolmen on a shift were in cars), they are making the downtown detectives work rotations in patrol.
This has always been pretty common but it’s easier to pull off now. I know a few people who would report to one job at 6 or 7, “head to the field” at 830/9 and clock in somewhere else by 10 etc. rarely ended well.
Yeah as a retired IT software engineer I can say it’s just a matter of time, if you do this, before you have two big pants on fire issues happen at the same time. If you’re one of the key guys in both jobs, you’ve got trouble.
I know one guy, who had a job where there were two bosses. On boss worked 4-12 and the other boss worked 10-6. The guy would come in at 945 and leave at 245. One boss assumed he worked late, the other thought he came in early. He did churn out a lot of production. No one ever figured it out until the guy moved onto his next gig so, I guess it worked out ok for him🤷🏻♂️ But he led a charmed life.