An employee works in several companies: how to treat this and what to do in such cases?


The employee is registered in the staff of the company and combines the main job with a part-time job on freelance – this practice has been known for a long time. The pandemic has become a catalyst for the transition to remote work, and has changed the attitude towards freelancing. Therefore, part-time workers have noticeably increased, and employers are thinking about how this will affect the quality of work.

Denis Burlakov, CEO of fintech company RBK.money and founder of IT company Osnova, spoke about the problem of “combination”, shared his own experience and recommendations for company leaders.

An employee works in several companies: how to treat this and what to do in such cases?

Over the past two years, a quarter of organizations in our country have transferred their employees to a remote or hybrid work format. The advantages of “remote” were appreciated by both companies and employees: some save on renting premises and paying for utilities, while others save on travel time to the office and related expenses.

People have more free time for family, recreation or self-education. Some did so – they began to develop in new areas for themselves.

The practice of remote work has given impetus to the development of the freelance market. Online platforms with job offers for freelancers have emerged. Freelancing projects or part-time work in a company other than the main place of work have become commonplace.

First of all, this affected the IT professions, employees in the field of external and internal communications, project managers, accountants, document flow specialists – those areas where you can work remotely without losing quality.

One hundred percent surcharge, or How to sit on two chairs

Recently in The Wall Street Journal an article was released about employees who secretly from their superiors work in several companies and earn on average from $ 200 thousand to $ 600 thousand per year. For comparison: the average salary in the United States in 2021 was just over $ 50,000 per year before taxes.

Taking these numbers into account, Americans have a question: why build a difficult career trajectory within the company, perform feats of labor in order to grow in salary, say, by 50% in three years, if with the second job you can immediately get a bonus of up to 100%?

The work itself ultimately boils down to not flying out of it for as long as possible. The online niche community Overemployed inspires these workers and even shares useful life hacks on how to stay in multiple jobs.

The record holder in the United States is a programmer who works for ten companies at the same time. The demand for IT specialists and the lack of oversight in this area allow him to earn $ 1.5 million a year.

It is difficult to say with complete certainty whether such a scenario is possible in Russia. But it is already clear that in the post-view world, remote work is a self-evident story.

And here the question of employee motivation is very important: does the person want to follow the example of the specialists from the WSJ material, who were only interested in the increase in salary, or did he just feel cramped in his previous role?

In my experience, trying to sit in your pants for a second salary in Russia is much less common than an interest in another profession, a desire to learn something. Many, with the help of freelancing and parallel projects, do not rush to another company at all, but simply get unrealized ones, some save up strength for their project.

I know cases when an employee left, launched his project and became a trusted partner from a subordinate. And that’s great.

Life-work balance and development in the company: how to react when you are not the only employee

The main thing that I, as a manager, want to get from an employee is the high-quality performance of my work within the agreed time frame. The rest of the time he can ride a bicycle, be a deputy, “code” something outside for his own pleasure, my colleagues and I will only support him.

But, as practice shows, not all managers know how to react to part-time work of employees in other companies. On this score, I have several recommendations.

Extra tight control is a bad decision

If you find out that your employee is engaged in freelancing, you should not immediately consider him a traitor (this is definitely not the case), press and demand additional output beyond his duties.

A harsh reaction to the additional employment of an employee or even an attempt to prohibit it can lead to the fact that you simply lose the person.

If a specialist has taken on a parallel project, this does not mean that he has a negative attitude towards the company or the business he is doing. More often than not, he is simply looking for new knowledge and experience. If for some reason the main job begins to suffer, it is important to calmly discuss all the issues that have arisen without pressure.

Regular review and professional development of employees

Usually a person is looking for something new when he does not receive development at the current place of work. It is important to communicate with people, discuss tasks, prospects, notice their talents, support the desire for development in different areas.

If a classy specialist has sat up to tasks of the same type and does not develop, although he really would like to, it is worthwhile to think together what interesting things can be offered to him.

New options within the company

If a specialist is looking for not just new tasks, but wants to master a new profession, then it is worth considering whether there is an opportunity to offer a person development or a transition to another area within the company.

From an ordinary manager who writes simple programs at their leisure, a promising developer can grow, and from a document management specialist, a cool technical writer can grow.

It is possible that a person will be more interested in this option than looking for freelance on the side (most often it happens). Both sides benefit: the person gets development, the company gets a loyal employee and a promising specialist.

Work and rest mode

It is important to ensure that employees do not burn out and do not experience unnecessary emotional stress. Endless calls, zooms for an hour and a half three times a day do not add a person’s productivity, but only strain and exhaust.

This recommendation applies not only to those who work on two projects, but to all employees of the company as a whole. It’s just that people with freelance are more sensitive to such aspects, at least because their workload is often higher.


If employees perform their duties efficiently, cope with tasks and at the same time they have enough strength for additional work and personal affairs, then you and your colleagues managed to find a life-work balance. And this is not as easy as it might seem.

What conclusions can be drawn in the issue of interaction with employees:

  • Freelancing is a common practice in the post-skew era;
  • You can work remotely without losing quality;
  • Part-time work of employees in other companies is allowed, provided that quality is maintained;
  • A balanced reaction to the additional employment of employees is required;
  • Tough bans and excessive control can lead to the loss of an employee;
  • It is important to communicate with employees and find joint solutions;
  • Side work is a signal that a person needs new knowledge and experience;
  • It is important to properly motivate employees and offer development.

An ordinary employee can become an irreplaceable professional in a company if his talent is noticed in time and offers something that will be interesting to him.

Communicate with the team, discuss tasks and solutions, suggest options – and then you do not have to worry about the quality of the work performed, even if your employee works in several companies, in the end, everyone will remain in the black.

Cover photo: unsplash.com


Source: RB.RU by rb.ru.

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