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Workers boosting pandemic income with side hustles

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An increasing amount of UK workers are taking jobs on the side due to the flexibility gained through remote work.

According to new research by freelancer marketplace Fiverr, more than half (54%) of UK workers said they are more open to taking on a ‘side hustle’ or freelance work since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Over two in five (44%) agreed that this is because working from home has given them the flexibility to do so.

Highlighting the need for HR to focus on workers' financial wellbeing at this time, financial security was identified as the key motivator for many workers to take on a second income in 2021.

Nearly one-third (30%) of respondents said concerns about job security had prompted them to consider taking on more work on the side, and one-fifth (20%) said they had considered it due to a pay cut.

Though this sends a message to HR to ensure trust is rebuilt among employees suffering the effects of an economic downturn Alex Hattingh, chief people officer at HR software company Employment Hero, said that there are also positives in employees taking on side hustles.

Hattingh told HR magazine: “If an employees’ side job isn’t in competition with their primary job and is worked on outside of work hours, it can actually provide value to your business.

“When you think about it, those who have a side hustle are motivated, creative and have excellent time management skills. Sounds like the perfect employee.”

Though important to be mindful that side jobs are not contributing to burnout, Hattingh added that they are also often a passion project and provide a significant inspiration boost.

“This boost can be transferred to a person’s main job,” she said.

“Some employers may view side jobs as a distraction from an employee’s full-time role, but they can enable self-motivated upskilling and this results in your employees being more innovative, educated and motivated at work, and who doesn’t want that?"

Additionally, the research found that 40% of UK workers agreed that working from home has made them realise that full-time freelancing could be a legitimate career option.

Fiverr surveyed 1,046 UK workers, including 50 freelancers, who worked remotely throughout 2020.