Can Side Hustle Culture Work for Everyone?
8 April 2021
Author: Jasmine Waters
We all know someone who’s taken to selling perfume on our Instagram stories, or inviting us to join a Facebook page filled with cosmetics, crafts or other services. The pandemic has encouraged us all to explore a wealth of untapped hobbies, with a lot of us taking one step further. Side hustles are a prevalent feature of modern work culture, as many employees take up the gauntlet of running their passion alongside their profession. A balance that needs to be carefully held together, how do employers navigate this field – and can it work to a brand’s benefit?
Where did side hustles come from?
What started as therapeutic outlets to the stress-compressor of lockdown, the chance to make up for lost disposable income through a one-man band enterprise has been all too apparent. Tying in the ability to cover basic living expenses and flexing creative muscles, over half of Americans are now thought to have some sort of side gig (according to a Bankrate survey). The influx has also spread to the UK, exploring short-term obligations with more time to spare. If a side hustle is serious, companies seem to take one of two approaches. Some choose to ban them outright, while others are lenient to the new blur between professional and personal. Now we’ve had a taste of the post-pandemic way of working, employers may be hard pressed to deny staff a creative outlet.
Can they work in favour of brands?
That being said, there could be a way to make the side hustle culture work for everyone. Like all elements of business, transparency will be key – starting with tolerance so long as outside interests don’t interfere with work. Understanding an employee’s need to grow and depth of passions will create a dual pathway of truth, ensuring staff will always act in the brand’s best interests. Employment contracts could give companies legal ownership over what employees create, so disclosing a side business that bears creative similarities early on could save a great deal of grief. If there’s no conflict of interest, there’s no direct competition. The nature of the fashion industry tends to draw those that have many outlets afloat at once, and brands should want to nurture creativity in order to all move forward. If there are clear guidelines in place, this should be easy to maintain. If employees can’t use company resources, brands should see this as an opportunity. Industry experts say brands should strive to be known as the place that encourages young talent to blossom, not as the blockade in the path. If staff feel supported, they will act ethically – and in industries that hold a huge deal of demand, why not ‘the more the merrier’?
Image source: https://www.shopify.co.uk/blog/side-hustle