Hypothetically speaking, the pandemic has made it easier for millions of remote workers to wear nothing but underwear, bake a loaf of bread, or casually game while they’re on the clock. But as detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal article, a number of white-collar employees are taking a different approach by using the extra freedom to take on another full-time remote job without either employer knowing. You could call it overachieving or, maybe more accurately, underachieving at two jobs while doubling your salary.
Although the WSJ piece in question spoke to six workers secretly working multiple jobs, CivicScience wanted to get a better idea of how many Americans might be interested in trying out such an arrangement. According to a recent study, nearly half of American workers would at least consider taking multiple remote jobs with the same core working hours — but just 18% feel more positively about committing.
Despite the heightened interest levels, just 7% of Americans actually took on a second full-time job while holding down a full-time remote position. Twice as many selected “I prefer not to say,” which could mean the actual number of people doubling up full-time work could be higher. Extra part-time work is a hair more common, but the overwhelming majority of Americans are either not working remotely at all or just sticking to one remote job.
The WSJ’s sources were all high-earners looking to exploit a fickle job market that didn’t quite demand the full use of their skill set, but they appear to be a rather small minority. Just 6% of American remote workers earning $100,000 or more took on a second full-time job, and remote workers earning under $50,000 were more than twice as likely to get a second full-time job. As incomes rise, so does the likelihood of remote workers sticking to their main gig.
More than half of Americans who worked as usual but remotely during the pandemic would at least consider taking on multiple remote jobs at the same time. And even among workers who are working normally but out of the house exceed the Gen Pop’s interest levels in multiple remote jobs.
According to the data, the dual-wield remote job is not so niche of concept in practice, and many Americans are at least open to the idea of adding another source of income while working from home. Depending on how much longer the Delta variant and future variants impact remote work practices, there could still be time for other schemers to enter the field. It isn’t illegal, if in some cases a breach of contract, so the potential mainstreaming of simultaneous remote jobs could lead to more employers cracking down. So if you’re unlucky enough to have double-booked meetings, better make sure your finger’s on the right mute button.