A quarter of UK adults now have a business or job on the side of their main career, according to new research. One in four Brits have a ‘side hustle’ – a secondary business or job that brings in, or has the potential to bring in, extra income.
Lorna Davidson, CEO of short-term recruitment specialist RedWigWam, believes the growing popularity of side hustling shows how the world of work is changing – for the better.
She said: “People are looking for more fulfilled lives that don’t necessarily revolve around a traditional 9-5 job. Meanwhile, businesses are looking for staff who are able to adapt to their changing needs and the 24/7 culture. The digital revolution has made it easier for employees to work outside of the main office and to pursue hobbies that could potentially turn into businesses.”
A side hustle could be anything from mystery shopping or part-time office work to writing eBooks or vlogging.
According to the research by Henley Business School, carried out in May this year, 25% of all UK adults are side hustlers (which is 39% of those in employment). Based on current trends, the practice could increase by as much as a third in the next 10 years.
But this is no passing fad, given that it generates £72 billion for the British economy.
Lorna said: “Side hustling is here to stay and it shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, businesses should embrace the phenomenon. If they don’t, they risk losing their best staff, who may seek work elsewhere or decide to pursue their side hustle full-time. Employees who have interests and other work outside of their main job are often more rounded than their workmates and bring new skills they’ve acquired back to the office. The extra work can also help staff to relieve financial pressures and pay for life’s extras, such as holidays, leading to a more contented and less anxious workforce.”
The findings reveal that working patterns vary. For example, some workers have two or more part-time jobs, while others have one main job and a ‘side’ business. Almost half of business leaders believe that allowing side-work attracts the best talent. Furthermore, 60% of business leaders feel it makes their people happier and more productive.
Lorna said: “It’s important for firms to prepare for a future where the ‘patchwork career’ looks set to become more commonplace, for example by having a policy in place for side-working.”