Sneaky Daylighters

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CNN published an article called Sneaky ‘daylighters’ risk firing by working extra jobs. Basically, it’s an article about employees with two jobs who try to do both jobs during the day. It’s not moonlighting, suckers. It’s daylighting. Get it?

CNN quotes Debbie McGrath from HR.com who says, “When you are employed for a firm, 100 percent of your focus should be spent working for that company during regular office hours.”

Uh, okay. May I ask a clarifying question about my compensation? Am I paid for my time, my performance, or my results?

Here’s how I see it:

  • If a company is buying my time as a commodity, then I agree with Ms. McGrath. I am required to focus on my job, which most likely entails serving fries or scooping ice cream.
  • If a company is paying for my performance or results, though, a second job shouldn’t be such a big deal. Why do you care if I’m negotiating mortgage deals from my personal cell phone at 10:52 AM?

Sometimes I wonder if this 1913 and American workers are still assembling Ford Model T‘s. As a Human Resources professional, I feel strongly about the following statement:

  • If you’re not performing, you will be fired.

The rest is up to you.

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On a side note: I think it’s interesting that — in the wake of our financial crisis — more & more white-collar-employees are working two jobs. It’s great that HR professionals are contacted by CNN and asked to give a statement about employees who work two jobs, but where is HR in the broader discussion of the economic crisis?

Instead of writing about daylighting, it would be great if CNN asked HR.com (which is a really good site with very smart members) to comment on the housing crisis, the credit crunch, and the impact of financial uncertainty on employee productivity. Can you be a productive employee if the bank is foreclosing on your house? How do you manage those employees?

Sounds like a good segment for my friend, Ali Velshi!

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