The traditional 9-5 working day model, prior to coming home and looking after the 2.4 children, is irrefutably a model that’s been in decline for some time. Greater demands placed upon workers’ time from some employers, flexible working arrangements, along with a rise in social activities outside of work, has meant that our attitudes towards the working day have changed and become far less rigid.
But in recent years another change has taken place. It's a change that would barely have been tolerated by many employers back in the day – the rise of the ‘side-hustle’, or the extra job on the side in order to boost one’s income.
Why would there be such disdain from companies for a worker trying to earn a bit of extra pocket money?
Well, clearly there can be major implications for a worker’s productivity in one job if they are somewhat pre-occupied with another role, given the potential risks of overlap from one job to another. Also, with work-life balance proving a major factor for employees – nearly two in three UK adults cited it as one of their most important values they look for from their employment, according to a recent Informi survey – why would workers then put additional pressure on themselves for the sake of some extra cash?
The reason is simple. Times have changed. In recent years Britons have had to deal with the after-effects of the global recession, squeezing household finances to levels where one in four adults have no savings to speak of whatsoever, with one in ten spending more than their monthly income. Couple this with the fact that wage growth is continually training inflation, and it transpires that a small amount of extra income for many isn’t just a bonus, it’s a requirement.
In addition, this decade has brought an explosion in the gig economy. Technological advances have provided people with the opportunity to choose their work location and hours in both their main job and any side-venture they may be running, providing a level of flexibility that was previously unheard of. Of course, many of the second jobs have been able to thrive simply because of new technology. This includes, in particular, the creation of global online marketplaces, customer engagement opportunities through smartphone and tablet apps, and, indeed, the development of handy new products fuelled by technology.
Informi spoke with 2,000 UK adults this summer about their attitudes towards having a job on the side, and there’s no doubt there is increasing appetite from people to divert some of their spare time in such a way. Indeed, one in five people we spoke with already had a ‘side-hustle’, with a further one in three stating that they would like to have one at some point in the future.
When it comes to why they would like to have a second role, or why they already have one, our survey respondents naturally pointed to the opportunity to earn more money (61%). But that’s not the only advantage. One in four (23%) pointed to the opportunity to develop their skills, while a fifth (19%) said they would like a second venture as a hobby – a figure that rose slightly to older respondents aged between 53 and 72 (21%).
I opened up my Etsy shop in January 2014 and was looking at about 20 or 30 orders a week, all of them handmade. Fast forward two years and I’m doing about that every day. In busy times, I do almost 100 orders every day, which can be a real challenge amongst trying to juggle everything else.
Of course, a side-hustle doesn’t directly mean all the money goes straight into your back pocket. The taxman will want his share and this can have ramifications. For example, if your main job earns you £20,000 and your side-hustle a further £5,000 – the average annual extra money our survey respondents told us they earn – that would mean a total tax bill of £2,628.20 and a £1,000 increase on your tax owings if you had only earned the original £20,000.
Nonetheless, don’t under-estimate the power of upskilling. The majority of our respondents (55%) said it was important to have multiple skills rather than being a specialist in one area (21%). And that’s because of the most eye-catching of all our findings – over half of UK adults (55%) believe that having multiple jobs is the way most people will work in the future.
So being multi-skilled in a variety of areas is going to be pretty critical for future earnings. In some ways, it makes perfect sense – giving you a more rounded CV for any main roles you may want for the future. But let’s face it, what’s to stop your side-hustle becoming that main job? In that vein, the sky’s the limit...
Fancy running your own side-hustle? We've come up with 41 money making ideas to help you bring in extra income quickly and easily.
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