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Infosys and TCS might have understood the solution to moonlighting

Infosys and TCS might have understood the solution to moonlighting

Infosys and TCS might have understood the solution to moonlighting
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By Nishtha Pandey  Oct 19, 2022 1:31:44 PM IST (Updated)

While Infosys, TCS, Wipro and Tech Mahindra declared their aversion for moonlighting, experts and even Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar questioned their stand. Find out the employees take on the buzzing trend. It's not just about extra income, as CNBCTV18 found out.

Wipro and Infosys fired employees for moonlighting in recent months. Infosys, India's second-largest IT services company, has addressed the of moonlighting by establishing that it supports learning and "gig work."

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In an effort to encourage its employees to learn and engage in work beyond their regular jobs, the company runs a platform called ‘Accelerate.’ Tata Consultancy Service is also planning to soon come up with a platform for internal “gigs,” Milind Lakkad, Chief Human Resource Officer of TCS, told The Economic Times in an interview.

Even as IT companies take the initiative to prevent moonlighting, it is important to understand the employees’ need to take on side gigs.

Why do employees moonlight?

Apart from the obvious reason of earning more money, employees told that they take up side gigs to accelerate their career growth and follow their passion.

“Although I am a developer in my company I have also had my interest in graphic designing, so I take up freelance projects to enhance my skills and become better at that,” said Anmol Agrawal who has been working in the IT industry for the past two years.

Agrawal added that he made sure that his employer was aware of the fact that he takes up side gigs to prevent any problems in the future.

Another IT employee who works in one of India's top four IT giants told that for the past four years his company has made him work in only one type of role. “The role that I am in doesn’t have that much growth opportunity and there is no way in the company to get hands-on experience in the skill that I want to work on, hence I take up side gigs as it helps me get some income and also diversify my portfolio for a job switch,” he added.

Indians hold multiple jobs to earn extra income or learn new skills, according to a report published in The Huffington Post. Veena Reddy, an HR professional told that it is not uncommon for people to moonlight or earn an extra income as a result of the reach of various job portals. Whether it is to earn more money, pay off debts, learn new skills, or put their time to better use, employees may do it for a variety of reasons.

According to a LinkedIn study conducted in 2018, the lack of learning opportunities and low levels of job satisfaction at one's current job may lead to a change of job or a need for a part-time work that allows one to learn.

Upskilling in the company

As upskilling is one of the reasons behind moonlighting, IT companies in India have started factoring it in. Globally, companies have already made moves in that direction. For instance, in 2020 Accenture invested nearly $1 billion annually in reskilling, training and learning initiatives for its employees.

Similarly, now Infosys runs a programme called Accelerate. During the Q2 earnings briefing, Parekh said on average, over 4,000 people apply on the Accelerate platform, and about 600 get selected.

"For gig opportunities in the external environment, we support the aspirations of our employees to learn beyond their work. We will support them in working on certain gig projects after the prior approval of their managers. We are also developing more comprehensive policies for that while ensuring that contractual and confidentiality commitments are fully respected. However, to be clear, we do not support dual employment,” said Parekh.

According to sources in the know, Accelerate is a programme where people on the bench can pick up short assignments — managers who need help in their projects create an ‘Accelerate task’ and employees apply for the job, which is different from their original line of work. Thereafter, a test is conducted to select the suitable candidates.

Apart from that, an HR professional from the company said there are many other upskilling programmes like Digital quotient, LeX learning platform and certification courses that employees can take in their own time to upgrade their skills and become eligible for monetary benefits and promotions.

Similarly, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and TCS also offer extra upskilling courses. Although experts are of the view that more than upskilling programmes, there is a need for internal gig platforms.

“Internal gig work makes employees get hands-on experience with new projects and they also provide extra income in some cases where companies pay money for extra projects, depending on the time dedicated — so both upskilling and providing opportunities to employees to use the skills learned within the company is important,” said Reddy.

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