DailyPost 2189

Covid-19 had far reaching consequences, way beyond what we experienced in last two and half years, in areas of life and death, of course health, and economy going topsy turvy. We have still not been able to come out of it. The nature of work got completely transformed and home became the new office. From scare, fear to comfort to ease and couch potato. Office become a thing of the past. Organisation and organisational culture could be thrown to the winds. It opened new vistas of adding to your employment and earning. While lots improved their skills through self-learning and online courses, yet there were others who were super adventurous.

They were making money through what is popularly known as moonlighting. It has come to the centre stage on account of 300 employees being fired for this act. It can be called in simple language as a stealth job. It has hit at the very core of the umbilical cord relationship between the employee and the organisation. If you can cheat on your employer, who would you leave? Is a job just a source of making money and as the dictum goes, the more the merrier. There are employees finding variety of ploys not to return to physical work, how many of them have a genuine issue, is now open to question. There is a doctor who ran to the hospital for 3 kms to perform a surgery, while he had got stuck in a traffic jam. There is thus another world too.

If screen is your job and bank account your employer, we are in for tough times. The audacity of the employees to flaunt their skill of stealth, by covering their tracks, not to get caught doing moonlighting, augurs a doomsday scenario, for present nature of work. Where does all the theories of motivation, team work and leadership work? If we go by Wipro’s action and Infosys’s pronouncements, they mean business. It has to start with full on the office presence as in pre-Covid 19 days. The movement of the employees should be completely controlled by the employer. An undertaking of single employment and well thought out Code of Conduct has to be put into operation. The protocols of separation if caught moonlighting should be legally thought out and executed in that fashion.

If action is taken on this count or job terminated, it should be publicised in the industry, a black mark which would debar the person from any further employment, across the industry. The laptop, mobile and other gadgets / services provided by the company, if technically examined, just by way of logs will throw a mine of data, to fix the employees for his acts. The declaration of financial details is a well-accepted norm for the purposes of probity. It is being followed in government and connected sectors. It seems freedom corrupts and more freedom corrupts completely. IT industry was different, we were told. Nobody knew the camel would turn in this direction. An all-comprehensive anti-moonlighting software might be an answer. It would become as effective as we make it. Do the IT business enterprises have the will to stall moonlighting? Or will it become the future of work?

Sanjay Sahay


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