7 in 10 remote workers have multiple jobs

Updated October 15, 2021

Key Findings

  • 69% of remote workers are working a second job
  • 37% of remote workers have a second full-time job and 32% have a side hustle
  • 3/4 of workers with multiple jobs are running their own business on the side
  • Half of respondents who are working two jobs are doing so to pay off debt, and have more spending money

For the millions of Americans who work remotely, more free time and less oversight is commonplace. But while some may use this extra time to focus on health, family, or hobbies, according to a new survey, the majority of full-time remote workers are using this flexibility and freedom to work more.

In October, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,250 full-time remote workers in the U.S. to gauge how many are juggling multiple jobs. The survey revealed that 69% of remote workers have either a full- or part-time side gig. Below is a closer look at how and why America’s remote workers are managing two jobs simultaneously.

37% of remote workers are working 2 full-time jobs

For 37% of employees with two jobs, their second is full-time. Forty-five percent of these second full-time jobs are also remote. For 32%, their second full-time job is in-person, and 23% have a hybrid second full-time job.

Thirty-nine percent of employees working two full-time remote jobs are able to do so because they say neither requires 40 hours per week to maintain. Meanwhile, 34% work more than 40 hours per week to maintain both jobs.

Among workers whose second full-time job is in-person, 60% double-dip by completing remote work while at an in-person job. Thirty-two percent maintain separate work schedules, squeezing in remote work when not at their in-person gig.

According to career counselor and job search coach Stacie Haller, it’s not surprising that workers are taking advantage of the flexibility and freedom that remote work affords.

“Working remotely gives employees the ability to manage their time and their lives,” she says. “Those who want to add to their income, start a business, or get experience for a different career have more freedom to do so when they’re not tied to a specific work location.”

Planning is key to managing multiple gigs, according to Daniela Sawyer, the founder and human resources manager of FindPeopleFast.net, herself a multiple-job worker.

“To effectively manage two full-time jobs, I had to choose the second job carefully,” Sawyer says. “It’s essential to know what is involved, how stressful it will be, and how much time it requires. I also wanted to make sure the second job is something I enjoyed doing, since it is taking up some of my ‘me time’.”

Majority of employees with 2 full-time jobs don’t actually work full-time hours

Having two full-time jobs doesn’t necessarily mean working full-time hours at both. Among those working two full-time jobs, only 23% work 80 hours or more total per week, which would be standard for two jobs expecting 40 hours per week.

Thirty-one percent of employees with two full-time jobs work between 50 and 70 hours per week. The plurality of respondents in this group, 47%, clock 40 hours or less at both jobs combined each week.

As for workers with a full-time and a part-time job, 44% work a total of 40 hours or less per week, while 42% work between 50 and 70 hours combined. Fourteen percent of employees in this group work 80 hours or more total every week.

Salary breakdown for workers with two jobs shows variations

For some remote workers, two jobs mean they are barely making ends meet, while others are earning well into the six-figure range. The following table shows how much workers are earning at both their primary job and their secondary job.

1/3 of remote workers have a part-time side hustle

Another 32% of remote workers are supplementing their full-time job with a part-time gig.

Thirty-nine percent have an in-person part-time second job; 28% work remotely at both jobs, and 33% have a hybrid part-time side job.

Forty-nine percent of workers with an in-person part-time second job are managing two positions by completing their work for their remote job after hours. Thirty-eight percent are doubling up, completing work for one job while they’re one the clock for another.

As for those whose second part-time job is also remote, 35% attribute their ability to work a full-time and a part-time remote job to being more productive when working remotely. Meanwhile, 30% are working more than 40 hours per week to fulfill the responsibilities of both jobs.

Paying off debt, earning spending money are primary motivators

The primary motivation for working multiple jobs is money. Fifty percent of respondents are working two jobs to earn extra spending money, while 49% are focused on paying off debt. Forty-five percent of workers who are pulling double-duty are trying to earn more money to add to their savings or investments.

Other individuals who are working a second job are using it to focus on their career. Forty-three percent say they’re gaining additional work experience, while 39% are using their second job to pursue a career they’re more passionate about.

For Sawyer, working two jobs allows her to do all of those things, and more.

“I’m working two full-time jobs to get more experience, earn more money to pay bills, and save up for my own business,” she says. “These experiences have given me valuable knowledge about management, communication, and leadership. Plus, I am able to build relationships that will benefit me and my own business in the future.”

3/4 of workers with multiple jobs are running their own businesses

For many remote workers, two jobs doesn’t necessarily mean two bosses. Entrepreneurial spirit is high among these individuals, with 77% saying their second job is their own business.

Eighty-four percent of respondents who have two full-time jobs say their second job is their own business, while 69% of people with a second part-time job are running their own company. Fifty-two percent run a business that was started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, while 25% established their business during the pandemic.

According to Haller, working a full-time job while starting a small business on the side is a smart move, as it provides a safety net during the early, unpredictable days of building a company.

“The time is ripe for those who want to start their own business but can’t afford to leave their current job in order to do so,” she says. “Remote work and flexible hours make it easier to start a business on the side, and grow it to a full-time operation, by providing a steady income stream.”

This approach was how Christine Wang, founder of TheSkiGirl, an online resource for skiing enthusiasts, was able to get her website off the ground.

“When I was first building a client base, I still needed a steady income,” Wang says. “Keeping my regular job while working freelance on the side required effort, motivation, and focus, but it allowed me the time to grow my business.”

Majority of employees working multiple jobs see a positive impact on productivity

One might imagine that working multiple jobs would have a negative impact on employees’ productivity, but the overwhelming majority of people who are working multiple jobs say the practice either makes them more productive (49%) or equally as productive (39%) as working a single job.

Sixty-one percent of workers with two full-time jobs say all that hustling makes them more productive, while 31% are equally as productive.

For those working a full-time job and a part-time job, 47% are equally as productive, while 36% are more productive because of their second job.

Time management and prioritization are key to staying on task, according to those with multiple jobs.

“I would tackle the most difficult and demanding tasks first, as this would help me be more productive, and keep track of everything that needed to get done,” says Wang. “When working multiple jobs, it’s essential to keep things organized.”

For Sawyer, a daily to-do list, and lack of distractions is key to maintaining productivity across different jobs.

“The to-do list helps with guidance and accountability,” she says. “By keeping my goals clear and following my plan consistently, I can keep an eye on what I want, and go for it.”

Who exactly is working multiple jobs?

When examining the demographics of remote workers, we found the most divergence between genders and ages.

Nearly twice as many men as women working second jobs

Men are nearly twice as likely as women to work a 2nd full-time job, by a rate of 45% to 27%.

For men, the number one reason they are working two jobs is to have more spending money (53%), while women are most keen on using their second job to pay off debt (49%).

Eighty-two percent of men, and 70% of women are running their businesses as their second job.

Men and women feel the impact of working two jobs differently. Fifty-five percent of male respondents say having a second job makes them more productive, compared to 40% of women. Conversely, women are more than twice as likely as men to say working two jobs makes them less productive (18% compared to 7%).

3/4 of Millennials have a side hustle

When looked at by age, workers ages 35-44 are most likely to have a side hustle (73%). A similar number of workers ages 25-34 (71%) and 18-24 (68%) are also holding two jobs. Americans ages 55 and older are least likely to work two jobs, although more than half of them, 55%, do.

Individuals ages 35-44 are most likely to own a business as their second job (85%); 25-34 year-olds come in second, with 74% running their own businesses.

Across all age groups except for 18-24 year-olds, the plurality of respondents have a remote position as their second job. Gen Zers are the only age group more likely to have an in-person job as their side gig (43% compared to 33%).

Methodology

All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,250 American adults were surveyed. To qualify for the survey, each respondent had to work remotely full-time. Appropriate respondents were found via a screening question. This survey was conducted over a two-day span, starting on October 4, 2021 and concluding on October 5, 2021. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey data, please email Julia Morrissey at [email protected].