Covert ‘overwork’ is growing as a trend for remote work, but it comes with risks

Some remote workers are juggling two full-time jobs as the “excess labor” movement gains momentum online, thanks to social media platforms like Reddit.

The r/Overemployed sub-forum, which began in May 2021 and is the public forum, has grown to 92,800 members.

At the beginning of 2022, the subreddit had approximately 6,389 members, according to Subreddit Stats, a website that tracks subreddit’s growth.

These people who work from home have a secret: They have two jobs

The choice to become unemployed largely stems from the desire of workers to do so “earn extra income” and “Access to Financial Freedom,” according to

Some employees keep a second job secretly from the employer. Many professional experts advise against doing this. (iStock / iStock)

Isaac, founder of, told FOX Business last year.

Isaac, who only uses that moniker (so as not to jeopardize his job position at two companies), posts guides, resources, and success stories to help people get past their redundancy.

However, business strategy does not always go smoothly.

Redditors turn to the r/Overemployed subreddit to discuss challenges, such as how to avoid company hiring ads if they Keeping their second job secretFind out how to schedule emails while working on other projects and find ways to avoid burnout.

If overworking is something you might consider, here are five things to think about before taking that leap.

1. Plan your working time wisely

“Taking two remote jobs can be very lucrative, although risky when you’re not planning well,” Jeremy Babiner, founder of Structured Consulting, a Portland-based business strategy firm, told FOX Business.

Remote workers must carefully plan their availability with digital calendars Babiner said setting expectations with every business owner.

“Think about your value from their perspective,” Babiner said. “They want to rely on you, and at times, they ask you to go further.”

Digital calendar on the phone

Remote workers juggling multiple jobs might consider keeping track of their schedule with digital calendars. (iStock / iStock)

He continued, “The first time you’re asked to work outside of your assigned working hours, whether you agree or not, be sure to say that you might not be able to do so next time. Often times, they’ll appreciate your participation. I’d be interested in discussing a bigger commitment – This does not mean that you have to agree to their offer.”

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Babiner said setting these limits early may help the employer realize that they need to pay for increased worker availability.

2. Know that excessive labor can reduce performance

Having two full-time jobs can hamper a worker’s performance and reputation, according to Chuck Catania, a principal advisor at Branding with Chuck, a New York City-based advertising firm.

“Very much like Quit smoking quietAny time an employee puts in less than the full effort of their employer, they are at risk,” Catania told FOX Business.

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“Right now, we’re in a tight labor market, but as the Fed’s rate hike puts pressure on the labor market and leads to higher unemployment, the employment climate will change,” he added.

Zoom call work remotely

Some remote jobs require face-to-face time with colleagues online. (iStock / iStock)

High-performing workers who have disclosed their redundant status and have no conflicts are an exception if they are able to “make a full dose of effort for each employer,” according to Catania.

“The real problem will be for those who have two full-time jobs, with my full-time paycheck, splitting eight hours of work between the two companies,” Catania said. “Employers know when their employees are putting in the best effort.”

Catania continued, “When unemployment increases, which it will, employees will not want their professional brand to be one of the under-achievers.”

3. Weigh the risks to avoid termination

Marc Anthony Dyson, professional career coach And the founder of The Voice of Job Seekers, a career consulting service in Chicago, said COVID-19 has created excessive employment opportunities for remote tech workers.

“There was more time in the workday, access to opportunity and privacy,” Dyson told Fox News Digital.

He said he’s heard of workers who take 9-to-5 and 5-to-1 shifts or work two jobs during the day to spend their evenings.

“Some workers were comfortable checking in with their employer before taking on a second job, [while] Others have taken a risk, Dyson said.

While some employers enforce anti-moonlight agreements that prohibit workers from taking second jobs or working another job in their industry, workers looking for a raise choose to do so. Prioritize their financesincluding paying off student loans, mortgages and health care bills, according to Dyson.

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“I asked one of the workers about their status, and he said there was no way the company could legally enforce the agreement,” Dyson recalls.

However, in another case, Dyson saw an overworked worker facing a discovery when his boss discovered he had a second job in the same hours as the first.

“His boss found out about it through similar communications but hasn’t taken any disciplinary action,” Dyson said. “The lesson is that LinkedIn has brought our professional networks closer than ever before.”

man thinking in office work

Remote workers may want to consider potential risks before accepting a second job offer. (iStock / iStock)

“People are no longer six degrees apart and may be only one or two contact distances,” he continued.

“Your boss may be related to the person you met in an ideal company. Don’t underestimate how people communicate or whether or not they interact.”

4. Know that redundancy may be part of the new ‘temporary job economy’

Concerns about the US economy and inflation usually push people to secure jobs that match their schedules and Generate more incomeAccording to Mark Kelly, a business consultant and public relations specialist at Otter Public Relations, a Florida-based public relations firm.

“[Overemployment] It’s not really different from someone hopping from one job to another, except there’s no need to leave home to take two jobs remotely.”

“It’s no different than someone who works as a sales assistant for a department store and a coffee barista,” he added.

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Calley said remote workers who choose to be redundant are “merely an extension of the gig economy” and they view two full-time remote jobs as two separate labors.

Remote work is the norm

Some remote workers can flawlessly juggle responsibilities at multiple companies, while others struggle. (iStock / iStock)

Some of these workers reportedly operate as a business while running two subsidiaries or a sole proprietorship with two clients, which includes multitasking, completing assignments and performing necessary work, according to Kaley.

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“It’s simply a matter of perspective,” Kale said.

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“On the other hand, there is an old saying that you cannot serve two masters – and these individuals need to ensure that they do not accept telecommuting with conflicting interests and infringement of non-interlocutors or non-competitors that employers may require that an acceptance of work be signed,” he said.

5. Learn about these precautions about overwork from a lawyer

John Paul S Dull, Partner and Head of Employment Law at Dhillon Law Group Inc. — a national law firm with offices in California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Virginia — he always advises potential clients not to take two full-time jobs.

“The person always intended to take the two positions without telling the relevant employers,” Deolle told FOX Business. “Taking two full-time jobs, especially in a remote work environment, raises many risks for both employers and employees.”

He added, “It is almost impossible for employees to adequately take on two full-time jobs and give each of them [of those jobs] The best work for them.”

young man at work

Taking on two full-time remote jobs can lead to burnout and stress if the tasks become too much. (iStock / iStock)

The risks that overworkers face include rapid burnout, job neglect and legal breach of contractual duties and obligations, Deol said.

Deol noted that most employment agreements today have a clause prohibiting employees from working for another company.

This is usually done to thwart conflicts of interest and competition while ensuring that employees devote their time to their jobs.


“Employers don’t want their employees to do the same or similar work as their competitors,” Deolle said. “This can lead to claims of trade secret theft and questions about which employer owns the IP the employee developed.”

“Reasonable exceptions are often made for consulting or volunteer projects, but more rarely,” Deolle continued.

Chase Williams and Lauren Simonetti of FOX Business contributed to this report.

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