Got Caught Working 2 Remote Jobs and Was Fired From One

This article is based on an email conversation with Patrick Singh, co-founder and CEO of business process outsourcing and remote staffing company. Metrical. The company's headquarters is located in Barcelona He has 10 full time, Fully remote employees, in addition to more than 200 contractors around the world. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I'm the CEO of a company where every employee works entirely remotely. In January, I caught one of them secretly working a second full-time remote job.

Here's how it went — and why I decided to fire them.

My company's headquarters is located in Barcelona, But one of my employees was based in Peru. It was set in 2022, and at first it did its job very well. But then, I started receiving complaints from clients about missed assignments and deadlines. He has also become completely unresponsive. These complaints from customers are starting to become fairly regular.

When this employee started turning down some of the shifts he normally worked, I became suspicious. I had a feeling he was doing something on the side, but since there was no evidence, I didn't want to jump to any conclusions.

So, instead, I held one-on-one meetings with him to discuss his job performance. When the same problems continued, I told him that if things didn't change, I would let him go.

While he has shown some signs of improvement, his overall performance has not changed much. This placed a huge burden on the rest of the team, who had to cover his shifts and deal with missed deadlines.

How did you finally catch him?

In December, unrelated to this particular employee, My company introduced time tracking software called DeskTime.

My long-term goal is to introduce a four-day work week at my company, and I decided that the first step in this process would be to understand how employees spend their time and what could be improved to boost productivity.

So our entire team of full-time employees and independent contractors started using DeskTime. They each had to install the application on their own computers, so everyone was well aware that this was being done.

A few weeks later, I looked at the tracking data for the struggling employee and noticed that another company name—an American company—appeared regularly in the data. It became clear to me that this employee was working in some tasks in another company.

I fired them the next day.

DeskTime data showed that the employee was using software during the workday that was unrelated to his job tasks. It also included a screenshot feature that captured his computer screen, showing him working on a platform that featured the other company's name.

Based on DeskTime data, I estimate that he spent about half of his working time at this other company. It seems he forgot about the tracking software because once downloaded, it does not require any manual turning on and off.

To be honest, all the other signs – missed deadlines, lack of flexibility, not responding at certain times – made me pretty sure he was doing something else during work hours. I probably would have fired him anyway, but the tracking data was the missing smoking gun.

I believe he was working at the other company full time because shortly after he was fired, he updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect that he was working full time at the other company.

Why do I think excess labor is unethical?

I know some people may judge me, but I really don't support the trend of overemployment. I think this is unethical and wrong.

First of all, I don't think it's fair for the rest of the team to overshadow someone else's low performance. That's why keeping this employee with the company was not an option. He wasn't fair and respectful to the team, and that's something I can't stand – his actions were just selfish.

Second, I don't think a person can do two jobs productively at the same time, even if you use AI or other tools. They will be distracted, and thus the quality of their work will suffer. As an entrepreneur, I have to think about my business and my clients first. I can't afford to lose clients because someone wants to make extra money.

I really don't mind people having side hustles to earn extra income. But this should be something they do on their own time, and it doesn't impact the quality of their daily work.

Do you work several remote jobs at the same time and want to provide details about your salary and schedule? Did one of your colleagues or employees do this? If so, contact this reporter at [email protected].


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