The Rise of the Side Hustle

No longer do many people have a single job or income stream; the younger generation is investing time into their hobbies and smaller businesses to both support their passion and deliver a second revenue stream.

In a recent survey 39% of Americans now have a side hustle, alongside their main occupation. But what is classified as a ‘side hustle’? By definition a side hustle is a piece of supplementary work outside of your usual job which provides additional income. With this becoming such a prevalent concept in the workforce it begs the question as to why it is so popular and whether is it a positive creative outlet or something taking away focus from an individual’s main occupation? Is it feasible to entertain both options?

After Covid, with the introduction of remote and flexible work schedules, individuals have been given greater opportunity to utilise their free time. Technology has played a huge role in making this a do-able concept. The speed and ease at which we are now able to build personal websites or grow social media followings has meant it is that much easier to start a small business or write that food blog.

Many people argue that starting a side hustle is only ever a positive ambition. Not only does it create a supplementary income, but it also ensures that your income is diversified. Starting that small business, writing that book, or working part-time consulting for other companies could mean that savings don’t have to be dipped into, emergency savings can grow, and that special holiday could be achievable. On a financial level, this appears like a considerable driving factor.

As employers, perhaps, the growing number of people wishing to supplement their income, indicates that wages aren’t aligning with the current cost of living or workers need to grow income to enjoy the lifestyle they once did.

Other benefits to starting a side hustle can include giving yourself a creative outlet and an opportunity to develop skills which you would otherwise not utilise in your 9 to 5 job. Allowing yourself the opportunity to learn new skills and grow this aspect of your professional career could prove useful in your current job, or, alternatively, there is the possibility that this side hustle has the potential to grow into a full-time role.

In the past, some employers have voiced concerns that when employees have side hustles they are increasingly distracted and not utilising their full range of time for their main position. However, is it unfair for employers to feel uncomfortable if a side hustle distracts employees from work? Whilst this is a possibility, the growing consensus is that the modern worker has more time than perhaps we initially considered.

Between a couple of hours before or after the workday or on weekends, it is easy to see how investing a little additional time has the possibility to grow a great concept. With a growing generation who are prioritising happiness, perhaps focusing on developing a passion into a side hustle is a brilliant connection between work and wellbeing.

The benefits of diversifying income and time is undeniable when you look at the happiness and opportunity that focusing on a side hustle brings. With so many people starting small businesses, writing blogs or turning passions into projects perhaps we will see more people following suit and taking the plunge to build their side hustle in the coming years.

Written by Lexie Cook, EP Business in Hospitality