IBM India: moonlighting allowed with permission, but only for good causes

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IBM India's managing director Sandip Patel wrote an email to employees indicating that they can indulge in their passions, as long as it is not at the expense of IBM's interests.

"The moonlighting concept can cause a lot of confusion if not clarified at a granular level which is why I am writing you," he wrote in his email addressed to IBM India employees.

However, his email does not provide a granular clarification. Instead, further muddles the water by telling employees that the company values their passions, but should also keep in mind if their passions conflict interests with IBM.

At IBM, our stance has always been clear: we encourage every IBMer to bring their whole selves to work. Your passion – be it for art, dance or music – is celebrated here, and in that spirit, we'd love to see you pursue your interest.

However, if you advance a personal interest, directly or indirectly, at the expense of IBM's interests, it is treated as a serious conflict of interest and a violation of trust.

The term moonlighting essentially means the activity of an employee using their spare time to work at another place. "If it's gray, stay away or ask for clarification", Patel further added.

Moonlighting has spurred a lot of controversy in India. Last month, Wipro fired 300 employees for taking extra work after the company's chairman tweeted that moonlighting is cheating.

Tata Consultancy Services' chief operating officer N Ganapathy Subramaniam also labeled moonlighting as an ethical issue that damages the culture that gives short-term gain for long-term pain.

Source: The Register

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