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Amidst the rising cost of living globally and seeing the growing pains of increased utility people need to attend to, it is no wonder half of workers in the United States are jumping into having sidelines on top of their primary work.

This is according to the latest data from a survey conducted by Bankrate, a US-based consumer financial services company.

While getting sidelines isn't new, the question remains: should you tell your boss about your part-time endeavour? Is it worth the trouble to be overtly transparent about your situation?

Honesty Is The Best Policy

For Dan Doromal, co-owner and vice president of operations for Everest Ice and Water Systems, it's worth noting that if a company someone is with promotes room for integrity and transparency, then one can be honest about it to their employers.

"Their managers and team members might provide support and even help cover for them if they need to make a quick maintenance check during working hours," Doromal told Entrepreneur.

Doromal and his business partner, Ben Gaskill, run an ice vending machine company that offers a "cost-effective" solution for on-site ice production. One of their clients, Steve Slagel, generated about $30,000 in one year with just one machine.

He acknowledges, however, that not all employers are open to the idea of their employees having sideline hustles. This results in employees simply not disclosing their other gigs to avoid getting reprimanded.

When it comes to people who still want to continue their side hustles, Doromal advises employees always to check their contracts to avoid conflict of interest and create a schedule to balance their side hustle responsibilities with those of their 9-5 schedule.

Nonetheless, he believes that side hustles can help employees cultivate essential skills, which they can use to enrich their 9-5 job further and diversify their skills outside of their primary job.

"Side hustles allow employees to build an entrepreneurial mindset and gain new skills or hone existing ones, like problem-solving, managing a social media account, networking and creating new valuable business connections. He stated that these skills can then be returned to the main job, making the side hustle employee more valuable," he stated.

The True Scale Of US Side Hustlers

In the survey conducted by Bankrate, it is worth noting that many younger Americans dive into side hustles more, with 53% of Gen Zers (ages 18-26) and 50% of millennials (ages 27-42) stating they earn extra income.

It is also worth noting that people's income from the sidelines gets used mainly for necessities. Around 33% of side hustlers say they need the extra money for day-to-day living expenses. Other factors that influence getting more sidelines include the need for discretionary spending money (27%), savings (25%), and repaying debt (12%).

"I'm a big fan of using a side hustle to pay off expensive credit card debt or to boost your savings or investments. A side hustle can also be a great way to pursue an activity or potential career path you're interested in," Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman notes.

He added, "Unfortunately, our research shows that people are much more likely to pursue a secondary source of income just to keep their head above water."

This statement shows that around 42% of side hustlers with a household income under $50,000 yearly need side hustle income for day-to-day expenses more than any other income bracket.

"Side hustles have become more common, but like so many things in this inflationary environment, people are working harder but not necessarily getting ahead. Side hustlers are much more likely to view this extra income as essential rather than a passion project or a way to get ahead financially," Rossman further remarked.