Blogging is huge in 2021. So big, that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people have a blog on the side of their day job. With approximately 600 million blogs reportedly on the web, it’s easy to see why so many people want a slice of the blogging pie and join the hoards creating over 500,000 new websites every single day. It’s easy to set up a blog, with many people being able to set up a blog at a relatively low cost (if not free!) and within a matter of minutes.
But one of the biggest factors that no-one talks about in the blogosphere is blogging on the side of your 9-5 day job. Yes, there are plenty of people who go into blogging to escape the 9-5 grind. But there’s also lots of people who blog as a hobby, for therapy, as a side hustle, or for a variety of other reasons. These reasons are all fine, but you need to ensure that whilst you’re on your blogging journey, you don’t end up in an awkward meeting with your boss and HR department for breaking company policy. Check out our top questions below and ensure that your blog doesn’t affect your day job. And whilst you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our other top posts about the legalities of blogging!No posts found.
Should I tell my boss about my blog?
The answer to this question is a little vague. But the answer may well lie in your contract or workplace policies. If you are earning an income through your blog, this may constitute as a second job. Some contracts of employment and workplace policies require you to inform your work if you have an additional job.
You may well want to not tell your boss about your blog. For example, if you work in IT and blog about your journey of learning to figure skate. In this case, there may be little need for your boss to know because there is no overlap in the subjects (unless you have a workplace policy which states otherwise). However, if you work in IT and code websites and also blog about coding websites, this is a different story. Your boss may need to know as your blog could be seen as a conflict of interests. You would also not want to be accused of sharing company secrets and information.
From speaking to people, most managers don’t mind an employee who blogs. As long as there is an honesty between the two of you (particularly if your blog gives you another income stream), then you should be ok.
Why does my boss need to know how many jobs/hours I’m working?
You may be wondering why you boss needs to know if you have a second (or even third or forth) income stream. This is so your boss has an assurance that under health and safety that you are fit and able to do the job they employ you to do. If you are found to be working excessive hours in a week, this could impact on your ability to work. In some sectors and professions, working over a certain number of hours a week is illegal. This means that your boss could face investigation if they are found to be employing you whilst knowing you are also clocking up work hours elsewhere.
Can I get fired for blogging?
Again, you’re best off looking through the terms of your employment contract or any related workplace policies. There have been examples over the years of staff who have been fired because of their blogs. This has mainly been because their content went outside the realms of company policy. For example, there was the Google employee who discussed their thoughts and opinions of working at the company. There was also a case where an employee was fired for using work computers to blog, and cases involving people taking pictures of themselves in uniform.
So, in short, yes, you can get fired for blogging. A way around this is to be up front and honest with your boss in the first place. Speak with HR and check out any relevant employment policies. If there aren’t any employee policies on blogging, then definitely check with HR. The company who you work for might just not have got round to writing a relevant policy, or even thought about needing one just yet.
Can I blog about my work?
It’s not a wise move. Whilst there have been some people who have blogged about their work and turned it into a massive income stream (I’m looking at you Secret Diary of a Call Girl) there’s always the risk that blogging about work could land you in hot water. (It didn’t, for example, work out so well for the guy who blogged about potential incomes of Google whilst working for them. He got fired).
You also need to consider if there is a professional element to blogging about your work. For example, some professional bodies have strict guidelines about what you can and cannot post online when representing a profession. The Nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK have published guidance on registrants using social media, which includes blogging. Such guidelines ensure that registrants on the NMC register only post content online which is in line with their professional code of conduct.
Many other professional organisations have codes which are similar to the NMC. It may be a good idea to have a look for any guidelines available to any professional bodies you are part of. Think about it; the last thing you want is to be unable to work because a professional body is investigating your membership which is crucial to your job role.
If you do choose to blog about your work, there are some basic principles to follow:
- Do not mention people by name. This includes colleagues, clients, patients, etc. Everyone has the right to privacy.
- Do not share confidential information.
- Do not encourage or incite, hate, discrimination, harm, violence, or self-harm. Each of these are illegal.
- Do not bully or intimidate people.
- Do not post anything which could violate any workplace policies. Many places of work have policies whereby you could face disciplinary action for actions undertaken in your own time, if they impact on the work/reputation of the company.
- Don’t blog in work time, or using company devices. When you’re at work, you’re being paid to work. And if you access websites you aren’t supposed to (including your blog!) you could be in violation of your IT policy.
How to tell your boss about your blog
If you decide to tell your boss about your blog, I’d advise doing it in writing. This way, the information can be stored in your HR file, along with any correspondence you receive back from you boss.
Let you boss know what your blog is about, and how it will/won’t affect your place of work and your job role. Give them the link as well! You never know, you might gain a new follower! But also, they might want to check out your content for themselves.
If they come back to you with questions, this isn’t always a bad thing, or a sign that they will say no. They might be following process, or just want to clarify a few points before saying ‘yes.’ If concerns are raised about your blog, speak to your boss and HR further about this. The concerns may be because of a misunderstanding, or because there is a violation of your employment contract or workplace policy. Keep talking to your boss and see if a resolution can be met which benefits everyone.
In conclusion, blogging is a fun hobby, with the potential to be another stream of income. However, make sure that you are aware of your contract and workplace policies to ensure that your blog won’t get you in trouble at work. At the end of the day, this post is purely advisory. It is 100% up to you if you tell your work about your blog. If you do, it probably won’t be a big deal, but your boss will appreciate knowing. If you don’t, and you’re found to be sharing company secrets of posing a conflict of interests, you need to be prepared for potential consequences.
Do you blog on the side of your day job? Does your boss know? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was proofread using Grammarly.
Great tips here. Telling my boss (if I had one) would depend on the type of boss and the relationship we share. Generally though, if my blog doesn’t affect my work at all, I wouldn’t tell. I am thinking though that if I have something like a competition running, I would maybe tell some of my co-workers so they could join in if they choose to. Would love to hear what you think about this.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I think if you wanted to share competition info with colleagues then this is fine as long as there aren’t any company policies or guidelines against this! Perhaps just check with HR first 🙂