Should Employees Work On The Boss’s Personal Projects?

This question was asked in a security forum and I thought my reply worthwhile to add here.

Three things come to mind:

1. Company journey: If your employees know how hard you work, see you working alongside them, and you share your company journey with them, they will not begrudge you having nice things. If your employees are treated fairly, they will celebrate with you that you have achieved some success and they by their efforts as well are helping make the company successful. And why wouldn’t the boss want the best crew possible – HIS – working on his home?

2. Company culture: If you have employees who would begrudge your success, is this really an employee you want working for you at all? If you have this type of employee, I would argue that they should be let go immediately as they would be toxic to the company culture in other many areas.

3. Separation of Interests: My feeling is that you should absolutely personally pay your company to have work done. It might feel like like paying yourself, but it allows you to keep the interests of the company separate from the interests of the ownership.┬áLots of company owners play loosey-goosey with having their employees do work on their personal projects. As a C-Corporation, my understanding is that this is unethical – I’ll leave the legality of it to the lawyers. I’m not sure how this works with S-Corp or LLCs.

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