Ruling on working outside of regular hours for oneself in the workplace
I work as a programmer in a computer company, producing educational programs. After work hours end, I start to think of producing other educational programs that may be similar, but in a different way than that which I use for work. That would be for my own gain with a group of my colleagues. Is it permissible for me to do that or not?.
Praise be to Allaah.
We hope that the educational programs that you would like to produce are free of haraam things such as music, pictures of women, training in riba-based accounting, and so on.
There is no reason why you should not produce identical or similar programs to those that you produce during your work for the computer company, but that is subject to certain conditions:
1. You should not use materials, programs or equipment belonging to your workplace to produce your own programs.
2. Your work to produce these things of your own should be done outside of regular work hours and not during them, because during your regular work hours you are obliged to give the company its due of your efforts, and it is not permissible for you to be distracted by work that has nothing to do with your regular job, especially if it is work that benefits you personally.
3. You should not try to take customers away from your employer to market your products to them. You got to know these customers through the company you are working for, so selling the programs that you have produced to them is regarded as a betrayal of trust.
This is what came to mind of conditions so that your own production of educational programs will be permissible for you in terms of both production and selling.
For more information see the answer to question no. 125337.
And Allah knows best.