7 Payroll Trends that are expected to Remain Relevant in 2021
Last year (2020) presented unprecedented situations to organisations of all nature around the world. With the pandemic intensifying and government authorities frequently providing new guidelines for protecting the masses, corporations had to make many changes and adjust quickly. This obviously was a challenge for HR and payroll teams.
The pandemic is not over yet but we have already learnt a lot from the different situations created. In a similar manner, payroll teams had to be creative to overcome the uncertainties. Many of these payroll trends, including a higher level of dependency on payroll software programs, are possibly going to remain relevant in 2021.
In this article, we will discuss payroll trends for this year, in which we may not be dealing with the same intensity as in 2020, but know that the danger is not over yet.
Cloud technology is not a new tool for payroll teams. The trend has been on the rise for the last few years as it offers increased convenience. Of course, with work situations resulting from the pandemic, there is no better time to make use of it.
With work from home to remain prevalent in many organisations even in 2021, payroll teams will be able to access employee information and records from anywhere and anytime. The use of cloud-based online payroll software, such as Netchex, will allow them to have real-time information for reporting and feedback. The timely access of accurate information in this way also helps with taking the right decisions.
Hiring More Remote Workers
Having learnt from the ongoing pandemic, organisations now understand the importance of a flexible workforce — preferring more gig workers. It offers the ability to scale the number of employees and hire people on contract or temporary basis. This also leads to developing certain payroll solutions to accommodate the different kinds of employees. The flexibility of using the services of temporary workers helps an organisation stay stable despite difficult circumstances.
Strategic Value of Payroll
Payroll workers are rarely considered as key workers. In some organisations, particularly those on the smaller scale, a single employee may be responsible for HR, payroll, and admin roles. Not being given due importance and burdened with multiple jobs, the pandemic helped identify the knowledge gaps within the payroll teams. As the strategic importance of such employees became known, organisations are predicted to focus on their training and qualifications in 2021. Some corporations may also consider the option of hiring external payroll services as backup.
Flexible Working Hours
The lockdowns across the globe forced employees to work from home. This often resulted in some employees not working within their normal hours as the pandemic caused unprecedented responsibilities for all (home schooling, caring for the sick, etc.). Many businesses have recognised this shift as a positive one since employees found flexible working hours more convenient. However, this change also calls for more coordination with employees and improved payroll solutions.
It is always better to have a proactive approach to problems. Among the many organisational drawbacks, the pandemic also highlighted that companies needed to pay attention to HR analytics. In times of uncertainties, a better knowledge of your business and employees helps to identify opportunities of becoming more efficient. An integrated source of HR and payroll data can support businesses in developing solutions for specific functional needs, such as employee time and attendance tracking.
Aligning HR & Payroll
In the majority of organisations, HR and payroll are separate departments. However, in 2021, we may see the trend of collaboration between the two in order to run both more smoothly. For the financial awareness and general wellbeing of employees, HR and payroll teams can work together by sharing respective knowledge. For example, payroll teams can help HR workers in supporting employees to understand their payslips in a better manner.
It is also significant to mention that technology can also help HR and payroll to integrate. These include software and services allowing the sharing of data such as time, attendance, expenses, etc.
Easing Financial Challenges
Money issues have remained prevalent throughout the pandemic. Not only did employees face financial uncertainties, the employers faced similar situations. On the other hand, studies show that employees not worried about money are more productive and motivated. To overcome the stress already caused by the pandemic, many businesses are willing to implement a financial wellness program for their employees as part of their payroll systems this year.
We still have half of 2021 to go and see what trends will influence the HR and payroll sector.