Hybrid workforce: Is your payroll software ready for it?

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Hybrid Workforce
A recent research from Gartner suggests 82% of company leaders are planning to let employees work remotely, at least some of the time from now onwards. And according to Lenovo’s new global study, employees expect a similar swing in employer mentality, with 52% of respondents believing they’ll continue to WFH more than they did pre-COVID-19, even after social distancing measures are lifted. ~ Entrepreneur.com

So what was once a taboo, is now the best resort to tackle the impact of a global pandemic on businesses – Remote Working. Business giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Shopify have even implemented permanent, extended or indefinite work from home (WFH) policies. It is clear this shift is here to stay. 

From switching to a hybrid workforce model and turning 180 degrees towards technology like HR and payroll software to keeping the employee engagement and happiness quo high, let’s break down the evolving world of work for you.

2020 and the workplace evolution

“9 to 5” is a thing of the past! Since the onset of 2020, companies have been trying to adapt to the rapidly changing definitions of “the new normal” brought about by the coronavirus crisis. It has been just over a year, and businesses everywhere have already settled and adapted to this unprecedented evolution. 

The changes have happened slowly yet steadily in 4 stages as mentioned below:

Workplace Evolution
Hybrid workforce: Is your payroll software ready for it? 1

Stage 1: Pandemic hit the World of Work

Businesses reacted impulsively to do what they thought was best for them at the moment. The first stage was a mix of panic shutdowns, immediate work from home and forced work from the office. 

Stage 2: Lockdown-imposed WFH

After the PM announced a nation-wide lockdown, businesses had no other option but to implement full-time work from home for safety as well as legal purposes. Some companies went through a rough patch while others managed to sustain through virtual operations management using advanced HRMS and other automated software.

Stage 3: Downsizing and pay cuts

As some organisations began to experience an economic crisis, it was the last resort to lay off a part of the workforce or defer/deduct some amount of salaries of the employees in order to keep the business afloat. 

Stage 4: Salary increments and hybrid workforce

As companies regain momentum, the long due appraisals & promotions are finally happening. Organizations are also looking forward to a new hybrid model that combines remote work and office collaboration. 

Going forth, the organisational hierarchy is likely to respond in the following manner:

  • Employers may want to run offices in shifts or only have employees in the workplace for a few days per week
  • Senior management would hope that flexible hours mean they can attract a more diverse range of staff and customers
  • Employees are likely to mix working from home with being in an office much more – a hybrid work model

What is the Hybrid Workforce Model?

A hybrid workforce is a blend of two sets of employees, one that works remotely and the other that works from an office or a central location. The heart of a hybrid workforce model pumps on ideas of shared ownership & trust, helping organizations to break down the long-held stigma and potential myths of where and how work gets done most effectively. It’s a 50-50 scenario where 50% of the employees are full-time/permanent and the remaining 50% are gig workers or freelancers.

There are different types and nature of workforce that exist under the roof of a hybrid model such as:

Types of workforce in the hybrid model (2 categories):

  1. Traditional Employment
  • Permanent employment
  • Full-time workers
  1. Gig Economy
  • Temporary employment
  • Part-time workers
  • Seasonal employees
  • Freelance employees
  • Contractual workers
  • Consultants/ Advisors

The Emerging Gig Economy/Gig Workforce

Did you know?

Questo, one of the renowned gaming apps, has approximately 3.8 lakhs gig workers on its payroll.

Precisely, all the aforementioned types except for the full-time and permanent employment fall under the ‘Gig’ workforce category. Gig professionals are characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts and freelance work as opposed to permanent or full-time jobs. These professionals choose to work with flexibility and liberty rather than following a strict pre-defined work regime. Since employers are now more open to trying and welcoming new work approaches, it is time of the gig workers to shine. 

Today, the gig market in India is worth about 72 thousand crores! Thus, from the times when people here believed that government jobs were supreme, to the current upsurge in the scope of freelancing, we have come a long way! Quoting a report of the latest study by Upwork on this matter, “42% of people under the age of 35 are now freelancers.” The shift in the ratio of permanent employees vs gig workers is gradually changing. A reliable source also reveals that “a decline of 4% has been observed in the number of full-time paychecks and an upsurge of 34% in the part-time work checks.” That being said, end-to-end management of not just gig workers but the complete hybrid workforce could take some time/effort to streamline and might throw a few challenges down the way of HRs. 

Managing Hybrid Workforce: The Role of Payroll Systems

Since the future is already here and everyone is techno savvy, professionals are well aware of technological advancements like HRMS software and payroll software to smoothly and efficiently manage the changing responsibilities. When the types of workforce vary across an organisation, the functions related to their pay structure, verification, working hours, attendance tracking, compensation & benefits, salary processing, and exit formalities also differ. This is where a top-notch payroll software comes into the mind of HRs to orchestrate as well as optimize the operations. 

The Evolution of Payroll Technology Trendline Survey revealed that “nearly a third (29%) of the 1,000 payroll professionals polled use payroll systems that are 10 or more years old, or the same age as Apple’s first iPhone”,  the organizations noted.

So, let’s have a look at the possible challenges that you might face while managing the hybrid workplace using an outdated payroll software –

Challenges with your traditional payroll software

  • Inability to distinguish employees as per workforce type, department, or OU level
  • Failure to synchronize details of time & attendance, location, business expenses, and integrate financial aspects while preparing payroll
  • Challenges in claiming expense reimbursements and uploading bills/invoices
  • Difficulty in raising and approving loan & EMI requests, and investment declarations
  • Problems with making accurate calculations, deductions, and processing salaries
  • Erroneous payroll-related data creating payout issues on every month-end 
  • Long due generation of payslips, tax slips, and challans; undefined pay components
  • Non-compliance of statutory deductions like EPF, ESI, PT, LWF, and others as per the latest amendments in the law
  • Incomplete pay information and delayed or no resolution to payroll-related queries

Now, let’s delve into what features are now valid to have in your payroll software if you wish your HRs to have a tough time in such scenarios.

Payroll software must-have features

    • Salary structure and verification to keep employees divided into pay groups based on their type of employment, department, and work level
    • Seamless integration with interrelated and codependent HR systems such as time & attendance management software, expense software, and financial platforms like SAP, ERP, Tally, MS Navision, etc.
    • One-click upload of bills, raise/approve/reject requests, auto-generation of challans in the govt-recommended format, and auto-processing of salaries
    • Mechanized calculation of earnings, deductions, and allowances to calculate correct payout on time for facilitating recurring payroll
    • Smart algorithm based system to raise red flags for errors and auto-rectification of the same
    • 100% statutory compliance for tax deductions and adherence to policies to ensure no legal troubles 
    • Insightful 360-degree payroll reports to view details and analyse data like effective costs, CTC trends, and liabilities for business forecasting and decision making 
    • Mobile app for user-friendliness and offering employee self-service to perform everyday tasks autonomously on the go

Adapting to hybrid workforce with an adaptable payroll software

As companies enter the new world of work that is more open to multifarious workforces, there is no rule book. Now, advancement and adaptability is the key. When the human resource is walking abreast with the changing times, why get stuck with age-old HR practices and procedures? It is time to achieve full visibility into payroll performance, costs, and compliance while driving operational improvements across your entire organization. 

HROne HCM suite is backed by the trust of 3.5 lakhs+ satisfied users whose favourite module is none other than payroll software which has all the aforementioned must-have features so that you can easily “fit in” with the new normal. 

Key takeaways

  1. The conservative beliefs of a ‘typical 9 to 5’ or ‘government job only’ are the best have been debunked. This is the era of the ever-evolving hybrid workforce.
  2. Millennials and GenZ professionals would take a gig job today if it paid more than they make with their current employment.
  3. As HRs have taken the front seat, the need of the hour is to make room for HR and payroll software of the latest technology.

Make your Payroll fun and easy!

Learn how HROne Payroll software can help you automate Payroll & stay 100% compliant!

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Kajal Sharma

Kajal Sharma is a Technology Enthusiast. Having completed her Engineering Degree, she keeps abreast of the latest technology trends in the market. She has an enriching experience of many years in Content Writing & Editing and Content Marketing. Besides believing writing to be the strongest form of expression, she finds solace in music and can hum a few bars herself!

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