Adapting Payroll to the Post-COVID-19 Workplace and Beyond

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Just like virtually every other aspect of the workplace, payroll has been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. To understand the challenges and potential areas of transformation for payroll professionals during and after the COVID-19 outbreak, DailyPay conducted a survey among attendees of the APA Congress Xstream 2020 Conference.

Survey Demographics

We received responses from 549 participants, almost all of whom (97%) were payroll professionals. Survey participants came from companies of all sizes, varying from less than 1,000 employees (55%) to 10,000+ employees (22%). 64% of survey respondents are at the managerial level, including Director, VP and above.

Examining Our Findings

Payroll has traditionally been thought of as a transactional exchange between employees and employers. However, the data from our study shows that 43% of companies have had a strategic initiative implemented by their payroll team within the last 6 months, and 18% have done so within the last month. This data shows us that as the economy recovers, companies are rethinking and accelerating the adoption of new pay practices and payroll is driving this change. Through this movement, on-demand pay, sometimes called earned wage access, is quickly emerging as one of the best new benefits to offer employees.


Fears Surrounding On-Demand Pay

Despite the growing demand for flexible pay, payroll professionals are still held back by various fears surrounding this technology. Some of the main concerns they reported were executive team buy-in (34%), compliance (22%), potential extra workload (19%), and employees overusing the benefit (9%). 66% of survey participants also agreed that it is of utmost importance for an on-demand pay provider to seamlessly integrate with their existing payroll workflow, which helps minimize any extra workload for the payroll team. At DailyPay, we use this information to ensure we are providing the most well-rounded solution on the market.

Understanding the Importance of Compliance

Survey results also showed that as the size of the company grows, compliance becomes an increasingly important concern. 29% of companies with over 10,000 employees point to compliance as their number one concern, compared with 19% among small companies with less than 500 employees. This is why one of our top concerns as an on-demand pay provider is maintaining our status as the most compliant solution.

Improving Our Offerings to Meet Employers’ Needs

One of the key findings from our study shows that while the majority of companies were able to handle off-cycle payments remotely, some still had to go into the office to process payments in person, while the others had to pause these completely. These numbers also vary greatly by company size. 19% of companies with less than 1,000 employees had to go into the office and 17% had to stop processing off-cycle payments, compared with 14% of companies with more than 10,000 employees.

This signals that payroll professionals need to be equipped with a better toolset to perform essential tasks more efficiently in the new world of work, while helping to maintain a safe, productive and enthusiastic workforce. The need for such change has been the main driver for the growing discussion around on-demand pay. It also explains why our new CYCLE feature, which allows employers to make off-cycle payments to employees digitally, can be such a game-changer for payroll in the post-pandemic workplace.

Final Thoughts

When adopting the right technology, transformation driven by payroll can be a strategic lever that every organization can take advantage of to drive cost-savings, efficiency and increased productivity, while simultaneously helping employees to feel financially secure and empowered. On-demand pay (also called earned wage access) has proven to be a simple, yet effective, solution to do so. Over the last few years, conversations regarding on-demand pay have shifted from wondering if this technology is necessary to looking for information on how to select the best provider. The COVID-19 pandemic just solidified how necessary on-demand pay truly is, and how it can be a crucial element of rebuilding trust in the new world of work.

Do you want to learn more about how you can reimagine payroll to drive innovation and transform your workforce? Contact us today and let’s connect!

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