One of the unexpected benefits of the pandemic is that employees have shown their employers that in many cases, it doesn’t really matter where they work — as long as they have the right tools to help them get their jobs done. While some people have remained in work offices and many have set up offices at home, others have taken the opportunity to travel and work on the go. And this new trend doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
A New Workforce Structure
As the pandemic bulldozed a new path for remote workforces, companies responded to the best of their abilities and created first temporary, and then longer-term solutions to maintain regular business operations and continue delivering their products and services. The result is the hybrid workforce we know today.
Remote work is likely here to stay, given that 80% of Americans expect to have the option to work remotely after the pandemic, according to an ApolloTechnical poll. Employers across many sectors are navigating the push towards remote work — which Forrester predicts will rise as much as 300% from pre-COVID levels — as well as the challenges that remote work brings.
All indicators point to remote and hybrid work as the new normal, and employers have to manage the logistics of supporting a dual workforce. It begins with the right technology and services. From onboarding practices to ongoing employee support, maintaining consistent experiences can result in better employee engagement, higher productivity and employee retention.
Why Delivering a Consistent Experience is Important
With workers spread across state lines, employees need help fulfilling their HR and compliance tasks efficiently. This decentralized, hybrid nature of the modern workforce presents challenges when it comes to a consistent onboarding experience with employees in various locations. A consistent working experience should depend on structured workflows for completing employee documents, such as onboarding forms, tax withholding forms and year-end statements, wherever the employee may be.
A consistent work structure for all employees, beginning with onboarding, will improve productivity and boost engagement. In order for employees to succeed, a company must have the right tools. Gartner polls indicate that 54% of HR leaders found poor and outdated infrastructure and technology to be the main reason remote employees struggled. Tools such as laptops and secure cloud-based systems allow remote workers to complete their tasks more efficiently. Armed with effective streamlined processes and reliable tools, a hybrid workforce can thrive with clear-cut, standardized requirements.
Providing a Consistent Experience for the Hybrid Workforce
Juggling an in-person and online workforce may result in employee needs slipping through the cracks. Without your workforce under one roof, it can be all too easy to forget about employee engagement, feedback and productivity. Now more than ever, ensuring each worker, regardless of location, has a clear understanding of what needs to be completed during the onboarding process and in day-to-day operations can go a long way in employee retention and overall commitment.
The Right Technology
It is impractical to rely on traditional processes and software with the new structure a hybrid workforce brings. Transition to cloud-based applications that your employees can easily access regardless of their location. Cloud-based software gives employees and employers alike access to information in real-time, from tax and payroll information to HR information.
To improve working experiences, invest in the right technology to support productivity and enhance delivery. Employees need access to a streamlined system with the data and documents they depend on. When these tools are piecemeal and inefficient, your business may suffer from employee and customer satisfaction, paper overloads, inconsistent compliance and hampered operations. A user-friendly centralized home for information that handles everything from employee onboarding and tax forms to ACA reporting can solve these issues.
For example, an ISG survey discussing HR technology trends reported that 64% of companies found success from investing in HR SaaS and cloud tools, which impacted productivity, cost-savings and employee retention.
Automated Processes and Workflows
Improving the efficiency of both your employees and HR teams when completing HR and compliance-related tasks requires automated processes and workflows. Automated compliance tasks, such as onboarding forms, employee leave and vacation requests and claims processing, that would otherwise eat up precious time, allow managers and HR teams to focus on business strategy and employee growth. Step-by-step workflows and intelligence-based forms, including onboarding processes, can help automate compliance tasks and smooth processes for employees. Reduce work loads by taking the often time-consuming regulatory research into employee location for tax forms, year-end tax and ACA statements and regional compliance tasks off of your workers shoulders.
The manual process of inputting data may be responsible for your company’s reduced efficiency and administrative errors. A CareerBuilder survey estimates HR managers can lose an average of 14 hours a week with the manual completion of tasks that could otherwise be automated. By creating a consistent working experience for all employees your business can avoid costly and time-consuming blunders.
With remote workforces, employee forms become even more time-consuming. HR teams may not be as familiar with the varying compliance and regulatory requirements when hiring employees from different states. From employee onboarding to updating documentation, workflow systems like the ones available from CIC Plus handle these complexities with current, streamlined form delivery.
Employee Self-Service Tools
Decentralized workforces can be given the tools that eliminate the guesswork for onboarding and form completion. The right services with clear guidelines allow employees to be directed through necessary tasks and complicated requirements for every worker.
CIC Plus’s Tax Withholding Service provides employees with all required tax forms based on where each employee works and lives. This service ensures compliance, eliminating payroll headaches and employee confusion as they navigate remote employment and local taxes. Handle the difficulties of remote taxation issues and more, with tools that simplify the process for every employee, creating a consistent onboarding experience.
Also, consider employing new tools like automated chat to enable employees to answer questions and resolve issues themselves online, without having to call your support center and tie up HR and payroll team resources.
Deliver Consistent Work Experiences Today
CIC Plus can help you implement processes and provide tools for your decentralized workforce. Connect with our team and check out our Tax Withholding Services, I-9 Management System and Compliance Library to learn more about how we can help.