The past 12 months have certainly been interesting. From the political landscape to a slowly recovering economy to ongoing concerns about the Affordable Care Act, businesses have had a lot on their plates. For many, closing the door on 2016 is a welcome relief. But does 2017 look any better? Actually, it does.
Our economy may not be rebounding as quickly as we would like it to, but it is coming back. A few of the biggest companies are even releasing some of the cash they have been hoarding over the last few years, with plans to putting that money back into their businesses by way of hiring and product development. All indications suggest that 2017 could be a very good year for business.
With that in mind, we thought it might be appropriate to discuss some of the HR and payroll trends we see on the horizon. Keep an eye on the following in the coming months:
More Freelancers and Independent Contractors
ACA compliance and tax issues have forced more companies to look at creative ways to handle payroll requirements. In the last few months, we have seen a steady rise in the number of companies using freelancers and independent contractors. We expect that to continue.
Adding fuel to the fire are younger workers who appear more than willing to embrace working independently. They are less fearful of the idea of independent contracting than their parents or grandparents, and they appreciate the fact that independence allows them to create the kind of work-life balance they want.
More Employee Wellness Benefits
We have noticed a trend toward offering more employee wellness benefits as a way to counteract health insurance increases. Companies willing to invest in employee wellness tend to be less of a strain on their health insurance systems, thereby making it possible to control the rate of annual increases. As an added benefit, investing in employee wellness programs also reduces employee absenteeism and increases productivity.
Increased Flexibility in Scheduling
Companies will be more willing to embrace flexible scheduling in 2017. There are a number of reasons for this, beginning with the federal government's decision to lower the threshold for overtime pay. Flexible scheduling is one way to handle staffing needs without spending too much on overtime. But there is a more important reason to embrace flexible scheduling: employees want it. In an era when companies are competing for the best workers in their industry, providing this simple benefit is very important.
Improved Payroll and HR Automation
One of the most exciting trends for us here at BenefitMall is a push toward more automation in payroll and HR systems. We are already in a relatively good place where software and hardware can be integrated to offer clients very good solutions. But technology is getting smarter.
As automation is able to take over more of the mundane tasks of payroll processing, we envision company HR departments being able to shift their attentions to other things relating to the actual development of the workforce. In other words, they will be investing less time and energy in payroll and more in things such as company training, improving employee engagement, developing new performance metrics, and so on.
With all these trends, there is a common thread of better and more effective HR and payroll management. BenefitMall is here to help you streamline your HR and payroll with cutting-edge solutions that can be customized to meet your company's needs. For more information about our products and services, don't hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.