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5 payroll actions you must take now to engage with & retain your hybrid workforce

Picture of Gopinath Subramani

Gopinath Subramani

Gopinath is the Head of Operations at Zalaris India, a leading provider of HR and payroll solutions. Gopinath has a technical and functional background in SAP with 12+ years of experience in HRO and payroll domain.
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Emergence of the hybrid workforce

The working environment is on the cusp of a truly seismic shift owing to the impacts of the worldwide pandemic as well as the constantly evolving walk towards digitisation. The aftereffect of this has brought about another sort of working environment that focuses on combining the best of both worlds: the hybrid workplace.

A hybrid workplace fuses both remote work (most likely from home) and work from the usual office atmosphere. In the present scenario, this is a lot more secure way to resuming work as normal during these unprecedented times.


Some of the benefits also include:

  • Expanded productivity
  • Better outcomes
  • More prominent team synergies
  • Better opportunities for continuous learning


How is this hybrid workforce of today impacting HR and payroll?


The workforce has never been as diverse as it is today, there are variety of workers ranging from

  • full-time and part-time,
  • contingent and permanent,
  • gig and freelance workers

all working in an assortment of settings. These new workers are rapidly changing the state of the working environment and cooperating with their associates to do “incredible things”. The new workforce ecosystem has lot of benefits for employees and employers, but it also brings along with it its own set of HR and payroll challenges, like:


Local tax laws and government regulations

Remote and hybrid work arrangements can wreak havoc on payroll taxes. As organisations adapt to “new normal” of having remote and hybrid workforces, it is important that they understand the tax and employment compliance aspects of engaging and retaining hybrid workforces. Employers need to take action to help handle taxes and other regulatory obligations on the business and help employees understand their own tax obligations.

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Contingent workers

It is increasingly becoming common for a workforce to include a multi-faceted group of workers. Consultants, contractors, sub-contractors, temporary workers, gig and freelancers all provide services to companies and are subject to different job entitlements & benefits. Unlike permanent employees, managing the pay structures for contingent & hybrid employees is a whole process on its own as they come with unique work models.


Global business expansion

The growth of hybrid workforce has opened a global talent pool but hiring employees from different countries is not as simple as it sounds, it has a lot of risk factors to consider. Besides managing employee productivity and performance, there are compliance risks when hiring employees globally. Organisations have to meet all local employment requirements, irrespective of the company’s policy.

To address this, and other payroll challenges emerging as a result of the novel hybrid workforce, organisations must consider a strategic plan for HR and payroll with a holistic reward program to future-proof their business.


5 actions payroll teams must take now to adapt to this changing trend:


Automated Payroll

Simplifying payroll processes, eliminating errors, and providing best-in-class employee experience can be made easy with automated payroll management system. To manage the hybrid workforce, consider a multi-country payroll management solution that automates and streamlines the operations of payroll. The solution can be comprehensive, simple to use and cost effective. It eliminates the hassle of manual payroll calculations and enables payroll generation centrally for employees in multiple locations within the company.


Payroll integration with HR system

An integrated payroll system combines payroll and HR activities to deliver a unified employee experience and better reporting insights for organisations. An integrated HR and payroll system helps achieve total workforce management and businesses can get a more complete and accurate view of employee data. With an integrated system, all HR & payroll tasks from hire to retire, can be consolidated to provide customised growth and development plans for employees. Siloed HR and payroll systems takes up a lot of effort to maintain and can lead to incorrect pay that can put the business at a disadvantage to ineffectively engage their hybrid workforce.

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Moving to the cloud

Moving to the cloud is a process that more and more organisations are adopting as part of their IT strategy. Cloud computing not only changes how a business stores and accesses data, but it also changes how businesses now operate. Having all your HR & payroll data stored in the cloud empowers employees & managers to access data from anywhere, at anytime, which is invaluable to businesses that operate internationally. Cloud-based payroll solutions are also agile and can seamlessly integrate with any third-party HR platform.


Global payroll

Keeping track of labor laws and staying updated on the recent payroll updates for global businesses is without doubt a tedious process, especially for organisations with a hybrid workforce. Businesses unfamiliar with global payroll may face challenges of compliance, taxation, money movements and other issues. This is when global payroll system can be an advantage, it helps gather time and expenses reporting, HR processes, talent management and integrate the hybrid workforce into one single HR platform easily.



Transparency is necessary especially when it comes to getting paid. The perception of payroll transparency is evolving as organisations begin to adopt more transparent pay strategies. Although talking about salary is still considered a taboo topic for many, a lot of recent industry reports show that openly sharing employee salaries could be a top solution to closing the gender pay gap. Pay transparency is a way to hold businesses accountable and to make sure that people doing the same work with similar backgrounds are getting paid the same, thus leading to highly engagement employees with higher retention rates.

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Hybrid working and virtual employee engagement are here to stay. COVID-19 accelerated the pace of HR digital transformation and has re-written the rule book on how we work, collaborate, celebrate, inspire, and lead. The cultural change this brings to work is and will be profound and it is up to businesses to embrace this change and deliver comprehensive HR and payroll experiences to this novel workforce to drive higher engagement & retention of key talent.


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