Working remote is becoming popular in the US, a trend that grows daily. Approximately 4 million US employees (about 3%) work from home at least half of the week. With an estimated 168% increase of remote employees within the next 10 years, companies everywhere will need to prepare. Although convenient for many, working remotely can come with many distractions for employees. Employers may also find it harder than expected to manage their remote employees. Remote workers must be able to organize and discipline themselves when outside the office. Those unable to adjust can miss deadlines, stress themselves out, and provide poor quality of work. Here are some tips to share with your employees about working remotely to help them stay on task and get the most out of their work day:
Author: Lindsay Sommers
If you aren’t formally training your staff, you’re not alone. 31% of companies do not formally train their employees. If you are part of that group, you may want to consider implementing a program or plan soon. Training your employees properly is one of the most important things you can do at the workplace. It can improve finances, strengthen employee happiness, improve knowledge among staff, lessen weaknesses that you may have as a company, expand the basic knowledge for all employees, and intensify productivity.
Not only can you expand knowledge and productivity, but you can also use training as a retention and recruitment tool. A study by Udemy showed that 70% of employees agree that training could help them learn to focus and manage their time better. A study by Udemy also found that 51% of employees would be more likely to quit their jobs if they didn’t have proper training. Employees want to be trained and take it very seriously.
Employee retention is something that many businesses struggle with, and higher turnover rates come along with that. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, approximately 3.5 million employees quit their jobs in April 2019 alone. Employee resignation requires businesses to fill that employee’s position quickly, which is stressful. Additionally, employee replacement comes at a cost to the business. A recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) discovered that the average cost per hire is around $4,000. This is costly because businesses have to spend time training the employee until they contribute to the ROI. Since turnover can be costly to your business financially and socially, you will want to try your best to keep your valued employees at your workplace. So, what are some reasons as to why your employees are leaving?
Every so often it’s time to give your employees raises. When and how you give those raises is entirely dependent on you. You have the choice to give raises by a percentage or flat rate. Most businesses calculate raises by percentage and we have a great article on that topic here. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the flat rate raise.
The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides protection for employees to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. Although this is the norm for many businesses, states often have their own leave regulations. New Jersey, for instance, has its own similar leave laws called the New Jersey Family Leave Act. The state of New Jersey Department of Children & Families’ purpose of this policy is to promote economic security. This act lets employees to take up to 12 weeks of family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs. Additionally, New Jersey provides cash benefits through the Family Leave Insurance Program.
There are some changes ahead in regards to New Jersey Law. The New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, signed a new bill into law on Feb 19, 2019. This law modifies the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) and the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (FLI). To ensure that you understand the new changes, check with New Jersey’s department of labor. All of the information provided below is a guide for you to use, but is not intended to be legal advice.
Your employees make your company successful, so why not show them that you value their work? Giving raises is one of the best ways to show your employees that you care about their dedication and hard work. Not only will raises motivate employees, raises can also help your business. Employers often use raises as a way to increase retention at the workplace. When you offer a competitive salary or hourly wage, employees will not look for work elsewhere, which prevents turnover. This will save you the trouble of having to find and hire new employees.
Employers often give employees benefits to help them settle into new positions. Many employees think that they deserve benefits like vacation time, laptops, pension plans, Insurance, and more. Although many employers provide these perks and amenities, there is no obligation to provide anything to your employees beyond these legally required benefits:
A lot of employees ask “Is rounding payroll hours even legal?”, and the answer is yes. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that you must pay your employees for all hours worked. According to DOL, however, employers are allowed to round hours. Under the FLSA, you are allowed to round employee’s time in 15 minute increments or to the nearest quarter hour. When rounding time you just have to ensure that you are not violating FLSA regulations for minimum wage and overtime pay.
The IRS allows you to choose any record keeping system for your business’ income and expenses. This means that you can keep records in a file cabinet or you can choose an electronic program. Either way, the choice is yours.
Depending on what business you are in, you may have to keep certain records for federal tax purposes. The IRS wants businesses to retain specific business documents including purchases, payroll, and other transactions. These records will support the entries in your books and on your tax return.
Many businesses have employees that get paid multiple pay rates during their shift. This happens when they perform more than one specific job function. For those employees, the hourly rate depends on the job they are working on at the time. Hourly rates by job can vary when employees work in the construction, plumbing, caretaking, landscaping, and many other industries. When you have an employee that works under different rates, you need to make sure that you are calculating their regular pay rate properly for overtime. Unless your employee is specifically exempted, employees working at more than one job rate covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay at their regular rate and not at the specific rate for the job they are doing when overtime is incurred.
Calculating mileage reimbursement starts by knowing when you actually need to reimburse your employees. Although many employers think that they have to pay for mileage , the federal Government does not require you to reimburse employees. However, there are certain states that have regulations. California, for instance, requires employers to reimburse employees for any losses incurred while completing work duties.
The IRS sets the mileage reimbursement rate for employees who drive their own Privately Owned Vehicles (POV), but this rate is a guideline for employers and a tax deduction opportunity for employees. You can choose whether or not you want to pay your employees more or less than the IRS rate. Also, keep in mind that you have to follow your state’s reimbursement regulations as well. In Addition to that, under FLSA regulation, you must pay your employees the standard minimum wage. If their expenses lead them to an hourly rate below minimum wage, you will have to assist them with the cost.
The IRS has a guideline for reimbursable and non reimbursable expenses when an employee uses their own POV for business duties. Here are some reimbursable and non reimbursable expenses:
Let’s face it: there are a lot of regulations to follow when it comes to owning a business. Following all the applicable laws can be tough. Although it can be time consuming, you should make sure that you are always following the latest legal protocol. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to hire an HR consultant to keep you on the right path. However, not every business can afford someone like that, so you should know where to go if you’re the self-help type of business owner. A good place to start is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) website. The FLSA establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor. So, what are some common pitfalls employers run into that lead to underpaying employees?