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ROC Blog Is your organisation set up to handle the gig economy

Is your organisation set up to handle the gig economy?

‘The way we work is changing’ is possibly one of the more overused phrases in the modern business environment, but it is true: digitalisation, mobile, evolving workforce demographics and non-traditional market disruptors are having a huge impact on day-to-day working life in employers of all sectors and sizes.

We alluded to one of the trends of this future of work in our last post– today we’d like to explore it further, looking at the influence of payroll on helping companies tap in to the positives of the gig economy.

When we talk about gig economy, in this instance we mean contractors, interim workers and freelancers working for organisations for fixed terms. Across the world there’s been a rise in the number of people operating as independent workers, parlaying their skills and experience gathered as employees to provide short term assistance to organisations looking to deploy top talent quickly.

Are you able to capitalise?

It’s an attractive idea – being able to tap in to teams of highly experienced professionals at short notice, without significant investment in recruitment, onboarding and retention, only paying for the work you need them to do.

But are your systems capable of incorporating transient employees effectively, without significant additional resource? Freelancers are not permanent employees – by its very nature it can be an unstable approach to working, and experienced contractors are quick to reconsider if their potential employer has a reputation for late or slow payment. Would you miss out on the ideal project team if you weren’t able to shift from a thirty-day payment cycle, potentially not being able to pay new contractors until six weeks after they started?

It’s a concern many organisations have. Our research found that only 56% of UK private sector decision makers and little more than a third (39%) of their public-sector equivalents believe their payroll can meet the challenges of employing gig-economy workers, despite 74% agreeing that changing staffing models require new ways of paying workers. Traditional systems and cut offs mean that 59% are unable to pay a new starter until a new payroll cycle has started, suggesting that the old approaches to payroll do not provide the flexibility, agility and intelligence needed to be able to allow employers to capitalise on the 15% of the UK workforce that are now self-employed.

A new look at payroll

So what’s the answer? With some of the issues highlighted as having to increase resource, lack of faith in current technology and systems not coping, plus three quarters of respondents wanted to reduce of cost of running payroll or make it more efficient, it’s time for a change. Change is being embraced across most progressive organisations and cloud is becoming synonymous with transformation. Payroll should not be the ugly bridesmaid.

In our study, 64% of respondents thought that moving payroll to the cloud would reduce resource requirements, and as we highlighted in our last post, it offers significant flexibility as well – with 61% switching to cloud because of that very reason. It also has the potential to reduce reconciliation cycles, a key factor in delaying payments, as well as improving payment accuracy through enhanced analytics.

Check out this infographic to find out how cloud-based payroll could provide the speed, flexibility and intelligence to support new working practices, including the gig economy.

A mature approach to technology

A few years ago, you could have been forgiven for dismissing cloud computing as another IT trend. Now, though, it is a proven technology – business leaders understand the potential it offers them as a platform from which to secure greater value from mission critical applications like payroll. With the technology, the services and the consultancy available to support its deployment reaching maturity, those operations that deploy traditional and native cloud applications will be in a much better position to capitalise on the digital era, not just in the future of work but in overall business performance.

To find out more about how moving payroll into the cloud can help transform your organisation and support new working practices, get in touch here.