The Ledger No. 1: Human Capital & Remote Work

May 19, 2021 Sarah Dameron

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Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of human capital and what that means for companies today. Read on to see why states without income taxes appeal to remote workers, how the pandemic has changed employee benefits, how to foster company culture in a virtual world, and where CFOs stand on remote work.

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The Ledger No.1 - How Remote Workers Are Changing the Revolving Door of Taxes 

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that remote work is possible (and thanks to COVID, more than a temporary situation). But now that employees are adjusting to the new normal of conducting meetings behind a screen, while balancing a myriad of other tasks from the comfort of their makeshift ‘office’ at home, where does that leave the tax situation? Pre-COVID, companies were required to withhold income taxes if the employee lived in a state sans work office. Now, accounting executives are having to be mindful of these new tax laws for remote workers as not to step into a puddle of liability issues.

For an in-depth look at what steps CFOs should be taking regarding this problem, head over to CFO.com.

Why Companies Should Rethink Their Benefits Programs

Should organizations change their benefits structure now that working remotely is here to stay indefinitely? That’s the million-dollar question for companies who have virtual employees. Working from home has its advantages: no commuting to the office and back, lunch at home, ability to work from anywhere with WIFI, and more. However, there are also drawbacks: video call fatigue, distractions such as household chores, unreliable internet, and more. Here are four potential problems that companies should address before allowing their workers to work remotely:

  • Medical coverage access for employees outside the covered area

  • Attention fatigue from an over-abundance of video calls

  • Benefits differ for each state 

  • Lack of sufficient technology

For more information on why companies should restructure their benefits program, take a look at the full article here.

The Ledger No.1 - How To Motivate Your Team No Matter Where They’re Located

Now that remote work is the new normal, it’s time for companies to invest in their employees (which you should already be doing). The notion that it’s almost inconceivable to sustain a positive work culture with a remote team is the furthest thing from the truth. Are there pros and cons of having your team go virtual? Yes. Can you still foster employee engagement with a remote workforce? Absolutely. The only difference between a shared office space and working remotely is the environment – and with advances in technology (like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.), that problem is becoming almost non-existent.

Learn more about how to motivate your employees in a remote work world by reading the full article on CFO.com.

Is Remote Work Still Trending? 

The lingering question remains, ‘Can our company sustain a remote workforce’? As an accounting executive, you’re probably still wondering if having your employees work virtually is a financially sound decision. Sure, it’s safer than congregating in a small office – and it does save you money from having to renew your building lease. But is working from home (even after a year has passed) still a viable option for companies? Look at what some top accounting and finance executives have to say regarding this issue.

  • CFO Raj Dani of Ping Identity mentions that his company is in no rush to get back to the office.

  • Senior Director Wendy Hallmark of Alvarez & Marsal’s says that employees are still struggling to separate themselves from work and home.

  • Kirsty Godfrey-Billy with Xero says that prioritizing an employee’s mental health is key.

  • Nicole Kyle with Gartner says that her company is operating ‘…as if no one is vaccinated.’

  • CFO Max Broden of Aflac says they’re embracing the hybrid model.

  • Barb Hardwood with Thunderbird Entertainment says that the pandemic has changed their hiring tactics.

For an in-depth look at what has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and how CFOs across the board are adapting to these changes, click here.

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