Green Initiatives – in Payroll?

Unless you’ve been off the planet for the last few years, you know that Americans, in their homes and at work, have heard the call to reduce, reuse, and recycle. In all aspects of our lives, we’ve heard the words “Go Green” somewhere.
Have you wondered how you can apply that at work? Payroll has opportunities to “go green” in many ways. We’ll be taking a look at a few of them.
How do you turn a payroll team green? As it turns out, some things are easier than you may think.
• First of all, are you still printing /receiving paper checks? Or are you significantly reducing paper by supplying online paystubs for direct deposit or paycard payments? You can do this by having your employees enroll in online statements that they can save to their own computers or smartphones. Many payroll vendors offer this capability; this allows a paper savings by not printing paystubs. For a company of 200 employees that pays weekly, a 50% enrollment in paperless pay saves at least 10 reams of paper per year. Cost savings anywhere is a plus to the bottom line somewhere. For example, many payroll services charge by the check printed. No checks or advices printed = cost savings for payroll processing. Check your state rules to see if opting in to paperless is allowed.
• What’s your direct deposit participation? Is it 100%? If not, try to get it there. How to do that? Remind employees that they don’t have to be in the office on payday if they have direct deposit and online access to their pay information.
What if there’s a blizzard (?) In that case, employees might feel safer staying at home, but many would come to work on payday to ensure that they received their paychecks. Direct deposit eliminates that type of dilemma.
We’ve all seen enough instances of catastrophic weather and other disasters that preclude employees from going in to the office. Paperless payroll allows your teams to stay home, and stay safe.
• Do you offer paycards for the employees who don’t want direct deposit, or who don’t have a bank account? This is another green solution that helps eliminate paper paychecks. Paycards offer convenience similar to direct deposit. Instead of transmitting ACH transactions to bank accounts, you transmit them via ACH to the cards. There are numerous resources for learning more about this option if you’d like to find out more. Here’s a link to the American Payroll Association’s Paycard Portal.
• Here’s another thought: people cashing paychecks are more likely to hop in the car at lunchtime to get to the bank to cash a paper check. If you have off-hours access to your money via an ATM, you don’t need to use that extra gas to travel to that bank branch during business hours. Cutting down on fossil fuels cuts down on carbon emissions.
In my next post, I’ll talk about some non-paycheck-related ways to go green in payroll.

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