The Benefits of a PEO for Remote Teams
Despite being a frequently reported topic over the past year, remote work continues to dominate headlines in countless industry reports.
Millions of Americans are quitting their jobs month over month — a record 4.4 million in September alone — in favor of new positions that not only offer stronger benefits and compensation but also greater flexibility in how they work. Meanwhile, companies are continuing to develop and push forward on return-to-work plans, but many have come to realize that employees currently have the upper hand.
There’s no question of whether remote work is here to stay — it’s going to continue being a topic that management and HR teams must navigate for the foreseeable future. But this is just one of many new pressures added to HR teams’ plates over the last two years. Today, human capital professionals are struggling with retaining existing talent, competing for new talent in an extremely competitive labor market, creating benefits packages that meet employee expectations, and developing and communicating policies around vaccination requirements.
And of course, this is all happening on top of HR teams’ daily workload: navigating open enrollment periods, answering questions about benefits and policies, working with insurance brokers and carriers, and managing the daily people operations of their respective companies. For organizations with remote teams (or those whose teams are edging toward remote), the benefits of a PEO (professional employer organization) can’t be overstated.
With Remote Work Comes More Complexity and ‘Unknowns’
New hires are onboarded in states and cities where there weren’t any before. Questions arise about productivity or policy that weren’t asked before. Compensation for people in separate regions with different costs of living becomes a matter for exploration. And suddenly, the organization is subject to a variety of additional area-specific taxation and legal requirements that it previously never had to address.
Internal HR teams — who are already ladened with their own challenges and administrative burdens — now have even more questions to research, expectations to clarify through policy, and work to manage on a daily basis. And the situation only gets worse as the organization continues to hire more remote employees in new areas. Fortunately, the benefits of a PEO provider serve to relieve these pressures. Essentially outsourced HR with added value, the PEO model extends the capabilities of HR teams while filling in knowledge and experience gaps. When it comes to remote work, this added value ensures HR teams can focus on their responsibilities while still ensuring that strategic, operational, and compliance issues are addressed.
How the Benefits of a PEO Address Remote Work Issues
They Bring Knowledge to the Table
This is the first step: internal teams can’t develop policy and enforce it without understanding the requirements and components of what it takes to make remote work successful. There’s much more to it than ensuring managers have controls and that people have the equipment they need. There are financial, regulatory, compliance, and tax aspects surrounding remote workers that must be planned for. Working with a PEO provider will help clarify these requirements.
As an experienced PEO provider, Cognos HR has the knowledge and experience internal teams need to start off on the right foot.
They Help Develop Policy
Policy development is one of the key benefits of a PEO provider. Just as you have policies for regular (i.e. on-site) work, you must also have a policy for remote workers. What are the requirements around work schedules? How are they expected to communicate and report in? What are the systems and tools they must have at all times? When issues arise, what are they expected to do? What are the consequences of not following the policy? These are just some of the many questions that must be addressed in a remote work policy.
As an experienced PEO provider, Cognos HR works with numerous clients on policy development for remote work and other key areas of their businesses.
They Understand Compliance Requirements
A policy is only the foundation of a remote work strategy. From the moment you decide to go remote, your organization will be required to register as an employer in the states in which employees are working. Cities and states have separate requirements for compensation, taxation, and more that must be known and managed to remain in compliance with their respective labor laws. Failure to comply can result in significant fines. And the last thing your talent needs is to see the HR team that’s supposed to be taking care of them fail to do so.
At Cognos HR, we work closely with each client for whom we provide PEO services to clarify city- and state-specific requirements to minimize their financial and regulatory risk.
They Manage the Details for You
Once the policy has been developed and you’re all set with area-specific compliance requirements, it’ll be up to the organization to manage the policy and remote workers efficiently and accurately going forward. It’s inevitable that questions will arise, but will your internal HR team have answers? Because your PEO provider acts as a value-added extension of your team, they’ll be available at all times to tackle those questions whenever they arise. Your team will never be left in the dark — if they don’t have an answer, they simply need to reach out.
At Cognos HR, we integrate with our PEO clients to support them in answering questions and addressing remote work-related needs, saving them time so they can focus on their goals.
They Simplify Benefits Coverage
This is a tricky one. With a remote team, your existing brokers and carriers may not be able to support employees in different states. Your benefits package itself may also not have what prospective talent expects in order to decide to take a position with you. This is a key benefit of a PEO — not only can they help you develop a best-in-class benefits package that attracts top talent, but they also group all of their clients together under their name — strengthening their buying power with brokers and allowing your employees (regardless of your company size and footprint) to take advantage of benefits offerings that otherwise might not be available.
At Cognos HR, our group buying power has helped small businesses offer benefits to employees that traditionally wouldn’t have been able to — helping them better compete for talent.
They Understand Compensation Planning
With a remote workforce comes differences in the cost of living, pay ranges for specific positions, and other compensation-related questions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here, and attempting to implement one can lead to your organization losing talent to better-prepared competitors. Compensation planning and analysis is one of the key benefits of a PEO. As they have clients nationwide, they understand wage laws, the costs of living in different communities, and what is appropriate for the positions you’re looking to fill. They will help you develop and manage a compensation strategy that delivers fairness based on location and level while evaluating that policy over time to ensure accuracy.
Cognos HR has in-depth experience in helping clients manage compensation-related matters to support existing talent, attract new talent, and reduce risk.
Ensure Your Remote Teams are Fully Supported with Cognos HR
These are just a few of the many benefits of a PEO provider for remote teams. As your organization continues to refine its remote work policy (or if one needs to be developed to support a growing shift in preference), consider whether you’re prepared to address questions as they arise and navigate the many requirements of the areas where your employees work. If your HR team is already carrying a heavy workload, or if it doesn’t have the capacity to support a critical program like remote work, our team is here to help.
Originally published at https://www.cognoshr.com on November 17, 2021.