Turning the average business into an eco-friendly enterprise that strives to do less harm through policies and practices is no easy undertaking. Even companies that start out with eco-friendly ideals are constantly seeking new ways to reduce their carbon footprint and do all they can for a greener tomorrow. In truth, there are myriad ways to accomplish this goal, such as instituting a recycling program, scheduling regular waste assessments, using green energy, conserving water, and installing software that manages energy draw by putting inactive computers to sleep. And those are just a few examples. But when it comes to certain standards and practices in your day-to-day operations, you might be somewhat stumped as to how to go about making changes that will live up to your commitment to protect the environment. So if you’re currently scratching your head over how to deal with the issue of payroll, here are a couple of eco-friendly solutions you might want to try.
Although passing along paper checks to employees is traditional, many companies these days are upgrading to paperless systems. Direct deposits are no longer anything new, and most employees enjoy the benefits that come with this method of payment. For example, it allows them access to their funds almost immediately, whereas paper checks would have to be deposited and often take at least a couple of days to clear before funds are actually available. Of course, going paperless does require some time and money on the part of a business. You’ll either have to purchase computer software that allows you to complete such transactions or hire a payroll service to do it for you (or both).
And you may still be required to issue paper checks to any employees that request them (say if they don’t want to hand over personal information like the routing number for their account, if they want paper pay stubs for their personal records, or if they are concerned about security issues). You might also consider issuing permanent payroll cards for any employees that wish to eschew direct deposit or that simply don’t have a bank account. These cards act like credit cards in that the amount of the paycheck is loaded to the account at the end of each pay period, very much like a direct deposit, allowing employees immediate access to their wages.
Of course, even companies that decide not to go the paperless route for one reason or another have options to greenify. One great way to go green when issuing paper checks is to use recycled paper stock in the process. If your company prints and issues its own checks, this is easy enough to accomplish. But even if you use a service, you can likely find one that is willing to accommodate you on this point. Of course, paperless payroll services are likely the best option if you can afford them as they’ll take on the burden of payment, from running the paycheck calculator all the way through to depositing wages into employee bank accounts. But any steps you take to go greener in this area are bound to improve your brand image, as well as the environment, in the process.