How to Help Your Employees Get the Most Benefit from Payroll Cards

Although most employees still receive their pay via check or direct deposit, a growing number of employers are offering an additional option: A payroll card. Payroll cards work like debit cards, giving employees immediate access to their pay without needing a bank account.

Payroll cards offer some significant advantages to both employers and their workers. In general, payroll cards cost less than other forms of payment, saving companies money. Employees enjoy the quick access to their earnings and the freedom to make purchases, transfer money and withdraw cash as needed without having to maintain a checking account or go through a credit check to get a bank card. With a service like Bank of America CashPay, your employees enjoy a great deal of flexibility in how they manage their money.

However, before you implement a payroll card program, there are some things you need to do to ensure that your employees get the most from the service and that you stay within the boundaries of the law. Even with all of the benefits of a payroll card, there are some guidelines to follow, or else you could face some stiff penalties. With that in mind, here’s how you can help your employees get the most from your payroll card program.

Offer Options

In many states, payroll cards can only be offered as an option to employees and not the only way to be paid. Even if your state doesn’t have such a rule, it’s good practice to continue offering other methods of payment, i.e., traditional paychecks or direct deposit. Some of your employees are likely to have existing relationships with a bank and may resent having to use a different card to transfer their pay to the bank.

It’s also important that you choose a payroll card that has plenty of local ATM locations where employees can access their money, ideally without fees. It doesn’t make sense to select a provider that only has one or two ATMs in the area, forcing employees to go out of their way to get cash or else have to pay big fees.

Be Aware of Fees

Some payroll cards come with fees, which may be nominal but can quickly add up. Employees shouldn’t have to pay to access their money, but in some cases, card issuers charge fees for making more than one ATM withdrawal, making purchases online or getting cash back from a purchase. Other cards may charge fees for getting a paper statement, checking balances, declined purchases and withdrawing from out-of-network ATMs.

The problem with fees is that in some cases, they substantially reduce the amount of pay that an employee receives, effectively reducing their hourly wages. Employees have successfully filed claims against employers for this reduction, so the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers ensure that employees have free access to their full pay at least once every pay period. In addition, some states have laws relating to fees, including a requirement that employees have a certain number of fee-free transactions per month, so before you choose a payroll card provider, evaluate the fees charged and when.  Also, be certain that you disclose all fees to your employees when they sign up for the card. Most cards do charge some type of fees, but the more you can limit the costs to your employees, the more enthusiastic they will be about the program— and the less likely it is that you will land in hot water.

Provide Education

When you offer payroll cards to your employees, it’s a good practice to provide education for them on how to best use the cards and keep them safe. Because payroll cards are debit cards, like any other bank-issued cards, they are at risk of being stolen, so employees should know how to secure their card and use it safely. Offer information and training sessions on best practices in card security and inform your employees about how they can prevent their pay from being stolen. Some topics you might cover include creating PINs, shopping online safely and how to get cash safely.

Payroll cards are appealing to both employers and employees for many reasons, but they need to be handled appropriately, or they could prove costly to everyone. By giving your employees to tools they need to use them to their full benefit, everyone will be more satisfied.

Making Your Restaurant Cosy In The Winter

If you own a restaurant or you are looking at buying one this year to launch a new business, there are a lot of different things you will have to consider and a lot of preparation which you will need to make for a comfortable space. Creating a swanky and comfortable restaurant for your guests is a big challenge, and it can take some time to nail your ideas and make the ideal space. Here are some of our top tips for making a cosy and inviting space for people to visit during the winter months.

Keep it warm

The first and most obvious thing you will want to do during the winter to make people feel comfortable is to keep the restaurant warm and toasty. When people have been walking around in the cold all day the main thing they want is for a warm space to sit in. This can be achieved with lots of insulation around the building as well as by bringing in an efficient heating system. Radiators placed strategically around the room can make all the difference and will have a positive impact on your customers.

Ventilate the space

As important as it is to lock in the heat and make the restaurant as cosy as it can be, you will also want to think about air flow and ventilation. If you have an old system in the building make sure to invest in restaurant ac repair, and if not, get an efficient system which allows clean air to flow through the building. You’ll be cooking a lot of food which will produce different smells and air flow can help these smells to escape as to not overwhelm your customers. It will also be helpful for those who suffer from respiratory illnesses who may need extra support with the air flow.

Add soft furnishings

One of the things which can make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your restaurant and will also be a good way to brighten up the space is soft furnishings. Cleverly placed throws and cushions can be just what you need for a homely atmosphere and your patrons will appreciate these extra touches to make them feel more comfortable.

Light candles

Whenever we think about making the house cosy and warm in the winter, candles are always a great option as they give off a soft glow which creates a relaxing atmosphere, and it also makes the room feel warmer and more homely. In your restaurant you can place small candles on each table and this will make for a lovely atmosphere and will keep everyone feeling warm and content during their meal.

Create a cosy area

If you have a small corner of your restaurant which is free for you to use, you can create a cosy lounge space for those who have finished their meals and want to enjoy a drink or two. This space can consist of some sofas and chairs and you can even have a fireplace in this part of the building to create a magical atmosphere. Having an area like this can be great because it will encourage people to stay in the restaurant after eating and it will make people less likely to want to leave!

Instantly Modernize An Old Office: 3 Simple Additions

If your business’ existing office is a little tired and outdated, the most obvious solution is to refit the space completely. Unfortunately, this “obvious solution” is also easily the most expensive solution, and few businesses can instantly find the funds to complete a thorough overhaul of their internal space.

As a result, many business owners tend to grit their teeth, accept their somewhat outdated surroundings, and hope that they will be able to finance a complete office refit at some point in the future. If you are in this situation, then it can be tempting to think you have no other choice… but is this necessarily the case?

So, here’s the good news: no, there is a third way that allows you to modernize your office without the need for a full refit – and here are three simple ideas that can help you achieve just that.

#1 – Introduce shrubs and greenery

Offices have always included some form of greenery but, until recently, the greenery was provided by employees, in the form of desk plants. Modern offices, however, tend to incorporate natural elements into their overall design, using shrubs and tall, potted plants to create a space that is wonderfully contemporary and instantly improves the space. Furthermore, it’s well worth choosing office plants that are thought to help boost productivity in workers, allowing your business to achieve a two-fold benefit from a single change.

#2 – Add decorative elements

Modern office design is all about style. Offices were once dry, monotone, and – frankly – rather dull spaces, with business owners operating under the belief that decorative elements were an unnecessary expense that did little but detract from their bottom line. Of course, to 21st-century eyes, these bland offices are little more than an eyesore – but thankfully, they are an eyesore that is relatively easily improved. By adding artwork to walls and decorative window film on glass partitions, you’ll be able to enjoy a more contemporary aesthetic quickly and affordably, while also improving visual interest for your employees.

#3 – Focus on furniture

Furniture is one of the elements of office design that is relatively easy to change; pieces can just be removed, rather than needing to be directly removed and replaced as part of a refit. It’s therefore worth updating as much of the furniture as you possibly can in order to achieve a more up-to-date look. You’ll usually find that placing contemporary furniture in an older building is surprisingly effective, transforming what was once tired, old-fashioned into a retro-inspired space that looks deliberate rather than a choice governed by convenience and budget.

In conclusion

A full office refit is expensive, but by implementing the ideas above, you can help to bring the 21st century to any office space – and potentially enjoy a few extra benefits to boot. You may find that these changes actually preclude the need for a full refit in future, saving you a small fortune, but even if you do decide a refit is required at some point, at least you’ll have a more pleasing aesthetic to enjoy in the meantime.