Payslips are one of the last formal documents you receive with any frequency that are still printed onto paper. As secure documents including bank statements, credit card statements, and even employment contracts have moved online, the humble payslip has remained steadfastly… printed. We often still receive our payslip as a paper copy sent through the company internal mail, hand delivered, or in the post, sometimes days after wages have entered bank accounts. It’s a weekly or monthly ritual that we’ve looked forward to for decades, and maybe that’s the appeal and why it’s remained untouched as a process for so long. Seeing the payslip on our desk or dropping through the letterbox and tearing it open is met with an affection all but the youngest millennials can no doubt relate to! It’s our evidence of the effort expended to earn the latest pay packet and a tangible reward.
But look at the waste involved; the administration time to produce and distribute payslips and the cost of doing so, and the environmental impact of printing a document that mostly gets read once and then discarded or filed away never to be seen again. I don’t have a figure for how many times payslips placed end to end would stretch around the globe; but if I did, I bet it would be lots.
As other types of documentation have moved online, are we starting to dare I say it, see the printed payslip as a bit old fashioned? We’re used to consuming information on the move, on our devices and the system itself has made the step change. Mortgage lenders for example will now accept digital or printed out copies of bank statements and pay information over original documents, which means you’re no longer rifling through paperwork looking for the lost payslip as you rush out the door to your appointment.
Online payslips are secure, easy to access any time and mean less administration that takes away from value adding tasks that HR professionals would much prefer to do. And best of all, savvy HR and Benefits professionals are tapping into the emotive high of receiving a payslip and using them during the launch phase of employee engagement schemes; what better way to attract people to a new portal to select their benefits than posting ahead of pay day, the one document we all know and love?
Sally Duckworth, CEO, You at Work