New Research from Paycor Finds 86% of SMBs Report Employees are Equally or More Productive Working Remote in the COVID-19 Era

Report Reveals Top Challenges and Concerns American Businesses are Facing Heading into 2021, and Approaches to Solve Them

CINCINNATI, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Human Capital Management (HCM) company Paycor today released “A Paycor Survey, The State of American Business: 2021.” Over the past six months, business leaders have reorganized supply chains, set up remote operations, and made tough financial decisions. Paycor surveyed human resources (HR) and business leaders to understand how American businesses are feeling, what keeps them up at night and what approaches they’re taking to solve problems as we look forward to 2021.

In the first weeks of COVID-19, companies were looking for information on mobilizing a crisis response, including workforce safety. As things evolved, HR and business leaders started making moves to stabilize and support their businesses with a potential to return to the workplace. As they plan for 2021, business leaders are working to anticipate what’s next and set a path for success to rebuild for the longer term. According to Paycor’s survey, 75% of HR leaders are optimistic for future profitability.

In the third quarter of 2020, Paycor fielded a 10-minute online survey and received 2,600 responses from the leaders of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs – defined as organizations with less than 1,000 employees). Of the 2,600 responses, approximately 40% were finance leaders (CFOs, finance directors and managers) and 60% were HR leaders (HR directors, managers).

Key findings include:

  • Part 1: The Finance/HR Relationship

    • Roughly 40% of respondents agreed that finance and HR are working more closely together as a result of the pandemic.
    • As a result of the pandemic, 51% of HR leaders now look for different qualities in leaders than they did before the crisis. Finance and HR leaders agree on the top two most important qualities: flexibility and collaboration.
  • Part 2: Remote Work

    • At the close of the year, 44% of companies describing the transition from office to remote as a primary focus. Thirty percent of respondents say their remote teams are actually more productive than they were in the office.
  • Part 3: Benefits

    • Eighty-six percent of respondents are concerned about mental health in the workplace, but only 27% are planning on making a change to their benefits offerings in response to mental health issues. Of the 2,600 finance and HR leaders who took the survey, only 444 (approx. 17%) were able to identify specific benefits, like employee assistance programs, that could help them respond to what they perceive as an urgent problem.
  • Part 4: Compliance

    • Sixty percent of respondents predict their business will be more concerned about compliance in the next 12 months while only 9% say their HR technology is “very effective” at mitigating compliance risk. Clunky, outdated HR software may be the reason why 43% say they don’t use technology to automate and manage compliance.

To access the full report, please click here.

Supporting Quotes

“For many businesses, planning for 2021 looks much different than years past. Many aspects of COVID-19 are still a moving target in this new normal making partnerships across HR and business leaders critical as they plan for the future,” said Ryan Bergstrom, Chief Product Officer at Paycor. “This survey helps us get a pulse on how American business leaders are thinking and feeling so we can better understand how to help serve them best.”

Supporting Resources

About Paycor

Paycor creates HR software for leaders who want to make a difference. Our Human Capital Management (HCM) platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way you pay and retain them. But what really sets us apart is our focus on business leaders. For 30 years, we’ve been listening to and partnering with leaders, so we know what they need: HR technology that saves time, powerful analytics that provide actionable insights and dedicated support from HR experts. That’s why more than 40,000 medium & small businesses trust Paycor to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.


Katy Bunn
(513) 307-6392
[email protected]


Marta Debski
Offleash for Paycor
(810) 956-4501
[email protected]