Category Archives: Blog

Don’t be lax! Pay your tax.

What is payroll tax?

Payroll tax is an obligation required by law to support certain Federal and State programs, as well as collect and remit employee estimated personal income taxes. Most businesses use payroll processors to calculate and remit these taxes, but you may still be wondering what they all are.

Why is payroll tax important?

  • Failure to pay taxes may result in heavy fines up to 15% of total tax, and the IRS may place a lien on your business or liquidate your assets to satisfy the debt.

So, what are these taxes?
The blanket term ‘payroll tax‘ consists of the following types of tax:

Social Security and Medicare (FICA tax)

  • Paid by employer and employee equally (7.65% each for a total of 15.3%).
  • Employee amount is ‘withheld’ from paychecks and sent to the IRS.
  • Employer amount is an additional cost on top of wages that are remitted to the IRS with the employee portion.

Withholding tax

  • Withheld from employees’ wages and paid directly to the federal and state government on their behalf. Some states don’t have income tax (so no withholding). There is also occasionally local withholding for city taxes.
  • These amounts show up on W2s at the end of the year and are used in personal income tax calculations. There is no expense for the employer.

Unemployment taxes

  • This tax is used to fund reemployment and unemployment benefits for employees who were discharged through no fault of their own (ex.- layoff). It’s applicable in every state.
  • There is also a federal unemployment tax, which is calculated annually and takes into account what was paid to state agencies.

Modernize Your Onboarding

Human Resources can help preserve and extend a company’s culture by ensuring long term employees feel valued and new employees get up to speed rapidly. Here are 5 items to start with to strengthen your human resources function.

1. Turn onboarding into a team sport.
2. Make the workplace fun.
3. Gather and listen to employee feedback constantly.
4. Make it easy to get stuff done.
5. Put employees first.

Executive Assistants Create Enormous Increases in Productivity

Many organizations are getting rid of Administrative Assistants to save money and create a flat hierarchy. However, an effective Executive Assistant can revolutionize the work of a rising executive. Growing companies should match the person with the role – an executive should not spend their valuable time on paperwork if it’s better to hire someone else to do it. Executive Assistant can give an executive the freedom to focus on the most important issues, be a sounding board for risky ideas, and connect the busy and often traveling executive with the rest of the staff and the morale of the company.

Gorgeous Offices

Dropbox’s massive 90k square foot office shows up on a Buzzfeed listicle of gorgeous offices. Shout out to Square, AirBNB and Path who swapped brokers, interior designers, project managers and general contractors with Dropbox.

‘The conference room is filled with Legos and the conference rooms have funny names. In addition to being an elegant and modern office space, they’ve managed to incorporate a lot of character.’

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Finding Office Space in New Orleans

In a post from February 2012 on Silicon Bayou News, Commercial Broker Austin Lavin discusses the 7 Steps to Finding and Negotiating Office Space in New Orleans and Beyond. Austin is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Corporate Realty, a full-service commercial real estate company headquartered in New Orleans.

As a commercial leasing agent, he works with growing companies to find the right office by sorting through available spaces, preparing offers and negotiating the lease. However, the company needs to decide what they want. In this article, Austin lays out some decisions an organization needs to make, such as budget, office layout and desired location. It also reviews the process of negotiation and leasing.

Office Ops can help you figure out what spaces are a good fit for your growth and work style and move you in to the new space once it is leased and ready. We can recommend a lawyer for lease negotiations and we can also help turn an office space with potential in to a place your employees love.

More information on Austin  and Corporate Realty can be found here: http://corp-realty.com/people/austin-lavin/

The Right Way to Grant Equity to your Employees

Companies with the best retention and recruitment issue stock options to new employees and offer increases at set milestones or for excellent performance. Offering stock options leads to an egalitarian culture and encourages employees to think about the success of the company as a whole. This article provides information about how to structure your equity plan.

“The average tenure for most technology employees is two to three years, and waiting until your first employees hit year four is just too late.”

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Workplace Flexibility is Strategic

“Are your employees stressed? Is engagement low? Productivity slipping? Turnover increasing? Do you have a “leaky pipeline” especially when it comes to women achieving leadership positions? Are the rising stars in your organization expressing concern about their work-life fit? Is employee health and well-being declining?

We must not be bound by the outdated notion that all work must be done within the confines of an office between the hours of 8 and 5. Our 24/7 global economy requires that we are available far beyond normal office hours, and technology readily enables us to do so. What technology does not do, however, is allow us to set boundaries on our own personal time. We must actively consider how to meet our work and personal obligations in a way that we can be successful at both.

I heard how […] highly successful organizations are taking a strategic approach to implementing flexibility across their organizations. They do so not to “accommodate” employee needs, but to ensure they remain high-performing, sustainable, successful companies.”

-Jennifer Sabatini Fraone on Workplace Flexibility

Serendipitous Interactions Increase Innovation

Casual, unplanned interactions are engineered by large companies such as Google and Facebook. Why? Increasing the number and depth of relationships between people makes it easier to collaborate, meet new coworkers and learn something new about a different part of the company. These interactions are especially important as the company grows. It fosters information transfer and a feeling of connectedness.

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Design Your Office for Collaboration

Smart office design not only opens up a free-flowing forum of ideas, but it can help attract young talent who balk at the idea of sitting at a cubicle behind a gray wall for eight hours a day. But there’s more to designing an office that fosters collaboration and teamwork than just ripping down cube walls. For example:

For seating, think in clusters or rows.
Use kitchens, hallways and stairways as natural meeting points.
Get creative with natural light.

The demographics of the workplace are shifting. Worries about distraction are becoming less of a problem as new generations of tech-savvy workers are accustomed to multi-tasking and place value in an open environment.

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