Hybrid working is changing the future of work, but also the present. Ronan Copeland is the GVP General Manager EMEA at DocuSign. He discusses how digital tools can help employees create, innovate and collaborate better.
The last two years have fundamentally altered the work world. The closing of offices and workspaces in favor of home work forced decision makers to reevaluate and accelerate digital transformation strategies.
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These processes can often lead to the creation of ad-hoc work models. However, the Office for National Statistics reports that the output per hour during the last few month of 2021 exceeded that of pre-pandemic levels for first time. This reinforces the fact that remote and hybrid working played an important role in business growth.
As the world of work opens up again, organisations are looking into how hybrid working can be created by the anywhere economy and digital tools like e-signature or contract management.
The Right Tools at Right Time
People expect to be able do business from anywhere and can operate their businesses from any location. This is the anywhere economy. It is believed that 85% percent of managers think that hybrid or remote working will be the norm.
Organisations can offer flexibility and replace paper-based systems with e-signatures. They also increase productivity and allow teams to concentrate on growth.
Working from anywhere requires that you use the right digital processes such as e-signatures to approve or consent on electronic forms and documents. E-signatures are legal and valid. They can be used to sign business contracts, confirm invoices, or even verify identity. It’s no surprise that DocuSign has been used to create more than one billion legally binding agreements in over 180 countries.
Organizations that are used to sending paper documents don’t understand the risks of sending sensitive or confidential information by post. Even if the document is sent by courier, the sender will no longer have an oversight chain of control and will not be able to determine who has access to it, how they are going to handle, store, or process it.
E-signature, on the other hand, provides a secure digital workflow that makes it easy to track and ensures transparency. The digital document is visible to the sender from the moment it’s sent, and throughout its life cycle. They can also control access to ensure security standards are maintained for the business.
Additionally, e-signatures provide an extra layer of protection to the signed document. A digital audit trail (also known as a Certificate Of Completion) is included with the signed document. This records crucial information such as date, timestamps, identity authentication, and IP address. This is a unique identification system that authenticates the signer and can be used to counter any signer who disputes their signature.
However, many companies are still hesitant to adopt e-signatures. They don’t understand how much more secure and faster they can be than their physical counterparts. DocuSign’s survey revealed that two-thirds (63%) of e-signature users have used the technology within the past two years. 88% stated they do not plan to go back to paper and pen signings.
Smarter ways to work
Organisations switch to digital agreements for many reasons. E-signatures can also be beneficial to the environment and help organisations achieve their sustainability goals. DocuSign’s customers and DocuSign have collectively saved over 6 million trees, 55 Billion sheets of paper, 22 Billion litres water, and reduced more than 2Billion kgs of waste since 2003. This is all thanks to digital agreements.
It is more efficient to move manual processes into the cloud as they make work more efficient, safer, and more sustainable. Slack and Google Drive have made collaboration easier and allowed file sharing. DocuSign (contract management software) seamlessly manages all agreements and documentation. This allows organisations to improve compliance, speed up business processes, eliminate waste, and increase efficiency.
This is achieved by automating tasks and managing complex workflows. It also removes bottlenecks in the process chain, making the work easier. Standardizing processes allows for greater oversight, which saves time and helps to uncover new trends.
These two years have made a significant impact on the future and present of work. The digital tools that enable and support the anywhere economy have made hybrid working a common norm. Organisations that wish to succeed in the hybrid world of today must make e-signatures, and other digital agreement technologies, a permanent part their overall strategy.