The nature of how and where business is carried out has changed. The switch to remote and hybrid working over the last few years has caused business leaders to quickly accelerate digital strategies, resulting in new work models being created.
The benefits of technology such as e-signatures eased the transition to remote working for businesses of all sizes, all but eliminating outdated paper-based contract management processes, while representing a practical, cost-effective and legally valid way to process and execute documents.
There are many reasons why organisations switched to digital agreement processes beyond their value in remote working environments. E-signatures, for example, are faster, more secure, and more sustainable than their pen-and-paper alternatives.
Even though many offices have reopened, a research report for DocuSign found that 88% of global respondents are not planning on going back to pen and paper now they have adopted an e-signature solution. Now is the time for business leaders to actively take stock of the new processes and infrastructure they have implemented and define how they transition such successes into new organisational practices that sustain growth and shape the future of work.
Overcome location limitations with digital tools
One of the big lessons learned by organisations since the pandemic has been around flexibility – something that cannot be achieved with a pen and paper approach to agreements.
Remote working created new patterns of working. So much so, one recent report found that 70% of workers want to continue to work remotely. As such, organisations must move beyond traditional ways of working solely on premises, and continue to build on the digital tools and platforms at their disposal.
What is needed is a secure document management system that allows employees to overcome physical location barriers, while at the same time replacing old, manual, paper-based systems, such as payroll and employee onboarding, to boost productivity and free up teams to focus on growth.
This means making the most of cloud-based technologies, such as Slack or Google Drive for collaboration, and solutions such as DocuSign eSignature for signing contracts, and contract lifecycle management software like DocuSign CLM to help you manage all of the agreements and documentation required throughout the employee lifecycle.
By transforming manual processes into a digital automated workflow, organisations can accelerate the pace of doing business, increase compliance, and eliminate unnecessary risks.
Think about the planet
The new world of work isn’t simply about returning to the office and replacing manual processes with digital platforms. Just as the last two years accelerated the need for digital transformation and the acceptance of new work models, organisations now have a rare opportunity to re-examine the ways they impact the environment and, where necessary, make large-scale operational changes around sustainability.
Global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 6.4% in 2020, largely due to reduced economic and social activity. Driven primarily by the decline in travel rather than operational changes to reduce emissions, these improvements will most likely be temporary. Therefore, businesses looking to retain emissions improvements must make digital workflows permanent.
The DocuSign Agreement Cloud is a simple and cost-effective way for any organisation to upgrade its processes in such a way to be more environmentally responsible and sustainable. Digital contracts can save unnecessary waste, reduce emissions, and improve commitments to climate action throughout the entire supply chain. To date, DocuSign and its customers have saved more than 6m trees, 55bn sheets of paper, 22bn litres of water and eliminated more than 2bn kg of waste – purely by adopting digital agreement processes.
There are benefits to be had from a reputational viewpoint too. Business partners, customers and even employees are starting to examine a company's position on broader issues such as sustainability, especially as 40% of office waste is paper. Simply put, moving toward a paperless office is better for the planet and better for business.
The last two years have given companies many challenges to overcome, but as we look at the new world of work, flexibility around digital processes delivers real-time business benefits to your organisation, from hybrid working to accelerating growth, and even eliminating unnecessary waste, in a secure and streamlined fashion. One thing is clear: the time to make e-signatures and digital contract management a permanent fixture for organisations that want to thrive in the modern hybrid world of work is now.
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