Give your employees the tools they need to be productive

By Cynthia Stoddard

Time is one of the most valuable resources in business. After all, time is synonymous with productivity, the invisible commodity that drives employee contributions, satisfaction and morale.

In an uncertain economic environment with a tight job market, high productivity and high morale go hand in hand: both essential to helping organizations hire and retain top talent. Today’s workforce seeks purpose-driven work to build the balance and well-being they need to support themselves and their organizations.

More than half of managers and employees view work as a welcome distraction from uncertainty, according to a recent Adobe survey, The Future of Time: Redefining Productivity During Uncertainty. And 78% of employees surveyed said a more supportive work culture encourages them to stay with their employer.

Productivity for peace of mind

At the heart of this meaningful work is productivity: the processes and technology that empower employees to contribute, strengthen team workflow, and drive collaboration on new ideas and strategies quickly and at scale.

Productivity also highlights a hidden fact: uncertainty has benefits. Organizations see uncertainty as an opportunity for digital transformation: introducing processes and tackling challenges with creativity and ingenuity. Among business leaders surveyed, more than three-quarters said uncertainty drives collaboration and innovation.

To that end, Adobe’s Digital Workplace Experience (DWx) group is ensuring that we direct all of our tools towards our employees, rather than the other way around, so people can create and collaborate more efficiently and fairly. Using technologies such as enhanced virtual whiteboard and video conferencing setups, our onsite and virtual teams can enjoy a seamless working experience.

Three organizations in financial services, healthcare, and the public sector illustrate how companies have responded to uncertainty and driven transformation, using e-signature tools that improve experiences for customers and employees.

Faster financial transactions

Like most of us, TSB Bank experienced its greatest moment of uncertainty in recent memory at the start of 2020.

With over 75% of its 5 million customers using digital self-service technology, the London-based retail and commercial bank strives to provide a seamless online experience. And the pandemic crisis has accelerated TSB’s need for quick fixes.

The TSB had just completed its proof of concept (POC) on a range of self-service forms to allow customers to close their accounts when the pandemic hit. Faced with rapid branch closures and growing demand for its online services, TSB had to quickly bring its POC to market. Fortunately, he had the strategy and the electronic signature technology to do so.

In the months after the lockdown began, the bank introduced 21 online self-service forms allowing electronic signatures for functions such as address changes, bereavements and overdraft requests. The bank processed 140,000 forms in the first three months, increasing digital self-service by 9% and replacing 15,000 branch visits. TSB also used digital productivity software to bring a customer service chatbot online, freeing up its call center employees to handle complex queries.

Cutting red tape for the pharmaceutical industry

Few industries have such an urgent need for efficiency and productivity as healthcare, because lives are often at stake.

Global biotech company Regeneron researches and develops therapies and drugs for diseases and viruses, including Ebola and Covid-19.

For Regeneron, Application Services—providing sustainable, scalable, and reliable applications and processes to its scientists, manufacturers, and distributors—is mission critical. The application workflow requires signed documentation for vendor contracts, offer letters to new hires, server access permissions, and regulatory compliance.

While several disciplines have already found efficiencies with an electronic signature tool, Regeneron has implemented the technology across the organization. For enforcement departments, adopting these familiar digital tools has dramatically accelerated their document processing, reducing time to sign nondisclosure agreements, statements of work and contracts by 96%.

Thanks to electronic signature software, a two-hour application process now takes less than five minutes. A Regeneron team calculated that switching to e-signature software resulted in annual savings of $633,000 and 4,608 hours, as well as a significant reduction in paper waste and water consumption.

Government in action

Norfolk County in England has strived through digital transformation to become the most connected county in the UK, eliminating its paper and printing costs to speed up and sustain its operations and public services.

At first, Norfolk County Council’s attempts to implement electronic signatures for paperless workflows met with low public uptake. The onset of the pandemic abruptly changed that, as digital documents and electronic signatures became essential to keep operations running after the shift to remote and hybrid working.

New digital technology has provided Norfolk residents with a seamless user experience, backed by robust technical support, which has helped the county government integrate e-signatures into its infrastructure. Norfolk County estimates the automated signature software saves it 4.5 days per month and has cut a 45-minute process for preparing legal documents to just 12 minutes.

Reduce customer and employee stress

By implementing e-signature tools, these three organizations have increased efficiency, predictability, and peace of mind for their customers and employees.

In an unpredictable job market, employees of organizations that invest in digital solutions are twice as likely to say the innovation has improved their work-life balance, according to the survey. Seven out of 10 managers and employees who participated in the survey said that digital productivity tools gave them peace of mind and alleviated their stress. And for the vast majority of employees, having a supportive work culture contributes to their decision to stay.

When your organization supports its workforce with the digital tools they need, you might find that employees feel more engaged and innovative. When this results in higher morale, you can increase your productivity and drive business growth.

Learn more about The Future of Time Report and how companies can use digital tools to better support their workforce.

Cynthia Stoddard is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Adobe.

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