Are you looking to improve productivity at your workplace but don’t know what changes will work best? Respectfully, other than hiring skillful employees, there are alternate ways to improve productivity, like getting advanced in the work environment. One of the ways to get advanced is to switch from wet signatures to e-signatures to get all agreements done.
E-signature is not an alien concept anymore. Many organizations are fond of it. Moreover, the number of organizations adopting e-signatures increased after the Covid as the remote working system was encouraged.
Do you wish to switch from wet to electronic signatures? But before making the change, you need to know what an e-signature is and how to increase productivity at work by using electronic signatures. Let’s take you through it in this article.
What is an E-signature?
An electronic or e-signature, understandable by its name, is a signature or data in electronic form. However, unlike wet signatures, it is an intuitive tool that aids efficiency in signing digital or electronic documents with authentication. It also secures the integrity of the paper. Undoubtedly, it is more convenient to sign digital agreements than handwritten agreements, but do you know it is more beneficial too? Read along to get more insight!
Benefits of Transitioning to E-signature
One of the apparent advantages of e-signature, which gives it an upper hand over wet or ink signatures, is that it’s a time savior. You know the motto of every working individual, Time is money. So by opting for e-signatures, your employees won’t have to arrange documents in-person before signing or go back and forth between mail deliveries to receive or send documents. Instead, they can forward an electronic link to the receivers to improve the turnaround time of documents.
Moreover, the risk of lost documents is higher when excessive paperwork is involved. You would not want to lose any documents and go over the signing process again, which increases the chances of legal liability, right? So to avoid this mishap, you can send contracts or agreements electronically with your e-signature attached. It will give your business more flexibility to operate.
Not just the time, e-signature can save you a lot of funds. According to some studies, US organizations print 30 billion paper documents annually, and the cost associated with each is $6.50 approximately. Furthermore, an average authorized employee signs five hundred paper documents each year. By doing simple maths, we can estimate the total annual expense of using paper documents which is $3,250 per employee. Other than printing costs, there come packaging and shipping expenses that a company bears. Now imagine you switch to digitalized signatures; how much funds will the organization save, and how much retained earnings will soar? Substantial, right?
Trusted and Secured
When you hear about e-signatures, what comes to your mind? Is it safe and secure? Yes! Is it legal and enforceable around the world? Yes! A simple yes is not enough to convince you, right? So let’s dive deeper into why more companies are starting to put their faith in electronic signatures.
An e-signature is difficult to forge, making it more secure than a wet signature. Moreover, it is easy to verify an electronic document as it has a digital audit trail usually made up of signing documents, emails, and copies of contracts. E-signatures eliminate the risk of paper documents getting lost, which is common in a workplace with piles of files on every desk.
And if we talk about the safety of documents, unlike wet signatures, e-signature products can not easily get tampered with as they can detect minor adjustments and alterations. Furthermore, an e-signature ensures no third party has access without permission, and if someone tries to, the biometric authentication methods and passcodes provide additional security to electronic signatures.
Transitioning to e-signature is an environment-friendly choice. It will cut down operational expenses, and the usage of paper will reduce, which will save the environment. Moreover, e-signature will spare you some storage as the electronic documents are intangible and, thus, do not need physical storage.
How does E-signature Increase Work Productivity?
Eliminate Manual Tasks
Like every other business, your business also runs on agreements. However, this is not a clever move if those agreements are all manually handled. When everyone is under pressure, the files on the table will only add to the stress level of the employees.
I can already picture a staff taking documents from the employee’s desk to the manager’s room for a signature and then back to the employee. It frequently happens in a non-digitalized work environment, where every file and paper circulates in the office. Imagine how much time you can spare by replacing manual tasks with automated workflows. The work will not pile up, and employees will have a stress-free environment. Moreover, they will get the time to focus on increasing sales and improving productivity.
Significant Reduction in Errors
Whatever the business is, it has a financial department. Due to continuous financial dealings, a financial department is always full of paper loads. All financial agreements pass through this department. These documents are highly essential, but with manual documentation, an employee can easily miss out on some signature space, possibly due to human error. Now imagine, after finalizing the document, you realize the miss out parts- the disappointment is unbearable, right?
You can be vigilant with errors, but it still happens and delays the entire process and even leads to a loss of sales. You would want to avoid these errors at all costs. So, in this case, why not implement electronic signatures and reduce the chances of error while making productivity substantial and sustainable? With the implementation of e-signatures, you could close more deals without risking your current customers.
You can create electronic signatures in Word documents to reduce the impact of human error.
When working in an organization, your goal would be to maximize the retained earnings, which happens when productivity reaches optimum. To rise to the optimum, you hire more skilled employees, cut expenses, or sometimes ask your workers to work overtime. But let’s say there’s another effective way to do this.
When encouraging a digital work environment or, in other words, transition to e-signature, you will be able to prepare more contracts in no time and send them to customers for their approval. This whole process will take mere seconds. You can close any significant deal without a single sheet of paper and waiting for mail couriers. And believe me, this is the future. Your customers would want everything in their comfort- better give them before your competitors do.
Using electronic signatures, you can make your business flexible. By flexible, we mean you get the freedom to operate your business from anywhere you want. While this adds to your comfort, your employees will also benefit from working in a flexible environment. Moreover, your business will widen its capabilities with electronic signature software, and customers can sign more deals worldwide. That is not it- you can hire skillful employees from any part of the world (if remote working is an option).
The electronic signature software offers ease and comfort in signing online documents and is also easily accessible to the signer. A customer would not prefer to step out in the scorching heat and visit your office to sign papers, but with online or digitalized documents, no party would break a sweat in signing deals.
Although digital signatures are much safer than traditional wet signatures, they are not entirely safe from fraudulent entities. Reports suggest a rise in the incidents of e-signature fraud. These include falsified signatures, deceptively obtaining signatures, and so on. We all know how far things can go regarding forged signatures. The good news is that detecting fraud in this field is not impossible.
E-signatures make use of the hashing function. When someone signs electronically, a hash of a message will automatically generate. Hash refers to a combination of alphabets and numbers produced via a mathematical algorithm. It is always one of a kind, regardless of the file size.
The hash is further encrypted cryptographically. Here, two keys are applicable, private (for one party only) and public (for both parties). If one key encrypts, the other will decrypt. Once the hash function is activated, the private key will encrypt the hash value. From here, it can be tracked if anyone attempts to change the file’s contents or produce a different hash file. Thus, helping you detect as well as prevent fraud.
Additionally, many software helps you detect a forged e-signature. However, ensure that the software you use complies with International regulations for electronic signing.
Levels of Electronic Signatures
For more depth knowledge for you, electronic signatures come in three levels.
Basic or Simple electronic signatures (SES) are generally on web pages, but signers can apply them to any document to indicate acceptance. It can be a simple image of a text or a box stating, “I’m not a robot” The SES has the minimum requirement for an identity guarantee- with just two clicks, you get access to the document without going through the in-depth identity verification. So SES is cheap and easy to use, but there is also a risk of fraud.
Advanced e-signature has a slightly higher requirement than simple e-signature. It requires the identity of the signature to be specific to the signer, like the signer’s phone number or bank account number. This level of e-signature is applicable for significant financial transactions that need to be safe and secure from third parties invasion.
The qualified e-signature is the most advanced level of electronic signature security and requires specific technology to make them. It requires the absolute identification of the signer before giving access to the file. This method of e-signature is the most secure one but costly at the same time. Therefore, many businesses do not use qualified e-signature unless there is any high-value or risk agreement, such as ownership or transfer of real estate holdings.
In today’s digital world, electronic signatures are more efficient, advantageous, and preferred. When it comes to work, everyone wants to cut to the chase. So apart from saving time and resources, they boost productivity, ensure safety, and be eco-friendly.
While considering the above factors, whether you work with Simple, Advanced, or Qualified E-signatures, we think it’s only wise to opt for e-signatures over wet signatures. With no space for errors and no extra work, you will keep your workplace satisfied- and your customers!