December 3, 2022


Committed to excellent business

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 means productivity—the invisible commodity that boosts employees’ contributions, satisfaction, and morale.

In an uncertain economic environment with a tight labor market, high productivity and morale go hand in hand: both critical to helping organizations hire and retain top talent. Today’s workforce is looking for purpose-driven work to strengthen the balance and wellness they need to support their organizations and themselves.

More than half of managers and employees see 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 in the survey said a more supportive work culture motivates them to stay with their employers.

Productivity for Peace of Mind

At the core of this meaningful work is productivity: the processes and technology that empower employees to contribute, strengthen teams’ workflow, and boost collaboration on new ideas and strategies at speed and at scale.

Productivity also illuminates a hidden fact: uncertainty has benefits. Organizations see uncertainty as an opportunity for digital transformation: introducing processes and meeting challenges with creativity and ingenuity. Among the enterprise managers in the survey, more than three quarters said uncertainty drives collaboration and innovation.

To that end, Adobe’s dedicated Digital Workplace Experience (DWx) group ensures that we orient all of our tools to our employees, rather than the other way around, so people can create and collaborate more effectively and equitably. Using such technology as enhanced virtual whiteboarding and video conferencing setups, our on-site and virtual teams can enjoy a seamless work experience.

Three organizations in financial services, health care, and the public sector illustrate the way enterprises have responded to uncertainty and driven transformation, using e-signature tools that improve experiences for customers and employees alike.

Faster Financial Transactions

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

With more than 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 crisis of the pandemic accelerated TSB’s need for fast solutions.

TSB had just completed its proof-of-concept (POC) on a range of self-service forms to let customers close accounts when the pandemic hit. Facing rapid branch lockdowns and a surging demand for its online services, TSB had to quickly bring its POC to market. Fortunately, it had the e-signature strategy and technology in place to do so.

In the months after lockdown began, the bank introduced 21 online self-service forms enabling e-signatures for functions including address changes, bereavement, and overdraft inquiries. 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 its call-center employees to handle complex queries.

Cutting Red Tape for Pharma

Few sectors have as urgent a need for efficiency and productivity as healthcare, because lives are often in the balance.

The global biotechnology company Regeneron researches and develops therapies and medicines for diseases and viruses including Ebola and Covid-19.

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

With several disciplines already finding efficiencies through an e-sign tool, Regeneron implemented the technology across the organization. For application services, adopting these familiar digital tools greatly sped up its document processing, reducing signing times of non-disclosure agreements, statements of work, and contracts by 96%.

Using e-sign software, a two-hour application process now takes less than five minutes. One Regeneron team calculated its switch to e-sign software as representing annual savings of $633,000 and 4,608 hours, as well as a significant reduction of paper waste and water consumption.

Government in Action

Norfolk County in England strove through digital transformation to become the best-connected county in the U.K., eliminating its paper and printing costs to speed up and maintain its operations and public services.

At first, the Norfolk County Council’s attempts at implementing e-signatures for paperless workflows met with low public adoption. The onset of the pandemic abruptly changed that, as digital paperwork and e-signatures became vital to keeping operations running after the switch to remote and hybrid work.

The new digital technology gave Norfolk residents a seamless user experience, backed by robust technical support, that helped the county government integrate e-signatures into its infrastructure. Norfolk County estimates the automated signing software helps it save 4.5 days a month and has shortened one 45-minute process for preparing legal documents to just 12 minutes.

Easing Stress for Customers and Employees

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

In an unpredictable labor market, employees at organizations that invest in digital solutions are twice as likely to say innovation has improved their work-life balance, the survey showed. Seven in 10 managers and employees in the survey said digital productivity tools give them peace of mind and ease their stress. And for the great majority of employees, having a supportive work culture contributes to their decisions to stay.

When your organization supports its workforce with the digital tools they need, you may find employees feeling more engaged and more innovative. When that translates to higher morale, you can heighten your productivity and turbocharge business growth.

Learn more about The Future of Time report and how businesses can use digital tools to best support their workforce.

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