E-signatures now the norm for eight in 10 UK office workers — DocuSign

With remote working ushering in multiple changes in office practices, e-signatures are now playing a major role in daily lives and business workflows, according to the research from DocuSign.

55% of office workers based in the UK said they had signed documents electronically on a computer in 2020, while 23% had used a mobile device, and 18% with pen and paper.

There has also been a shift in the types of agreements that are being confirmed; alongside traditional contracts, such as purchase orders (26%) and scopes of work (14%), 25% of respondents have signed new employment contracts this year, followed by mortgages (22%) and even marriage certificates (11%).

Of those who had signed agreements in the past year, 42% had done so at home, while 22% were watching TV during the process, 12% were in bed, and 10% in the car.

The DocuSign research also asked UK office workers about their attire, to which 44% said they were wearing casual clothing, while 38% said they were wearing loungewear or sportswear.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, the majority of UK officers (32%) have been visualising a contract being signed on an electronic device, while only 6% see a physical handshake being involved.

Before the crisis started, the actions that first came to mind when thinking about agreements were signing a contract with pen and paper (27%), followed by a handshake (17%).

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“The past 12 months have challenged businesses in ways none of us thought possible,” said Scott Olrich, COO of DocuSign.

“To stay operational, companies have had to continue to adapt and become more resilient — and we’ve seen a large proportion benefit from digitising the way they sign and manage their agreements with customers, partners or employees.

“The ability to do business from almost anywhere, on almost any device, has never been more important.”

1,000 UK professionals who had signed an agreement in the past 12 months were surveyed by DocuSign in December 2020.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.