2021 Will Redefine Our Understanding of Productivity

2021 Will Redefine Our Understanding of Productivity

December 8, 2020

Head of Adobe Document Cloud APAC Chandra Sinnathamby discusses deployment of workflows and how it can help build effective remote-working teams.

By Chandra Sinnathamby

If remote work wasn’t part of your life before, it most certainly is now. COVID-19 has inflated the ranks of the remote workforce to unprecedented numbers. Even as vaccines are being developed and we return to some sense of normalcy, many companies are shifting to a remote work model for good.

While a remote (or hybrid) workforce brings benefits such as cost savings on rental and more flexibility for employees, it comes with its own set of challenges. After months of working from home, many employees are starting to feel fatigued and unproductive. According to Forrester, 65 percent of senior APAC decision makers report that the lack of adequate technology is impacting employee productivity.

At Adobe, remote work arrangements have been part of the way we work for some time, even before the pandemic.

Business continuity was the first order of business when the pandemic struck and stay-home restrictions were enforced. Now, business leaders are turning their attention to collaboration continuity.

Leaders realised early in the pandemic that they would need to create opportunities for employees to connect with one another, and social activities such as virtual lunches, happy hours and online team-building games were introduced. While these are important both for morale and to create a sense of creative collaboration, they don’t replace the informal day-to-day work interactions from which creative ideas often spark.

This is where digital document workflows can supplement employee collaboration and help stimulate creativity in a remote setting. By providing digital tools that allow employees to easily capture, edit, annotate, and share their ideas with others – whether on their desktop or mobile devices – they can easily move from ideation to execution in a virtual environment.

Of the businesses that have started implementing digital document workflows, more than half of respondents are already indicating more effective collaboration when working remotely. Digital document processes are fast becoming standard practice, with business leaders predicting that the benefits of increased employee collaboration will last beyond the pandemic.

During periods of economic uncertainty like we’re currently facing, customer retention is crucial. Over a quarter of Forrester respondents in APAC report that their customers may take their business elsewhere due to the lack of digital alternatives to service them, resulting in an alarming 43 percent of revenue at risk.

For many organisations, external workflows and experiences are strongly linked to revenue generation. Whether it’s sales contracts, partner or supplier agreements or quotes, fully digitized end-to-end document solutions – including scan and edit, cloud-based storage and tracking, and e-signature apps that integrate with existing IT infrastructure – can help secure and expedite revenue generation, providing a solid advantage in a volatile market.

In a remote setting, when employees are equipped with the right digital document tools they need to continue their customer interactions with, they will be more empowered to make an impact.

Even as technology improves learning and productivity, many scientific studies have built up a convincing body evidence that points to reading comprehension on screens being less effective compared to reading from paper mediums. As more organisations step up efforts in going paperless, this could be a potential downside.

Fortunately, as technology advances, digital document formats can now also be optimised to enhance the on-screen reading experience, making it easier to consume and even extract document intelligence.

Take the PDF for example. Adobe recently debuted Liquid Mode that delivers a breakthrough reading experience for PDF on mobile, whereby it can automatically reformat text, images, and tables for quick navigation and consumption on small screens.

Intuitive documents and digital workflows are changing the game and making productivity even more attainable for the remote workforce. Market volatility will continue to happen into 2021. It is a crucial time for business and IT leaders to build workflows that can adapt to remote working, save costs and support team collaboration in any work situation.

(Ed. Featured image courtesy of Startup Stock Photos.)

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