It’s been almost a year since many businesses shifted to remote work. For many employers, this was a necessity during the rolling lockdowns. Employees were able to keep working and employers were able to keep operating in some way thanks to telecommuting and other technologies.
As the year mark approaches, many are now realizing that WFH and other remote arrangements are here to stay. Whether your place of business is going to be remote for the foreseeable future or you’re going to have a flexible hybrid workforce, it’s time to make sure you have the technology and policies in place to support it.
One of those technologies should be a human resources information system, or HRIS. You also need policies about e-signatures, which the HRIS can support.
What Are e-Signatures?
Electronic signatures, or e-signatures, are an important part of the remote office. With proper policy supporting them, you can smooth the process of signing off on even the most important documents.
A benefit of the office was the ease of signing contracts and other important documents. You have a paper copy couriered to the office, then sign it and return it to the sender. You could also print a paper copy off, sign it, and then scan it and email it back to the requester.
You might also store signed paper copies in filing drawers, such as employee consent forms stored in a personnel folder.
With the rise of remote work, this situation became far more complicated. Does your employee have a printer at home? What about a scanner or fax to send the documents back?
The whole process of printing, signing, scanning, and faxing is outdated, even if you’re not working remotely. Electronic signatures cut out the need for a paper copy. That then eliminates concerns about printers, toner, and even scanners and fax machines.
An e-signature is an official version of the employee’s signature that they agree to use electronically. This allows them to sign off on documents in an official capacity, and the document will hold legal weight. An e-signature can be as simple as typing the employee’s name in a particular field, along with the date and ticking a consent box. That box usually indicates the employee agrees that the typed version of their name is an “official signature.”
With the rise of tablet technology, handwritten e-signatures are also becoming more popular. An employee with a stylus and a touch screen can write out their signature. The program converts their signature to an image file, which they can then approve and use to sign off on various documents.
How the HRIS Helps with e-Signatures
As you can see, e-signatures are an important part of the remote workplace. In the HR department, you may require signatures from employees for many different reasons. A new hire may have to sign an employment agreement. They might also need to sign off on benefits or a policy saying they’ve read, reviewed, and understand what’s expected of them.
Your existing employees might need to sign off on similar HR documents, such as updated policies or workplace safety training.
In the remote environment, an e-signature ensures these tasks are completed. The HRIS can assist you in keeping track of them, including which documents have been signed. It also tracks which ones still need to be signed.
In turn, the HRIS is the perfect tool for helping you deliver those documents you need signed. It also offers a way to help validate e-signatures, as well as store documents.
Do You Have the Technology You Need for Remote Work?
As you can see, e-signatures are a necessity in the remote workplace. The HRIS is the perfect tool to help you manage both e-signatures and everything you need to do with them.
A human resources information system could help you do more than that. Learn more about how an HRIS can help you turn the remote workplace into the most productive workplace of all.