Global document productivity company Nitro Software (ASX: NTO) released the first installment of its Future of Work report, which highlights the increasing importance of digital tools in helping knowledge workers in the world’s largest industries stay productive during the global pandemic as much of the world has moved to remote work. Insurance, banking, construction, and real estate are amongst the industries that have undergone the biggest shift from paper to digital workflows due to COVID-19, according to new data in the report.
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As countries activated national responses to COVID-19, Nitro Analytics showed a rapid reduction in printing and an immediate surge in digitization. (Graphic: Business Wire)
Nitro has seen a marked increase in demand for its digital workflow solutions, including Nitro Sign, which was recently launched as a standalone electronic signature solution available at no cost through the remainder of 2020, to help businesses worldwide seamlessly transition to support remote workforces.
Nitro Founder & CEO, Sam Chandler, said the company’s recent and increasing uptick in usage has been largely driven by the changing nature of work, which he believes is here to stay.
“Companies and teams have quickly seen the benefits of embracing digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, from cost and productivity improvements, to employee satisfaction. As the trend continues, we are increasingly interested in how this ‘new normal’ will impact work more broadly, particularly around wellbeing, stress and satisfaction for employees.”
The Future of Work report leverages data from Nitro Analytics, the business intelligence offering within the Nitro Productivity Suite, to identify four (4) emerging trends:
- Printing has massively declined
- Migration to digital workflows has been expedited
- Electronic signing and digital collaboration have accelerated
- Work has spread outside of normal business hours
Is this the end of printing?
Since the start of the pandemic-driven lockdowns, the report demonstrated a 42 per cent decline in printing in the US. According to Nitro’s earlier research prior to the transition to remote work due to COVID-19 restrictions, around half of global knowledge workers signed, approved, or mailed paper documents, with 70 per cent of these respondents also printing on paper and 60 per cent scanning paper documents as part of their daily work routine.
Gerard Ding, Head of Information Technology ANZ at JLL said digital tools such as Nitro have been key to enabling the business to remain productive during this period:
“With many of our staff not having printers at home, we’ve seen a marked shift in terms of their increased use of digital tools— and electronic signatures in particular—in order to help maintain business continuity and optimize efficiencies in this new way of working.”
Enterprises embrace digital signing, see time and cost savings
The Nitro research comes as banks, the property industry, and core business groups push the government to make the COVID-19 emergency changes permanent moving forward, which will allow important documents, such as mortgage contracts, to be executed electronically without physical witnesses, reducing costs and processing times for both businesses and their customers.
This sentiment is bolstered by Nitro’s Future of Work research data from February to April 2020, which reported signatures were returned 43 per cent faster across all document types, including contracts, invoices, and SOWs. Since the transition, electronic signature requests have spiked by 200 per cent, and the use of digital annotation and collaboration features have increased by 61 per cent.
The Future of Work report also indicated that while work hours have not increased overall, they have begun to fall outside of the typical 9-5. In 2019, around 10 per cent of work fell outside of work hours, while the latest data indicates this figure is now closer to 20 per cent.
Nitro is continuing to conduct research in this area and will release the findings in the coming months in a part-two of the report.
For the full report, visit www.gonitro.com/future-of-work-part-1.
For more information, visit www.gonitro.com
Nitro is a global document productivity software company driving digital transformation in organizations around the world across multiple industries. The Company’s core solution, the Nitro Productivity Suite, provides integrated PDF productivity, eSignature and business intelligence (BI) tools to customers through a horizontal, SaaS and desktop-based software suite. Nitro’s software solution is highly scalable, serving large multinational enterprises and government agencies, as well as small business and individual users. Nitro has over 2 million licenses sold, and over 11,000 Business Customers in 144 countries around the world, including global market leaders across multiple industries, over 65% of the 2019 Fortune 500, and two of the 2019 Fortune 10. Nitro is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Dublin, London and Melbourne.