The global health crisis derived from the COVID-19 pandemic has radically modified our working lives and many workers switched to remote working. For some time now, employees of different global companies wanted to work from home and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that home-based telework is possible without altering any existing business processes.
Before the pandemic, few workers had the chance to telework. In the European Union, according to data from the Organization, the impact of teleworking before the pandemic ranged from 30% in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, to 10% or less in the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, and Poland. However, the lockdown forced many companies to change their minds, almost 4 out of 10 workers in Europe began working from home. On average in Europe, 24% of employees began to telework full time.
In all this context, the electronic signature has positioned itself as a very useful tool to save time and streamline the day-to-day management of teleworkers.
How does the electronic signature contribute to teleworking?
The electronic signature brings many benefits to teleworking including:
- You can sign all kinds of documents such as agreements with clients, internal company documents (labour documents, financial documents, communications, etc.) and you can also carry out procedures with Public Administrations.
- With the electronic signature, it is possible to sign a document from anywhere and at any time. No need to travel.
- Delays are avoided when serving customers, thus increasing their satisfaction.
- Productivity and profitability of the company increases.
- It is committed to opt-out paper companies; hard copies are not required because the documents are stored in digital format, implementing a seamless document search.
Is it safe to use the electronic signature by teleworkers?
Teleworking means that employees use a personal computer, so there could be a cybersecurity risk if they are not sufficiently protected. To avoid cyber attacks it is essential:
- Use resources such as virtual private networks.
- Provide cybersecurity training to employees, so that they can take the necessary measures from home to avoid risks when using the electronic signature.
- Use the electronic signatures regulated by the European eIDAS Regulation that reinforces security preventing identity theft and ensuring no tampering has occurred. In this sense, the eIDAS Regulation regulates three types of signatures:
- Simple electronic signature. As stated in eIDAS Regulation, Article 3 an electronic signature, refers to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data and which is used by the signatory to sign.
- Advanced electronic signature. A type of esignature that must meet the specific requirements of article 26 of the eIDAS Regulation:
- It is uniquely linked to the signer.
- It is capable of identifying the signer.
- It is created using electronic signature creation data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control; and
- It is linked to the data signed therewith in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.
- A qualified electronic signature is an advanced electronic signature that is created by a qualified signature creation device and is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.
Discover what type of signature supports remote working
To know what type of electronic signature is best suited to teleworking, it is important to consider several aspects:
- It is important to choose the type of signature that provides the level of security that is needed depending on the task to be performed. For example, signing a delivery receipt or signing an agreement with a client may require different signatures.
- Choose the right electronic signature provider. It must be a provider providing a tool:
- Easy to use.
- To be legally valid
- Only the issuer and the trusted service provider act.
- To allow the process to be customized to suit to the company’s brand image.
- To compare proposals and select the one that best suits your company’s needs.
Departments and sectors to use remote electronic signature
The electronic signature can be used in all areas of the company and in all sectors. For example, it could be applied to health, banking, telecommunications, logistics, etc. On the other hand, the human resources or sales departments would be very good candidates to use the electronic signature remotely.
Summing up, it is a very flexible solution that can greatly facilitate remote work and increase employee productivity.
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