Living with the legacy

The pandemic is largely over but we continue to live with its legacy. Arguably the greatest impact it has had is on our daily working patterns. It’s true that there’s still no substitute for pressing the flesh, and historically, the idea of remote working has been considered inappropriate and unlikely.

Technology evolves at pace, and the advent of secure cloud-based services has facilitated online collaboration and resource-sharing in a way that would have been hard to conceive just a few years ago. Even so, until the start of the third decade of this century, onsite working remained the norm with messaging platforms such as Google, Microsoft, Slack and Zoom being perceived as enhancements – albeit fabulous ones – to our traditional day to day, office-based environment.

Cue COVID-19

The pandemic changed all that.

Any stigma that previously surrounded remote working has evaporated. Face to face meets are rare. As companies seek to shrink overheads and rent space from managed offices for one or maybe two days a week, proprietorial premises are increasingly a thing of the past. Gone are the days when freelancers and contractors had to pretend to work in the vicinity.

It’s more complicated than that of course. As we’ve grown accustomed to the new normal, on-site working is increasing, with employers expecting to see staff on corporate premises possibly two or three days a week. It’s not so common to be fully remote, and hybrid working is today’s style du jour.

Embracing the global workplace

Thanks to our newly mobile workplace, the boundaries which constrain and constrict the global workplace really are falling away. Whether Teams, Zoom or Google Chat is your collaboration platform of choice, chances are there’s a wealth of nations on your call.  In order to accommodate different time zones, we’re always online – calls and virtual meetings start early and finish late. Strangely, the wealth of technology to which we’ve grown accustomed, actually results in a dearth of time. We’re becoming increasingly time-poor as the working day bleeds into the wee small hours at both ends of the day.

To exacerbate the situation, top talent is in short supply, and so our workloads are increasing. More than ever, automation can help. Increasing adoption of automated tasks is key to ensure we manage our hours effectively and ringfence our precious free time.

The wonders of automation

There are lots of ways in which a raft of industries can embrace the technological wonders which comprise automation. AI and ML can mitigate for many of the manual tasks which previously consumed our time. Individually or together, they can save time and money, and by ironing out human error, also reduce risk. Automation is not a substitute for every kind of human interaction and concerns – merited or not – remain about robotic takeover. However, for most of us, when it comes to the automation of previous manual tasks, it’s a help rather than a hindrance or even a sinister threat. When the human element is removed, any associated reduction of risk is generally music to the ears of most businesses, whether large or small.

Contract management software

When it comes to contracts, automation probably IS the holy grail. Effective contract management can be the difference between survival or failure. Legal ramifications can’t be under-estimated and human error can be very costly.

We’d like to make a case for contract management software.

Smart contract management solutions offer automated compliance, advanced analytics and real time contract visibility to help enterprises manage admin, support new and existing customers and keep abreast of compliance requirements.

Four Business Solutions offer Contract Insight, energy and utilities contract management software which helps suppliers with document management, contract drafting, reports and analytics, tracking, workflow and contract negotiation.

If you want to maximise your business agility, your contracts, and your ROI in this volatile market, Four can help by bringing your entire contract ecosystem onto our contract management platform.

Why not get in touch? We’d be delighted to help.