Australian employers ‘have no plan’

This article originally appeared in The Australian

David Swan, The Australian

1 July 2020

New research shows that while than nine in ten (91 per cent) of workers are happy with their company’s performance when it comes to adapting to the challenges of COVID-19, only 20 per cent say those employers are prepared for the new way of working.

The survey of 2,000 Australian office workers, conducted by Docusign, found that most employees are satisfied with their bosses, but skeptical about their ability to adequately plan for the future.

“It’s surprised me a bit just how happy people were with their company’s reactions to the pandemic,” Docusign chief executive Dan Springer told The Australian.

“Three quarters of respondents thought that COVID-19 will change the way they work forever, so what customers need to do now is accept that this is not back to the old normal, this is the new normal. And I think the tricky part is, I don’t think we know what the new normal is.

“The answer is to be open to that fact and be flexible. Your employees are going to ask you to operate in a different way.”

The research also found 85 per cent of workers say new styles of working have a positive impact on how their business operates, while 71 per cent would use this period to redefine how they work in the future.

Docusign, like fellow software companies Zoom and Slack, has seen silver linings in the COVID-19 pandemic with the company’s share price up more than 200 per cent since the health crisis hit.

Mr Springer said Docusign, which provides e-signature tools and cloud-based agreement functionality, was well positioned to capitalise on the ‘new normal’.

“We’ve had this acceleration with our growth, and work from home has accelerated how the market opportunity looks for Docusign,” Mr Springer said. “There’s a little bit more pressure, I want to make sure our shareholders get positive returns. I think about the investors buying today, and I want to go even higher in the long run. Short term, I don’t worry about fluctuations too much, but in the long run I want to deliver for our investors.

“I smile a little bit when I see the stock go up but I mostly focus on just getting back to business, knowing that the only reason that it’s going to keep going up is if we deliver great customer success.”