Shifting online: Five ways to create a mobile workforce

Creating a productive and remote workforce requires clear communication, seamless technology and software that supports the transformation. 

As more businesses adjust to the changes brought on by COVID-19, many are deciding to not be bound by a central physical location. Instead, employees are communicating and operating digitally.

But the idea of a mobile workforce goes well beyond simply working from home. 

“In 2022, we want to be as remote as possible. To achieve this, we will reduce our office floor space by 50%. This will help us transition into a hybrid working model,” says Kim Teo, BoardRoom’s Group CEO. “In the meantime, we will be discussing with staff to see if they want to work five days from home or if they’d prefer a balance.”

BoardRoom helps companies manage their backend operations, allowing for better efficiency and business growth. Its services include share registry services, looking after annual general meetings or extraordinary general meetings, long term incentive plans, payroll, accounting, tax and corporate secretarial services.

BoardRoom works with both listed and unlisted companies looking to streamline operations, reduce disruption and increase efficiency. 

“We pride ourselves on being a fast adopter, a creator and developer of technology platforms. We also strongly believe that technology can help the user experience and our experience,” says Kim.

Eight years ago, BoardRoom took a step further in embedding technology into its ecosystem – a move that would help future-proof and prepare it for remote work. 

BoardRoom’s five key strategies to achieving remote success 


Have a clear purpose

Influenced by enhanced sustainability efforts to cut down paper usage and a need for better efficiency, BoardRoom began its transformation by getting rid of the compactors in the office. Also known as 'the holy grail' to many employees.

The idea was to digitise all documentation and paperwork. The company wanted to re-engineer the way it did business and how it communicated with clients. 

Invest in technology 

Partnering with Docusign in 2018 led to mobility in the workplace, and with that, the start of a virtual office. 

The aim was to create a flexible workforce that’s not restricted by physical constraints - be it paper, an office, a desk or a chair. 

BoardRoom’s first step was to get rid of the inconveniences, such as the need for Kim’s physical presence to sign documents. 

“That’s when we looked at digital signatories, including the legalities. As different governments and jurisdictions adopt various interpretations of what is acceptable in the courts and what is not,” he says. 

BoardRoom also had the challenge of convincing its staff and clients to change. “Initially, only about 2,000 documents got signed via Docusign, and now it’s close to 5,000. You can see from the accelerated numbers that we’ve been successful in the adoption, and we continue to push for that,” Kim says. 

Docusign is used across the global business and is integrated into BoardRoom’s internal management system. Its reputation, pricing, ease of use and security were all the contributing elements that led BoardRoom to integrate the eSignature software.

Prepare your staff

The success of Docusign’s rollout also depended on several factors. “Our ecosystem had to have the correct setup. For example, five years ago, we stopped issuing desktops and only supplied laptops. So that staff could work from anywhere,” Kim says. 

He further notes that BoardRoom’s security, cyber systems and firewalls also had to be built up to adjust to remote work. 

When COVID hit, the company discouraged staff from returning to the office, which was in line with government restrictions and public health orders. “If they had to return, then they would need to provide a reason why. We track that,” Kim explains. 

“We have a team looking at all the reasons to see whether it’s because people don’t want to change, or is it something that we’re not offering?” 

Highlight the benefits

The addition of Docusign has brought the business many benefits, including contract and agreement preparedness reducing from 20 minutes to two minutes. 

Additionally, Kim can now sign the letters of engagement 24/7, without needing to be in the office. 

“We are also saving on time as we’re reducing the mundane processing work and substituting it for more strategic thought,” he explains.

Docusign was also one of the tools that allowed BoardRoom to transition entirely into a remote working business. 

During the pandemic BoardRoom has integrated Docusign into its processes, allowing clients an enhanced level of integration and a better user experience.

“We won major clients during this period and could expedite contracts, despite COVID, at a faster rate than in the normal circumstance,” Kim says. 

“This helped boost our confidence when we approached our clients about using Docusign. We’ve also not had any negative employee feedback. I think everyone appreciates not having to chase me to sign paperwork.”

Don’t stop innovating 

BoardRoom’s vision for the future is to continue its journey of innovation and forward-thinking. Kim confirms that the business will also continue investing in technology to deliver creative solutions to clients. 

“Everyone’s talking about the environment, social and governance front; ESG. And that is very much in vogue. We are looking at BoardRoom’s part in this. We represent about 1300 listed companies as clients. We can make an impact with our clients,” he says.

“We are living in a fast-changing world. And as an organisation, we must be prepared to be at the forefront of change. Our plan for 2022 is to continue to innovate, sign acquisitions and acquire other adjacent silos. Docusign allows for such growth.”