An executive assistant's guide to getting documents signed while working from home

By Charlie Cowan – Strategic Enterprise AE at DocuSign

An executive assistant's guide to getting documents signed while working from home

Being an executive assistant to a senior executive is one of the toughest jobs around - juggling calendars, scheduling appointments and getting paper in front of your executive to get signed.

In the past, this might have been a case of popping into your executive’s office with a stack of papers and saying, “If you can please sign here, here…and here.”

Now,  many businesses and employees are learning a new way of working. 

For executive assistants and personal assistants who can’t knock on the office door anymore, here are some tips to help you get documents signed fast while working from home. 

1. Create a DocuSign account

First you need to have an account.  If your company is already a DocuSign customer then great, you can ask your administrator to set you up as a user.  If you are not sure if you are a DocuSign customer, ask your IT team. Or, contact DocuSign directly and one of our team members can let you know.

If you are not an existing DocuSign customer, the quickest way to get going is to set up a single user account using a company credit card. You’ll be ready to go in minutes.

2. Familiarise yourself with the platform

DocuSign is exceptionally user friendly. Once you’ve sent one or two documents, you’ll be a professional.  We’ve created a couple of easy 2 minute videos to show you how to send an envelope, and how your executive can sign an envelope. 

If you need more information, we recommend reading the below: 

3. Get documents signed by your executive and other team members 

As the executive assistant, you can log in to DocuSign and create the ‘envelope’ that needs to be signed by your executive or other team members.  This simplifies the process and makes it really easy for your executive to sign. 

A few things to know:

  • An envelope can contain multiple documents. If you need to get multiple documents signed in one go (just as you might do in their office), then you can add all documents to the same envelope.  
  • However, if these documents relate to completely different topics (i.e. one is a job offer approval and one is a new supplier contract) you can treat them as different envelopes. This way they can each follow their own path with alternative third party signers. 
  • Your executive doesn’t need to have a DocuSign account in order to sign documents.  Neither does anyone else that you might need to sign. What’s more, you can have multiple people sign one document at the same time, whether they work at your organisation, or for a different company. 
  • If your executive has a stored signature, then you’re able to help your executive to upload this when they sign.  But they don’t need to - they can just squiggle away on their mobile or use one of our standard signatures. It is still legally binding, regardless of what the signature looks like. 
  • Your executive can do more than just sign. If they would have been asked to initial a document, or to view and approve a document before someone else signs it then you can do exactly that.
  • Because you’re the one creating the envelope, you’ll receive an email with the signed document as soon as your executive completes their part of the process.  You can then store the signed copy or forward it on as you would normally do.
  • If you’re sending a number of envelopes to your executive you may want to ask them to download the DocuSign app from the App Store or Play Store.  This will make it even easier for them to sign documents on their phone.

Finally, ask for help.  Many executive assistants are going through this learning process, and we’re here to help.  We have a huge amount of support online - so if you get stuck just visit and you’ll be getting documents signed in no time.