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State of Collaboration in Education

Community Manager
Community Manager
Over the last year, Dropbox has teamed up with research house, Vanson Bourne, to learn how organisations collaborate around the world, to understand the challenges they face and the improvements they require to drive the business forward. We asked some of our Super Users to take a look at the research in the fields they know best. @Mark shared his thoughts on the education stats, as he is a teacher in the UK. 
 
According to the research 44% of staff, students and researchers have difficulty working on files collaboratively. This research was conducted before Covid-19, so we spoke to Mark about his experience and thoughts as a teacher, and how work has changed since schools were shut in the UK. 
 
“The biggest issue we’ve seen, as a teaching profession in secondary education, is that we were, simply put, not prepared for it. In my place of employment we are all quite solitary beasts in that we are in such small numbers collaboration is hard even at the best of times.”Challenges hampering productivity in higher education.Challenges hampering productivity in higher education.
 
According to the research, Mark isn’t alone, with 43% of people finding poor team alignment in the education sector, and 44% having difficulties working on files collaboratively. Whatever the system a school has, there seems to be room for improvement. 
 
“Most collaboration type stuff at the school I work at was around filling in forms and sharing data so this was done in spreadsheets and/or documents on the network, so that’s all had to change quickly. It definitely impacted how we could work together, so I would agree that a connected workspace would have not just improved things in general, but would have saved a lot of time during lockdown.”Connected workspaces in education could improve productivity, satisfaction, creativity and innovation.Connected workspaces in education could improve productivity, satisfaction, creativity and innovation.
“We’ve had to move quickly to using video conferencing, and that’s been a big change, and it’s expensive and not part of our routines yet so it’s there but only on top of group chats and emails galore! Everything is very much spread around and about now. It’s all very fragmented, so having a connected workspace in place would have been useful before but is essential now.”
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It seems that Mark’s workplace is in the same position many have found themselves lately - it was a good idea to implement a more collaborative way of working a while ago, but the quick and unplanned temporary shutdown showed that it is now crucial to ensure everyone in education can work together easily, remotely and successfully.
 
The Dropbox team has created a survey to find out how your group works collaboratively. Based on your group, you’ll receive a quick summary of what your result means, but also a report tailored to your organisation filled with insights, best practice and practical solutions. It will also show you how you compare to others in your industry and provide recommendations to help you achieve the next level of collaboration. 
 
You can also read about collaboration in more detail, and take a look at the other industries studied here. 
 
Do you think that a collaborative workspace would have made work more efficient recently in your industry? 
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