UK manufacturing decision makers wasting time on valueless tasks, Dropbox reveals


On average, business and IT decision makers from UK manufacturing organisations waste 30% of their time at work on tasks that do not add critical value. This is according to Vanson Bourne research commissioned by Dropbox - "The State of Collaboration” – which revealed that monotonous admin is starving UK manufacturing businesses of innovation.

The findings revealed that decision makers in the modern workplace are spending too much time on administrative tasks, which is preventing them from focusing their time on creative activities and being productive. As a result, almost a third (31%) said that increasing employee productivity is a main priority for the business over the next 12 months. But in order to do this, the majority (85%) said they need the ability to meet the various collaborative working needs of different teams. 

“The pace of technological change has us racing around from morning until night, working every minute and attempting to squeeze as much as we can out of a day. With concerns about a burnout epidemic on the rise, the way we work needs to change,” said Adrienne Gormley, Head of EMEA, Dropbox. “With decision makers being time poor, it is of paramount importance that organisations can reduce this waste and maximise the amount of time that their employees are allocating towards creative and business critical activities.” 

Recognising the problem is a good start, with over half (53%) believing that significant or large improvements are needed when it comes to collaborative working across teams. That’s because, for over eight-in-10 (81%), the organisation’s ability to manufacture on time depends on the collaborative tools they use to communicate with internal teams, suppliers, and contractors. But, given the challenges that could arise as a result of this need for improvement, 80% agree that the senior leadership team at their organisation need to place more emphasis on the importance of good collaborative working. 

Although moving towards a more collaborative working culture will not be simple, the research found that a connected workspace, which brings together people, tools, content and the conversations around them, can lay the groundwork for a collaborative culture, whilst driving the organisation forward in the process. In fact, 94% say that a connected workspace that does all of these things would improve business results and the way that their teams work. 

As such, collaboration tools are among the biggest investment priorities for almost a third (31%) over the next 12-24 months. And it’s money well prioritised - investment in a unified workspace will not only save time and increase efficiency (54%), it will also increase both employee productivity (51%) and product development (37%). 

“There are so many upsides to implementing a collaborative working culture, and the organisations who recognise this and take timely action to encourage it, will find themselves ahead of those who fail to recognise the importance,” said Adrienne Gormley, Head of EMEA, Dropbox. “But as much as the prospect of a streamlined, focused future is appealing, it is clear that businesses first need to stop, hit re-start, and work with solutions that reduce the noise, not add to it.” 


Dropbox commissioned independent market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake the research. A total of 2,500 business and IT decision makers were interviewed during the summer of 2019. All respondents are from organisations with 250 or more employees, and they must collaborate with at least one person on a daily basis and also use software and applications to get their work done. 

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