2020 has changed the way we live, work and play. Over the year we've covered stories about work, the impact of COVID-19 to the APJ region, and a whole lot of new technology. These are the top 5 stories on Drop Everything this year.

5. The Black Lives Matter movement in Australia

Our 5th most read story of the year took place in the middle of COVID-19, while Australia was in full lockdown. In June of 2020, while the United States were gripped by ongoing protests and the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, we spoke to our Dropbox Foundation Partner the Human Rights Law Centre about racial inequality in Australia.

The story focused on how Australian law and order impacts members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities in our country through increased levels of imprisonment, unfair treatment at the hands of police, and a vast difference in the amount of deaths in custody.

A few of the key statistics:

You can read that full story, as well as more about the work of the Human Rights Law Centre here.

4. What does it take to lead a business through a crisis?

Leadership is a challenge for any business, finding the right leaders who will inspire teams, lead projects and provide a face to the business. At Dropbox, our local leaders help to keep the region moving in the same direction, while filtering the messages that come down from our global teams. As COVID-19 was changing the way businesses work across the country, we though it was a perfect time to talk about leadership styles, and what makes a good leader in a crisis.

Using the COVID-19 crisis as a start, we spoke to three of our APJ leaders, Koki Igarashi, Head of Asia pacific and Japan, Jennifer Reddington, Business Manager Asia Pacific and Japan as well as Su Hock Koh, Head of Business and Partners, Asia.

The lessons they shared ranged from emergency crisis management, to local government engagement and keeping teams connected and engaged for the long haul.

To read more about their leadership styles, and tips for new leaders, check out the full story here.

3. Groundfloor to the penthouse - How Southbase Construction is overhauling the construction industry

Southbase Construction has been helping redefine the New Zealand skyline since 2013, and has been looking most recently at how technology can improve the construction industry. In our 3rd most read story of the year, we spoke to three senior leaders at Southbase about what the biggest trends have been in the construction industry in New Zealand as well as Australia, and how they separate themselves from the competition.

One of the largest complications for the construction industry has been the use of paper. Construction sites go through reams and reams of paper in the printing of plans, contracts, pitch documents and when you have twenty sites across New Zealand, keeping the most recent documents up to date can be a hassle.

To solve this problem, the team rolled out Dropbox on portable devices on each site to view the latest plans, they use HelloSign for contracts and to work with suppliers and they have systems in place to ensure the online versions of the doc are up to date.

By cutting down on their use of paper and moving their teams onto a digital platform, Southbase has saved thousands of dollars in supplies, and saved time and hassle in team and project management.

Check out the full story to hear how they did it and get some tips here

2. Making Distributed Work Feel Human

Counting down to our 2nd most read story of 2020 - towards the end of March, members of our customer marketing, customer success and engineering teams came together to share some of the most common tips they'd discovered for teams just starting with Distributed Work. 

This story covered off tactics for teams that are just starting to work remotely, including cutting down on email, finding time for social events as well as boosting collaboration using remote tools. 

However, the crux of this article is in lessons for businesses that are trying to make their remote office more effective than it currently is.

The story includes tips for using Dropbox as a storage system to replace traditional file servers as well as a collaboration tool using Dropbox paper.

If you're after some tips and tricks, you can find the whole story here.

1. How to continue working together when we can't be together - lessons from our Asia team

Our most read story of 2020 is a very human story, focused on how individuals are learning to live, work and maintain relationships all from home. While our Sydney team began working remotely in response to COVID-19 in March, our Singapore and Japanese teams had been working remotely for at least a month prior to this. 

For the sales, marketing and public relations teams, this provided huge changes to the way that they work immediately. In each of these markets, sales, press engagements and events traditionally take places in person. And for each of these teams that meant overhauling not only how and when they work, but the very nature of their work. 

This story from March spoke to Michael Hanna, then head of Marketing for APJ, May Dee Bautista from the Dropbox Singapore sales team as well as Asuka Nagai from the comms team. Through this story we looked at the first few months of lockdown and the lessons they'd each learned, about how to collaborate with teams by distance, managing your personal working hours as well as how to build exercise into your days at home. 

Read the full story here

2020 has been a massive year for everyone across Australia and around the world. So wherever you are, we hope that you find some downtime this holiday season, spend time with family and recharge - because we're excited for what 2021 will bring.