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How Atlassian is making remote work a priority, bucking the trend in tech

Source | | Salvador Rodriguez

In Atlassian’s Sydney office there’s a life-size cutout of Product Designer Vanessa De Coninck throwing up two peace signs. The cutout sits by her colleagues’ desks but is occasionally moved around for photos that make it look like she’s peeking from behind the office ferns.

“You know you’re not forgotten,” said De Coninck with a laugh. She works remotely for Atlassian out of her home office more than 500 miles away in Melbourne, Australia. “You know you’re a part of the team. There’s a really big effort behind it.”

De Coninck joined Atlassian in March as part of the enterprise software company’s Jira Service Desk team, the company’s first fully remote unit. The team was established as a pilot for a broader initiative to support remote workers in both the U.S. and Australia. The Australian company hopes this new project will give it an edge over competitors in recruiting talented employees who don’t want to move to expensive tech hubs like Sydney and San Francisco, where its main offices are based.

“We think that by doing remote we can tap into a whole new workforce that our competitors aren’t tapping into,” Atlassian Co-CEO Scott Farquhar told CNBC.

Atlassian Scott Farquhar
Atlassian Co-CEO Scott Farquhar said he believes catering to remote workers will give his company an edge over competitors in recruiting top talent.

Driven by Trello acquisition

Atlassian began exploring the idea of remote work after its 2017 $425 million acquisition of Trello, a project management service. At the time, Trello was primarily composed of remote staff. The company started thinking about expanding its roster of remote workers after it began to struggle with hiring in Australia.

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