Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur
090 Team Anywhere: The Atlassian approach to distributed work

090 Team Anywhere: The Atlassian approach to distributed work

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Atlassian just released a report based on over three years of its official location policy that says employees can choose where they work. They call it Team Anywhere. Atlassians, as people who work at Atlassian are known, have been able to choose to work from home, in one of their 12 global offices, a mix of both, or somewhere else entirely (within some stated parameters). 

This report documents Atlassian’s experience, results, and a copy of its location policy. 

In this episode, I share four main takeaways that Rebel Intrapreneurs can use to influence the cultures in their organizations.

Takeaway #1: The RTO crowd is analog native. The distributed crowd is digital native

Borrowing a concept from Christopher Lochhead, analog natives and digital natives have a fundamental difference in worldview. Analog natives want people to come back to the office because in-person means in the office. Digital natives don’t want to come back to the office because in person means any means by which people communicate with each other; online or off. 

The best example of this tension is manifested in a corporate video released by a company called Internet Brands, which is the parent company of WebMD. It is a video of the analog natives communicating with the digital natives and the conflict that has yet to be resolved.

Time will tell. 

Takeaway #2: As Atlassian says, teams are already distributed

Let’s face it, many companies and teams are already distributed and have been for a long time.  Companies like Accenture have largely been distributed for decades and have grown to multi-billion businesses. So the question is not, where do we get our best work done, but HOW!

Companies that prioritize where are fighting an inevitable wave washing distributed work architectures onto the beach.

Takeaway #3: We should also admit that it’s easier to be distributed when our product is digital 

It is difficult to work remotely when a company has factories and inventory and physical products and warehouses and retail stories. You cannot make or serve coffee remotely.

So let’s admit: For some types of businesses, distributed work works. For others it does not. 

Of course that does not mean digital product companies automatically choose remote work. Notion, which makes collaboration software, hires people (On-Site) and makes this clear in their job postings. Atlassian, which makes similar software, has distributed location policy. 

Different strokes for different folks.  

Takeaway #4: Rebel Intrapreneurs can use this report to both influence their company culture and to evaluate new work opportunities

How can a rebel intrapreneur use this report? I think of this in two ways:

  1. As a leader running teams and culture (distributed or centralized); AND

  2. As a high performing employee seeking places to work. 

As a leader running teams

Whether you work in a distributed workplace already or want to make the case for being more distributed, understanding the data in this report can help you 1) make your case for a distributed work culture; and 2) design a work culture that improves performance and engagement.  

As a rebel intrapreneur seeking a new opportunity

You can use this report, combined with your personal preferences, to analyze opportunities asking questions about flexibility, work culture, location policy, focus on where versus how work gets done, and how the company and the hiring manager operates its work culture. Rebel Intrapreneurs should look for contrasts between written company policies and what hiring managers say. 

A fundamental principle of the Rebel Intrapreneur is to further the mission of the organization. Finding a culture and mission to further is critical to our success. Use this Atlassian report to ask questions and find the fit for you.

Resources and more about 1,000 Days of Distributed at Atlassian: 

Atlassian Team Anywhere Annie Dean Rebel Intrapreneur Bill Cushard Return to Office RTO Remote Work Work from Home WFH

Today’s episode is brought to you by Figma. Two important tools of the Rebel Intrapreneur are the business model canvas and the value proposition canvas. Figma has templates for both, so you can design your innovation projects fast. I used the value proposition canvas template to design the listener profile and value map for this show. Try Figma for free

More about Bill:

Bill Cushard on Linkedin

Bill Cushard on Twitter

Rebel Intrapreneur podcast website

Bill’s book: The Art of Agile Marketing: A Practical Roadmap for Implementing Kanban and Scrum in Jira and Confluence 

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Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur is a podcast about a new category of high performing employee. Rebel intrapreneurs further the mission of an organization while simultaneous challenging the system from within. Founders and entrepreneurs are thirsty to find people who believe in their mission as much as they do, and pursue that mission relentlessly. Rebel Intrapreneur is hosted by Bill Cushard, who has reported directly to founder/CEOs four times in his career, which makes him an ideal guide on your intrapreneurial journey.