Tech

Atlassian tells employees they can work from home forever

Key Points
  • Facebook and Google have told employees they can work from home through the summer of 2021.
  • Atlassian informed its nearly 5,000 employees this week that it's going further by not asking them to come back to offices.
Atlassian co-founders and co-CEOs Mike Cannon-Brookes, left, and Scott Farquhar.
Atlassian

Software company Atlassian isn't getting rid of its offices. It's just telling employees they don't have to return to them.

It's a bold choice, even among technology companies that can operate virtually as the coronavirus pandemic rolls on. SquareTwitter and Zillow have announced similar plans for many of their employeesFacebook and Google have been less drastic. Both told workers they would be able to keep working from home through the summer of 2021.

Besides freeing up current employees, the new approach could help with hiring outside major areas where the company would ordinarily have to pay generously while competing with other major companies.

"We will seek out amazing, diverse talent unbounded by the physical footprint of our offices," the company said in an internal blog post published on Wednesday. "We will continue to compete for talent in the global hubs, and we will be able to create opportunities for those in places we would have previously not been able to reach."

Atlassian's products help software developers and others keep track of code, projects, issues and other work. One of Atlassian's competitors, privately held GitLab, has never had an office despite having grown past 1,000 people.

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Atlassian won't be closing its offices, though. 

All of its locations, including its headquarters in Sydney, Australia, as well as locations in San Francisco, Amsterdam, India, Japan, the Philippines and Turkey, will remain open, and the company expects to adjust them so they can be used efficiently. Employees will be welcome to return to the offices should they want to use them.

Some details of Atlassian's plan have yet to be finalized. The company hasn't decided how compensation might change for employees who relocate to other regions, nor has it figured out the right number of people to work in each time zone to ensure a sufficient amount of overlap.

Atlassian will measure outcomes, rather than the number of hours each person spends working, according to the blog post.

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