Report Even Fortune execs who mandate a return to office admit that it doesn’t improve productivity, finds Atlassian’s 40-page remote work report

tom_mai78101

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Ask any manager how they feel about flexible work, and you’ll get a number of different answers. For the more buttoned-up leaders like David Solomon and Jamie Dimon, any amount of remote work is an aberration, a distraction, and an excuse for workers to slack off—because they’re evading the watchful eye of a manager who would keep them in line.

Then there are the more lenient sorts—such as the leadership team of Australian software giant Atlassian, which steadfastly encourages a work-from-anywhere policy. In other words, it’s a “distributed work” model, which emphasizes how work happens, not where. They officially rolled out the program just shy of three years ago, publishing a retrospective report this week titled “Lessons Learned: 1,000 Days of Distributed at Atlassian,” which outlined the firm’s key learnings and contextualized them against the larger public sentiment.

For the report, Atlassian’s data team surveyed 5,000 internal employees about their feelings on the distributed plan and then worked outward, surveying 100 Fortune 1000 CEOs and 100 Fortune 500 CEOs. (While 200 is a small sample size, there are very few executive roles in those companies, making Atlassian’s representation fairly close to capturing that specific pool.)

Atlassian employees are big proponents of the distributed plan. Nearly all (92%) of the 5,000 respondents said the policy (zero mandated in-office days) is integral to their ability to carry out their best work, and 91% say it’s a banner reason that they’re staying at the firm.

CEOs aren’t far behind. Nearly all (99%) of the chief executives Atlassian surveyed said they believe that distributed work is the way of the future, and it’s only going to grow in popularity from here. That’s hardly a new feeling—and hardly a baseless prediction.

 
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