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20 July 2017

No free coffee for employees at new HQ

Incorporating an indoor garden introduced some life into the office environment.

EVEN though it’s currently valued at more than $A10 billion, Australia’s most successful tech company doesn’t supply its staff with coffee in its swanky new offices in Sydney’s CBD.

But don’t let the lack of arabica beans fool you, Atlassian has created an office environment that is bound evoke some serious envy when compared to how you spend your nine to five.

The new offices, located at 363 George Street, embody everything you would expect from the country’s most successful tech company — including giving staff free access to a fully-catered kitchen complete with an ice cream freezer.

How can a company give its staff unlimited access to a plethora of snacks, but not coffee?
According to head of workplace experience at Atlassian Brent Harman, it’s all about encouraging the staff to get some fresh air on a daily basis.

“If we had coffee, people would likely just walk to the kitchen and back to their desk,” he told news.com.au.

“It’s not a money thing or productivity thing, it’s more about creating a reason for small groups of staff to get out of the office for the 15 minute breaks in the morning or afternoon.”

That kitchen is stocked more than my corner store.

That kitchen is stocked more than my corner store.Source:Supplied

Some workplaces have a dry office, Atlassian has a bar.

Some workplaces have a dry office, Atlassian has a bar.Source:Supplied

Take note of the ice cream freezer bottom right.

Take note of the ice cream freezer bottom right.Source:Supplied

Drink fridge, snacks, cereal, hot food, bread and fruit. What a spread.

Drink fridge, snacks, cereal, hot food, bread and fruit. What a spread.Source:Supplied

Ridiculous kitchen aside, the rest of the office is equally as impressive and innovative in nature.

Mr Harman said the entire space was a physical manifestation of the Atlassian business, with the company’s core values working as design principles.

“We wanted to create a space where our core values could be a lived experience, because we believe that is infinitely more valuable than printed words on a cup,” he said.

“You won’t look around and see a couch or table as a standout, instead you will see people brining their friends and family up for lunch or to hang out.

“This shows people are really proud of the office and want to share the experience, which will create stories that become folklore that define what our company is.”

A nice calming view when you exit the elevator

A nice calming view when you exit the elevatorSource:Supplied

The iPads are used to sign visitors in, but it's a very relaxed, hassle free entrance.

The iPads are used to sign visitors in, but it’s a very relaxed, hassle free entrance.Source:Supplied

‘Open company, no bullshit’ is a motto of the company and this open space reflects that.

‘Open company, no bullshit’ is a motto of the company and this open space reflects that.Source:Supplied

When it came to deciding who came to work at the new office, Atlassian included designers, support stuff and engineers.

“We basically social engineered people in the building so we had an eclectic mix because we are very big believers that diversity makes for very healthy innovation,” he said.

“We followed our teams, performed interviews, looked at their work calendars and used that data to refine what work spaces we needed for each of the different work group based on how they spent their time.”

Atlassian believe a successful business is all about using 80 per cent of tried and tested approaches combined with 20 per cent of chances.

“The uncomfortable 20 per cent is important because people think they know what they need at the time and many company’s don’t stretch them, we like to take the leap of faith and see where things go,” he said.

Part of this is allowing its staff to move furniture around the office without restrictions — everything is on wheels and there are power pendants hanging from the roof to facilitate this.

Small soundproof meeting rooms provide the perfect escape

Small soundproof meeting rooms provide the perfect escapeSource:Supplied

The company encourages employees to use the stairs to move between floors.

The company encourages employees to use the stairs to move between floors.Source:Supplied

All of the meeting rooms and themes are based on 80s and 90s music

All of the meeting rooms and themes are based on 80s and 90s musicSource:Supplied

Another open workspace for staff to use

Another open workspace for staff to useSource:Supplied

Does this office make you jealous of where you work? Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.

Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar have been announced As GQ Entrepreneurs Of The Year at the Australian award ceremony in Sydney.

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