May 3, 2021

Atlassian Team ‘21 Livescribe: 3 CEOs Discuss the Evolution of Modern Work

The Evolution of Modern Work | Atlassian Team ’21 Keynote

Last week, MURAL livescribed the Atlassian Team ’21 keynote, The Evolution of Modern Work, in a mural. Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian, Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack, and Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, shared how their companies have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and how they see work changing, or not, as people return to the office.

Read on for highlights from the session, a video of the session, and our livescribe mural.


Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian, welcoming Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack, and Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, to the Atlassian Team ’21 keynote, The Evolution of Modern Work.

How are Atlassian, Slack, and Zoom promoting work-life balance? 

Stewart revealed more than 30% of Slack’s employees started with the company during the pandemic, so its human resources team stepped up and found ways to make sure everyone felt involved in the company and culture. Slack also introduced Fri-yays, which is one friday off per month for the whole company. Employees valued the opportunity to step back and take some time for themselves and their families. 

Eric shared that the culture at Zoom is about delivering happiness. They’ve added new programs to provide additional mental healthcare coverage, grocery delivery options, no-meeting Wednesdays, stress reduction sessions, and more. 

The Atlassian team took a creative refresh day where many employees participated in activities like woodworking, pottery, sketching, and storytelling. 


What should the future of work look like when we can go back to the office, if we choose to?

Slack has allowed their employees to move across the country, and they’ve hired in places they never had before. Stewart feels everything worked for their team this year while they were remote. He doesn’t expect employees to go back to the office Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, because they like the flexibility of remote work. Now that we’re getting the ability to visit grandparents, go to restaurants and concerts, and get back to normal, the office can function as an additional resource the company offers employees, a physical space for teams to work and collaborate in person a few days a week.  

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan is an advocate of the hybrid work environment but realizes the challenge of maintaining productivity across different work environments. Companies need to invest and give their employees the best tools to get their jobs done — like Slack, Zoom, Jira, Trello, etc. It’s also important to make sure those who work remotely don’t feel left out of the office environment.

👉 Solve for the “here” vs. “there” mentality: Read MURAL Chief Evangelist Jim Kalbach’s post on Why Hybrid Collaboration is Harder Than You Think.


What work challenges lie ahead?

Zoom almost doubled in size last year in terms of headcount, so now the challenge is evolving its onboarding process to make sure everyone feels welcome and part of the team. Eric also recognized that sales teams in particular are having to adapt a lot. They’re used to having in-person interaction in the sales process. What sales looks like in a hybrid work world is yet to be completely figured out.

Stewart has learned just how much people don't like uncertainty. There was so much in the past year. He watched as mid-level managers learned how to manage and support their teams in this new environment without a guidebook.


Will companies lose out on talent if they don’t offer hybrid work options? 

Stewart sees good reasons for offering hybrid work options. For one, you can hire talent from a much larger pool if you can hire from anywhere. Another is there will be market trends in how strongly corporate culture is tied to being in the office, and people will select their next roles based on that. If you have the option, why not offer it and give your employees the flexibility? 


Most embarrassing virtual work moments?

The session closed with Mike, Stewart, and Eric sharing their most embarrassing virtual work moments from the past year. You have to hear these stories for yourself.  😂 This part of the discussion starts at 21:29.



Explore the livescribe from MURAL 

MURAL expert Keith Tatum livescribed the session, illustrating the content on a mural as it happened. See all the highlights, and explore the mural below.

Find the completed mural from the Team ’21 session here.


How is your team adapting to the evolution of work?   

If you haven’t yet collaborated visually with your team using MURAL, start a free 30-day trial and see where it takes you. If your team uses Slack, there’s a MURAL integration for that — add MURAL to Slack to receive notifications about activity taking place inside your murals. Our Jira and Zoom MURAL integrations are coming soon! 


Sarah Parker

Large dog enthusiast | Runs social media at MURAL