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$30bn Aussie company gives employees free breakfast, lunch, alcohol, but NO coffee

Image: Supplied

Dolly Parton called it her “cup of ambition”, while others prefer to call it “Joe”, “mud” or even “jitter juice”.

But whatever you call it, you won’t be finding it at Atlassian.

It’s an interesting exclusion, given the Sydney offices have meeting rooms offices named after 80s songs, designated chill out zones and an open bar that operates around the clock.

However the decision to not provide coffee has nothing to do with cutting costs or caffeine, Atlassian futurist Dom Price told Yahoo Finance.

“It’s not scientific, it’s just ‘Leave the building, and have a stroll,’” the affable researcher said.

“There’s like 30 coffee shops within three minutes walk, why would we [provide coffee]? It’s the one thing that you leave the building for, and now it’s just become a custom. It’s a story we tell people.”

The real foliage has incredible effects on productivity and wellbeing. Image: Supplied

With several working spaces catering to those looking for activity, quiet or solitude, craft days, walls of live foliage and free meals, Price admits Atlassian can be a “sticky office”.

That is, reasons to leave the office can be limited.

“Creatives can’t work in boxes,” Price said. That’s why the ceilings are exposed. Image: Supplied

The decision to not supply coffee is a way of combating this.

“It’s like, how do you imagine that flow of the day?” he said.

“We don’t want this to be such a sticky place where people become complacent and we don’t want it to be a place where you don’t want to work. You’re constantly treading that barrier.”

But once the decision was made, Price started to notice an unintended consequence. He was having better conversations with people on the way to and from the coffee shop than he was in meetings.

The meeting rooms are named after songs like The Final Countdown. Image: Supplied

This in turn led Price to begin instating walking meetings, where participants walk rather than sit opposite one another at a meeting table.

“We’d leave the building, go down to Martin Place, do a lap of the park and then walk back. That’s a half hour and if we’ve got a full hour we’ll do the full loop around the Opera House and back.

“The exercise is good for me but the real benefit is that when you walk side by side with someone, you talk very differently to when you’re face to face with them in a meeting room, and if I think about a one on one, the whole idea of that is that I want to be open to talking, listening, being challenged, I want the conversation going off on a tangent,” he said.

Breakfast and lunch are supplied. Image: Supplied

But meetings are conducted with agendas, which often don’t leave room for “the richness around the outside”.

Atlassian joined the billion-dollar club this year after reporting a “ripper of a quarter” to end 2018. The software behemoth made more than $US 1 billion in the 2018 calendar year.

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