How Remote Teams Can Make the Best of Atlassian’s Now-Free Software

By Elizabeth Clor

To combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have mandated that all “non-essential” businesses close their offices. As a result, in an unprecedented transformation of the workforce, thousands of employees are fully remote for the first time. Many companies were unprepared for these rapid changes and had to quickly reengineer workflows to prioritize remote capabilities. In fact, before coronavirus hit the U.S., studies found that 62% of employees didn’t believe their company had the tools in place to support remote work and craved better, easier-to-use technology that could help them stay connected to colleagues. 

In an effort to help companies and their newly remote teams survive this change, Atlassian recently made cloud-based versions of Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Service Desk and Jira Core available for free. Each of these products are designed to make collaboration easy and centrally manage processes in the cloud. Here are some of the ways each of these tools can help teams carry on and manage projects as usual: 

Keep Projects On Track With Jira Software and Jira Core 

A recent report by Slack found most employees agree that ease of communication makes for good collaboration, but when teams go remote, that becomes difficult: One 2020 study found that, in addition to loneliness, employees struggle most with collaboration and communication when working remotely. 

With Atlassian’s Jira Software, teams have access to constant, virtual communication. It allows them to collectively work on tasks, deadlines and projects and creates transparency about workflows. Although Jira Software was originally designed with software companies in mind, it can help create a convenient environment for any project management. With Jira, teams can set up sprints, create tasks and build a hierarchy of what’s most and least important. In a remote work scenario, this can reduce the number of one-off conversations or the need to coordinate virtual meetings necessary to plan a project.

Jira also has a user-friendly time-logging feature that team members can use to estimate the time required to complete a task and then record the hours spent to complete it. For employees new to working from home, this feature can help with time management. 

The same applies for Atlassian’s Jira Core tool, which helps monitor a project’s details by creating visual workflows with drag-and-drop capabilities—helping remote workers stay organized and up-to-date on team members’ project statuses. 

Confluence Keeps Sensitive Information Secure  

One of the biggest challenges of setting up a fully remote workforce is keeping information secure and accessible. Atlassian’s Confluence can solve this: It’s a digital ‘knowledge base’ that holds all essential work documents, databases and employee information. Inside the tool is a flexible system for access so that certain users can view or edit pages depending on their permission levels. This is especially helpful for remote project managers since it ensures that information is being used securely and responsibly. 

And the tool allows employees to share and access documents, databases, project updates or task requirements on any given project. For instance, if a company’s HR team needs its employees to read and sign a document on a new, company-wide remote work procedure, they can upload it to the knowledge base, share them internally and tag the necessary signees.

Stay Connected to Customers With Jira Service Desk 

Customer service should not be negatively impacted by changes to your team’s schedules or remote work structure. With the help of Atlassian’s Jira Service Desk, companies can easily receive, manage and track customer requests in one central location. Once in the system, customer requests can be appropriately prioritized so that your team stays on track to meet its goals or service level agreements. And the tool enables easy communication between a company and its customers through customizable help centers, embeddable widgets or by email. 

This crisis has forced us all into a new normal. It has been challenging to accept this change, but there will be a silver lining: Enforced social distancing has encouraged companies that might have otherwise put off adopting remote work technologies to do so. Through this experience, companies are becoming more prepared and can offer employees more flexibility for their work schedules—with or without the presence of a global pandemic.