Unified Communications Featured Article

Atlassian's Oji Udezue Explores the Future of Workplace Productivity in ITEXPO Keynote

February 20, 2018


We’ve all been there: You have hundreds of tasks to complete, and very little time to do any of it — but you can’t dig in and start working because you are buried in email, meetings and messages.  Communication, in other words, can be exhausting.

During a keynote address this morning at ITEXPO, Atlassian Head of Product Oji Udezue elaborated on the gridlock of workplace communication that we are all mired in. Even worse, he pointed out, workplace communication often spills over into personal time after hours. Nobody likes being the person on their cell phone at a Little League game, or having to leave dinner to put out a fire at work. But things happen that need to be dealt with, putting busy professionals in the awkward position of having to take time away from their personal lives.

Udeuze, who has spent years developing communication and collaboration tools for some of the largest technology firms, actually apologized during his presentation for stealing our time by keeping us glued to email and chat. 

“It’s 2018, and we are still spending two thirds of our day communicating and collaborating,” he said. “Those interactions are great. They are awesome. [And they] seem almost innocuous until you realize that communicating and collaborating isn’t actually working. It gives you priority of how to work, but its not actually work.”

In the words of Udueze, people are losing the freedom to focus. And this is a problem. Granted, over the last 10 years we have seen amazing improvements in productivity tools. These tools help us by keeping workers informed and updated with team members, but even the best solutions still silo workers and make it impossible to become immersed in “deep work.”

Udueze and his team, however, believe that it’s possible to reach a place at work where people are kept in the loop about what’s happening without sacrificing their need to actually get work done. Last year, for instance, Atlassian released a communication and collaboration solution with a built in timer that actually allows workers to let others know they are checking out to perform deep work in a way that also lets others  know they remaining productive. When workers come back after the timer is up, they are given updates that allow them to easily catch up with what’s been happening.

It’s exciting to think about where this type of technology is heading and this is just one company that is working to improve the way we communicate. The enterprise communication and collaboration space is changing, as companies are striving to find new ways of making the sharing of information a seamless and enjoyable process. 

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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