As Atlassian’s Work Futurist, I think a lot about what’s coming next. But, I’m not the only one at Atlassian who has grand visions for the future. In fact, our predictions started long ago, when our co-Founder Scott Farquhar was only 12 years old.

As a youngster, Scott made some technology forecasts that have nearly all come true. I’m talking about major things – the creation of email, computer files, online education, the German Autobahn . . . even the Roomba Vacuum gets a 1990s shoutout under the guise of an “android housekeeper.” And I wouldn’t be surprised if Casper was just a few dev sprints away from Scott’s “mattress of floating air” idea, either.

12-year-old me wrote no such letter to the future. So to make up for lost ground, I’ve drawn upon the collective genius of my fellow Atlassians to share their predictions for 2018. Here’s some of what we believe next year has in store. (And may time be as kind to us as it was to Scott.)

How 2018 will change the workplace

In my opinion, 2018 will be the year when we truly understand the magnitude of exponential change that is occurring in technology, innovation, and nature. We will all realize that what worked in 2017 won’t work in 2018.

Most companies will survive 2018, but the ones that thrive will be the ones that find the things to stop doing, and ruthlessly cull them. The freedom this gives to explore, experiment, fail, and evolve, is what will separate the awesome teams, from the “also ran”.

Remote work

“One key trend to watch for in 2018 is how the rise of remote work will revolutionize population distribution in the United States. When remote work is an option it means that professionals are no longer making the decision about where to live based on where they work. When these two decisions are mutually exclusive, people will be less inclined to settle down in overcrowded and expensive coastal cities like SF and NYC. People will no longer need to choose between an ambitious career move and their preferred lifestyle or environment.” – Michael Pryor, Head of Trello

Personal development

“Work is learning and learning is work. More knowledge workers will set aside time in their week to learn. The concept of ‘20% time’ for innovation will make a resurgence in 2018, with a focus on learning, and it will become a widely adopted practice within 3 years.” – Didier Moretti, Vice President of Cloud Apps

Talent and recruiting

“In 2018, businesses will truly begin rebuilding their talent processes (recruiting, performance development, and more) to focus not only on an employee’s technical skills, but on their interpersonal and collaboration skills. 2017 has provided us with countless examples of why hiring the ‘brilliant jerk’ is a poor business decision, and we’ll see companies respond accordingly. The teams and companies that will succeed in this new world are the ones who will evolve their cultures to ensure that everyone can thrive who will own the future.” – Aubrey Blanche, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion

How 2018 will change the way we collaborate


“Video meeting tools have grown over the past year, but there are still many people trying to type their way to shared understanding, when talking face-to-face would be faster. That will change in 2018 as these systems remove the complexity of starting a video meeting and making it as easy as clicking one button. The rise of remote workers – and even those working from home occasionally – necessitate this shift. Integrated messaging and video meeting solutions will no longer be a way to connect back to the workplace, but become the workplace as teammates connect and collaborate, regardless of where they are located.” – Steve Goldsmith, Head of Stride


“Content should help us make decisions and move work forward, but often key pieces of information are buried in long, stale documents. In the future, documents won’t need to be read. Instead, you’ll be able to simply ask a question and smart technologies will surface the correct answer. In 2018, we’ll start to see the emergence of this technology that turns information into relevant, consumable, and personalized content.” – Pratima Arora, Head of Confluence


“The separation of the physical and virtual world at the workplace has always been evident. Yet the boundary will be blurred by powerful, user-centric mobile devices that can interact with and command both of these environments – leading to frictionless and more efficient forms of collaboration (i.e. intelligent meeting rooms and scheduling).” – Jerry Cheng, Head of Mobile Core Development

How 2018 will change the tools that we use

SaaS integrations

“We’ll see the rapid increase of deeper and smarter apps that integrate between SaaS products; ones that not only link up different applications, but provide context in-product that’s tailored to the audience, with the goal of moving work forward. Companies will begin to push solutions: packaging up products and apps that integrate to custom-fit needs unique to each team. To encourage adoption, companies will provide “recipes for success” in the form of product (onboarding, templates, etc.) but also playbooks (like the Atlassian Team Playbook) to address the diverse make-up, size, and location of teams.” – Bryant Lee, Head of Product Partnerships and Integrations


“As the walls between developers and technical operations folks continue to come down, and development teams assume responsibility for running the software that they write, we will see the adoption of tools and practices to help these teams cope with a new set of responsibilities. These tools will allow them to better communicate and coordinate within their team and to other teams. The focus in the new context will be on velocity and agility, leaving behind a generation of those accustomed to strict separation of roles and responsibilities.” – Scott Klein, Head of Statuspage

How 2018 will change the way software is built


“Serverless frameworks will see a spike in popularity, which will be accompanied by supportive tooling from the major cloud vendors. In addition, data-driven applications will continue to gain popularity, as will the demand for engineer support in the form of tools, infrastructure and wrangling capabilities. Lastly, in Mortal Kombat style, kubernetes will deliver a fatality to other container orchestration tools.” – Steve Deasy, Head of Platform


“We see the “After Agile” era emerging for progressive software development teams in 2018. As developers embrace cloud tools, smash monolith applications in favor of micro-services, adopt containers, and engage in continuous experimentation, they advance Agile practices to measuring success by the value delivered to customers, not the number of releases per day. Rather than focusing on the notion of “done” when a feature is shipped, software development is moving to continuous iteration. In 2018, we will celebrate when our features achieve the outcomes we defined, not when they are released to customers.” –Jens Schumacher, Head of Developer Tools


“In 2018, bug bounties will go from something that ‘weird Silicon Valley companies do’ to something every tech company embraces – mimicking the journey of independent penetration testing from the last decade. This means that instead of being seen as a risk by internal legal and compliance teams, it will soon be seen as a bigger risk not to operate a bug bounty program.” – Daniel Grzelak, Head of Security

As Peter Druker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” What will you do to evolve your workplace, collaboration, and tools in 2018?

What workplace trends will we see 2018? Here are our predictions