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5 ways to reimagine how you ‘do your best work’

Modern workplaces look very different these days – but have the traditional definitions of success at work kept up? Here’s how we’re challenging and reimagining what it means to ‘do your best work’.

There’s no doubt the workplace of today looks very different from ten or even five years ago. The adoption of hybrid ways of working, the rapid rise of visual communication, ever-evolving technologies and tooling that transform workflows, and employees seeking benefits based around things like flexibility and inclusion over more traditional ‘perks’, just to name a few.

The term ‘doing your best work’ gets thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean – and has the definition of it kept up with the whirlwind of changes in the modern workplace? Are outdated badges of honor really your ‘best’ – or most impactful – work?

We believe the notion of ‘do your best work’ – and how you do it – is being challenged and reimagined. Here, we’re sharing our thoughts on what it really means in today's workplace.

1. Cut the busy work with AI

In 2023, generative AI took the world by storm, and the novelty factor was high. Now, with this technology so readily accessible, we’ve moved past the gimmick factor, and savvy professionals are incorporating AI into their daily workflows. Using AI isn’t ‘cheating’ – and you shouldn’t be afraid to use it – or to say you’re using it – at work. In fact, knowing how to skillfully make the most of AI is a valuable string in your professional bow.

Our Visual Suite(opens in a new tab or window) of workplace tools integrates AI-powered Magic Studio(opens in a new tab or window) features to help you work smarter, not harder. These capabilities can integrate with your existing tasks to prompt seeds of new ideas, bring visuals to life, summarise lengthy notes, or even give you the confidence to take on projects you might not have otherwise. Another benefit is the way it can streamline your workflow, taking care of mundane tasks you only have to check and edit, versus starting from scratch – leaving you free for more impactful work.

2. Impact, not hours

Staying late at the office shouldn't always be celebrated – making your hours more effective(opens in a new tab or window) should be. If you’re meeting your goals, leaving on time should be recognized as a sign you’re making the most of your time, and the focus should be on impact, not just clocking in and out.

a woman and a man working collaboratively at a laptop

Your best work is about achieving goals, not just staying late at your desk.

Embracing the latest tools and technologies makes it easier than ever to clock off work on time while meeting or even exceeding your goals. As well as using AI features to speed up your tasks, the ability to work effectively from any device means you can be productive while you’re on the go, while interoperability of your tech stack means you can streamline how you get things done. Being able to quickly and easily add creativity, polish, and visual flair to your work documents can also help speed up buy-in from stakeholders for faster approvals.

3. Stand out with engaging visuals

These days, your best work is visually impactful work. Make everything you create stand out, and you’ll engage both internal and external audiences much more effectively. These skills are becoming a necessity(opens in a new tab or window) – and not just for creative teams.

We’ve seen it in our 2023 Visual Economy Report(opens in a new tab or window): visuals are rapidly becoming the most impactful form of communication in the workplace, with 90% of global business leaders believing visual communication enhances efficiency and 89% seeing improved collaboration. About two-thirds (61%) also say they expect workers in non-design roles to have ‘extensive design knowledge,’ including the ability to create new graphics and presentations from scratch.

A laptop screen showing the Canva interface and the text "designed for work"

The ability to communicate visually is becoming table stakes, even for non-creative roles.

Of course, materials like presentations(opens in a new tab or window) or websites should be visually engaging. But it’s easier than you think to give even typically bland documents(opens in a new tab or window) a bit of wow factor – tools like Magic Design(opens in a new tab or window) help you change your report into a website instead of a doc.

You can also explore Canva’s mesmerizing data visualisations(opens in a new tab or window) or our hundreds of apps that can elevate your work(opens in a new tab or window).

4. Stay in sync even when you’re async

With increasingly distributed teams working in hybrid ways, often from different time zones, it can be difficult to stay connected. Gone are the days of working in silo: whether it’s ideating together, dividing and conquering, combining different skillsets, providing feedback, or simply gathering approvals, collaboration is a critical part of being able to do your best work.

An all-in-one platform that enables seamless, real-time feedback and interoperability between all your materials minimises losing precious time, not to mention the confusion of multiple docs, files, and versions. Apps like Talking Presentations are another great way to work asynchronously – even if you can’t be there in person to present your best work, you can record and explain it all just as if you were. Or, you can use integrations like Slack to make direct updates to designs without toggling around different platforms.

We also know a consistent brand(opens in a new tab or window) has a much greater impact, but keeping everything on-brand across scattered teams and a network of stakeholders can also be challenging. Tools like Brand Kit(opens in a new tab or window) can keep everyone on the same page to make your internal and external content production much more efficient, productive, and scalable.

5. Know your work self

Take time to consider what parts of your role you especially enjoy or find purpose in, and you’ll likely see that reflected in your results of those tasks. Let it be known what your strengths are or where you’re most passionate, and put your hand up for those projects where you know you’ll shine.

A man and a woman on laptops sit opposite each other at a desk with post-it notes on the wall

Identifying your strengths, passions, and preferred ways of working can unlock exceptional results.

Knowing your superpowers and leveraging them can lead to real joy at work, as well as amazing results. If you need help getting crystal-clear on what they are, work-focused personality tests such as Enneagram, DISC, or Fingerprint for Success can help you bring them to light. They’re also handy for helping to define how you like to work and providing a platform to share that with your team – and finding out about them, too.

For some people, it’s the opportunity to stretch themselves by solving complex challenges or to share their skills by mentoring others. It could be doing purpose-driven work, such as opportunities through your current role to use your skills for good, or finding a company that truly aligns with your values. Whether you’re a visionary, quiet achiever, entertainer, or multi-tasker – collaboration, diversity of thought, and feeling safe to express your ideas can truly be the magic dust for unlocking motivation, incredible ideas, and your best work.

A group of people holding up 'force for good' signs

The opportunity to be purpose-driven can help you do your best work.

Work, redesigned

As workplaces continue to evolve, so does the definition of what it means to do your best work: to have the greatest impact, to increase efficiency and productivity, to stand out in innovative ways, to work in ways that suit you best, to make the most of the technology at your fingertips, and to do work you’re proud of.

We’re committed to building Canva to be the platform that empowers the world to design, and enables everyone to truly do their best work.

Ready to truly do your best work? Dive in and explore the Canva Visual Suite(opens in a new tab or window).

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