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Future of Work: Flexibility and Connection

It’s safe to say the last 18 months have changed the world in ways many of us never thought possible. One day, the majority of us were commuting to physical offices — the next, we were working from our homes around the world. For many, the pandemic became the catalyst for an overdue evolution of when, where, and how we work.

While the global situation is still in flux, we believe traditional workplaces will become the exception when it comes to the future of work. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that we’ve disproved the notion of collaboration being best in one way or in one place. We’ve seen this through our own platform, with team adoption and collaboration skyrocketing as millions of people around the world embrace a more hybrid way of working.

Though the world has undoubtedly changed, the goal we’ve had since day one remains the same. To create a culture and an environment where everyone is empowered to do the best work of their lives. Today, we’re excited to share an update on our long-term approach to the future of work.

Looking ahead, Canva will continue to foster a hybrid model focused on balancing Flexibility and Connection. We won’t have any strict requirements for the number of days spent in an office. Instead, we’re empowering teams to determine the balance that works best for their unique needs. We believe in the mantra of ‘what works for you, works for us’.

Balancing Flexibility and Connection

We believe in striking an important balance when looking at the most sustainable and long-term model for the future of work. For example, our recent survey results show that 79% of our team feel productive working from home and that 81% would like to continue balancing this flexibility while having regular opportunities for in-person collaboration.

As we look towards the months and years ahead, we want to create an environment that captures the aspects of remote work that we’ve enjoyed — such as working more flexible hours; while also ensuring we create opportunities for the moments we’ve missed, such as in-person connection and collaboration.

With this in mind, we’ve identified two core pillars as we foster this model.

Flexibility: Ensuring flexibility for our team to work in the way that they feel most productive, whether that’s predominantly at home, in an office, or a mix of both.

Connection: Empowering our teams to collaborate and create meaningful connections while having the space and opportunity to connect and look towards the future.

We won’t be setting any strict requirements for balancing working from home versus working from an office. However, we’d like to see everyone able to visit their nearest Canva Hub at least twice a season. By balancing these two pillars, we’ll continue to make decisions and evolve our model in a way that prioritizes individual flexibility and work-life balance while ensuring we’re creating opportunities for teams to establish meaningful connections.

Building for a Hybrid World

The shift to remote work has highlighted several great benefits that we’re looking forward to continuing as we adopt a long-term hybrid approach. From introducing Meeting Free Wednesday to increasing context-sharing and global alignment, we’ve been able to accelerate our global growth as we plan for an increasingly distributed future.

Our Season Openers, once regionally focused, have become global experiences with both remote and in-person components. We’ve had all sorts of themes ranging from an Aqua Spectacular to the Canva Olympics, Canva TV, Around the World and Canva in Pyjamas, to coincide with the shift to a remote world. As we continue to evolve our long-term approach, we’re looking forward to scaling these events to continue fostering a sense of community while connecting our team in every corner of the globe.

While we don’t have every answer, we’ve set three guiding principles that we’re encouraging everyone to keep in mind when thinking about a hybrid future. We hope these will be helpful for other companies too.

1. Think team first: The exact balance of virtual and in-person activities will look different for each team. We’re empowering individual teams to make their own decisions when it comes to cadences and rhythms. Whether it’s a team bonding day, a planning session or simply a brainstorming session, it’s important to think as a team when planning meaningful time to connect and work together.

2. Plan some office time each season: We’ve been very intentional about building a unique culture at Canva. From eating lunch together to planning crazy big celebrations when we achieve our goals. While our culture is constantly evolving to suit a hybrid environment, we’re keen to ensure everyone is able to return 1 to 2 times per season for important opportunities to come together in-person. We know many people will continue to come into our offices more regularly than that, and we’ll continue investing in creating our amazing ‘vibe-y’ office experiences.

3. All company-wide events will continue in a global and hybrid format: The last year has seen incredible growth across our entire team. With more than 2,000 Canvanauts across the globe, we’ll continue to hold all company-wide events in a globally hybrid format, with components for in-person connection for each of our hub locations.

Keeping the Vibe Alive

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at ways to continue growing and evolving the culture that makes Canva special. As our team continues to expand around the world, we’ll be introducing a number of new initiatives to support regular opportunities for connection, no matter where or how teams choose to work.

We’ve already made headway in this space, with location-agnostic perks, hybrid celebrations, and by converting our 400+ social clubs to operate in a hybrid world. As we continue to test and learn from our approach, we’re looking forward to introducing more initiatives to bring the culture from our physical offices into a virtual world.

What’s Next?

The last 18 months have given us the opportunity to rethink the way that we work together. We hope this balance between flexibility and connection continues to empower our team to do the best work of their lives. While we don’t yet have all of the answers, we’ll continue to evolve this model based on our learnings and continued feedback.

The future of work is an exciting one, and we’re looking forward to providing more updates as we embark on this journey.