Sydney-based global design giant Canva believes a traditional workplace will be “the exception” and will maintain a remote-hybrid model for the company’s staff when lockdowns and the pandemic ends.
The company says it wants to balance flexibility and connection. While it expects many people will still want to head into the office it will create between 4 to 8 events a year – 1-2 every quarter – to bring its teams together.
“We know many people will continue to come into our offices more regularly than that,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the policy.
“We’d like to see everyone able to visit their nearest Canva Hub at least twice a season.”
The business, which has more than 2000 staff in Australia, the US, China and the Philippines, won’t have any strict requirements about 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’,” the business wrote.
Some of the world’s biggest tech companies, which have the luxury of functioning under remote work models through the pandemic, have been grappling with how they’ll function post-pandemic, with many vacillating or changing their minds on allowing staff to continue to work remotely.
In the US, the world’s most valuable tech ventures, such as Google, Twitter and Facebook, have even used remote work as an excuse to cut the wages of staff they believe live in lower-cost regions.
Canva says while the situation remains in flux, the pandemic 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,” the company wrote.
Company surveys found that 79% of the Canva team feel productive working from home and 81% want 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,” the business wrote.
Canva said the business has gone from being regionally focused to global experiences as a consequence of the last 18 months, including the Canva Olympics. The business has 400-plus social clubs.
“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,” the company wrote.
3 guiding principles
The business has set three “guiding principles” it wants staff to keep in mind when thinking about hybrid work.
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.
The business says it doesn’t yet have all of the answers and will continue to evolve its hybrid work model
“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,” Canva wrote.
You can read Canva’s full post on its hybrid work plans here.