‘Traditional workplaces will become the exception’: Canva says employees will only need to come to the office 8 times a year

‘Traditional workplaces will become the exception’: Canva says employees will only need to come to the office 8 times a year
Canva co-founders Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins, and Cameron Adams.
  • Canva has unveiled a new flexible work model that will allow teams to determine how often employees will need to work from the office.
  • It said internal surveys showed 81% of its employees want to continue working flexibly after current lockdowns were relaxed.
  • The company joins fellow Australian tech giant Atlassian in formalising a long-term commitment to remote work for employees.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Canva has committed to a flexible work model for its employees long-term, following fellow Australian tech unicorn Atlassian in embracing remote work. 

The company has called the change part of its “long term approach to the future of work,” where it will focus on flexibility and connection and abolish any formal rules around office attendance. 

In an announcement published on Tuesday, the company said it won’t have strict requirements for the number of days spent in an office, but will instead empower teams to decide on the number of days employees are expected to attend work in person. 

Canva said the decision followed internal research, including a survey showing that 79% of its teams say they feel productive working from home, with 81% saying they wanted to continue balancing working in the office with remote work when stay-at-home orders are relaxed again later this year. 

In practice, the company’s new policy won’t set strict requirements for balancing physical and remote work. 

However it said it expects to see employees appear at their “nearest Canva hub” at least eight times per year. 

Canva also said its global approach to team building would be reimagined to fit the new approach to physical work, with the introduction of an all of company ‘Meeting Free Wednesday’, along with work perks that extend outside of the office. 

“We believe traditional workplaces will become the exception when it comes to the future of work,” Canva said, adding that the pandemic has “disproved the notion of collaboration being best in one way or in one place.” 

In late April Australian tech giant Atlassian announced a remote work policy that would enable its global staff of 5,700 to work from anywhere in the world. 

As part of its reimagined approach to flexible work, employees are expected to visit the company’s offices four times a year to attend global summits, but otherwise can design their own approach to office attendance. 

At the time, the company said its own internal surveys found that around 50% of employees intend to continue going into the office on a regular basis. 

Atlassian also said its policy not only reflected the company’s global approach to talent, but signalled a shift in the flexibility employees expected in conducting their work. 

“If you think about Atlassian historically we’ve basically been a global company, we’ve had a belief that talent exists everywhere in the world, not just in Silicon Valley,” Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-chief executive of Atlassian said at the time.

In April Canva rocketed to a new milestone with a valuation of $US15 billion ($19.7 billion) following a new round of funding. 

The graphic design startup said the pandemic had boosted its user base by 50% due to an increased demand for tools that enable remote collaboration.