Flexibility at the heart of life at Envato

There’s no typical start time for a ‘normal’ day working for the staff of Envato. With staff in different time zones around the world, the day could start in a Collins Street cafe, a former night club in a Mexican university town, or even the rolling hills of the English countryside. And while one person might be starting their day by cycling into Envato’s headquarters in King St Melbourne, their team member in the United States is starting to get dinner ready while finishing up their last meeting of the day.

It helps that Envato is one of the earliest and most successful adopters of flexible working, building it into the fabric of Envato’s culture in a way that makes it appealing and accessible to every employee.

It’s not just about having a “work-life” balance at Envato; it’s about being able to build a life that you enjoy, having the power of choice over where you work and how. This is all enshrined in one of Envato’s core values, “The right people and the right environment”. It’s an approach that has inspired the company to hire people based all over Australia, USA and most recently Mexico, while at the same time, contributing to a dedication to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Work life at Envato HQ has never been about sitting desk-bound for hours at a time!

Reclaiming important time 

For Adam Noonan, Envato’s flexibility has made balancing family life with two young kids and his role as the company’s Marketing Director much easier. “Just the ability to work from home, to be there for school and kinder drop-off and pick-up times is invaluable. It’s a very family-friendly culture, our management team is very supportive of us making our employee and family life work harmoniously together, it’s terrific. And the kids always get such a huge kick out of the annual family day. ” New father and Development Team Lead  Anthony Bordonaro, a describes how Envato’s unlimited work from home policy enabled him to be more involved when his son was born. “Being able to work from home allowed me to drive and also attend maternal health nurse, immunisation, doctors and other important appointments and check-ins.

Meanwhile, on the beautiful NSW Central Coast, Ben Askins starts his day checking emails while getting his four boys off to school. A Development Team Lead, Ben is one of over thirty Envatians working remotely around Australia, and he says a commitment to remote working has simplified Ben’s home life “The flexibility to work remotely full time for Envato lets me be home for my kids when they’re leaving for school in the mornings, and when they return home again in the afternoon. Without these benefits, I’d be looking to arrange before and after school care for four young boys.”

Ben Askins and family at home in NSW
Ben Askins and family at home in NSW

Zoe Rowley, the Project Coordinator in the Customer Success Team loves the freedom working at Envato affords her. “The ability for me to work from home and around appointments and kids has meant a lot less stress in my life, and it is probably the biggest perk for me at Envato”

Zoe is also heavily involved with Envato Does Good which is the company’s fundraising and volunteer program. “I even work while  I am donating plasma twice a month. I am passionate about volunteering and Envato enables me to do this.”

Bec Covington in training
Bec Covington values Envato’s flexibility as it lets her build a work schedule around her cycling training.

It’s not just parents that utilise Envato’s flexibility. Bec Covington is Envato’s Organisational Development Consultant and a competitive cyclist and says it’s refreshing to work at a company where there is no judgement on her need for flexibility around training times. “I’m not sure many other workplaces would be okay with me starting at 10 am just because I want to go out and ride my bike for a couple of hours in the morning and enjoy a coffee with my mates afterwards. The trust Envato has that their employees will do the right thing is so valuable and truly helps me get the best out of every aspect of my life.

Under the hood

The view from the home office of Ben Askins on the NSW Central Coast
The view from the home office of Ben Askins on the NSW Central Coast

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes when it comes to running a remote office. In 2018 alone, Envato staff organised more than 40,000 video hangouts with each other, sent more than 13 million emails and uploaded more than 250,000 files to Google Drive. Not to mention all the coffee…! 

For Ben Askins, this hustle and bustle of the online environment is not too dissimilar from being in an office. “A large part of my day is spent interacting with my team or stakeholders. Much of this is done via Slack, but there is a good deal of video-calls and emails as well.”

“Slack gives me the sense that I’m working in a dynamic alive environment, so much more than email. Particularly with a healthy ratio of work-related channels and more general interest channels like #daily-fire (music recommendations) and #videogames. Whatever your interests might be, you’re likely to find someone at Envato who’s created a Slack channel to suit.”

Briany Kalms, Customer Success Manager has been at Envato almost six years and says while the flexibility is terrific, what she appreciates most is that Envato is a genuinely values-driven company. “When you can listen to your CEO address the whole company and say that he expects people to call him out if they think he’s making a decision that doesn’t align, then you know you’re onto a winner.”

“I also secretly give myself mental high fives when I hear other people complaining about their jobs!”

The day is winding down at Envato HQ and people start to head for home. While they are exiting the building they say hello to a group of people on their way in for an Elixir meetup hosted at Envato. By the time the meetup is finished, our Envatians in beautiful Barcelona will just be starting their morning. It may not be easy to make complete flexibility work but Envato shows that it is worth the effort!



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