The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-12-17T02:31:45Z Join Canva’s #OnAGoodNote New Year's Eve Challenge 2020-12-17T02:31:45Z join-canvas-onagoodnote-new-years-eve-challenge 2020 has been a difficult year for billions of people around the world. From the global pandemic to a worldwide recession, wild weather events, job losses, border closures, and hundreds of other challenges – it’s safe to say we’re all hoping to start 2021 on a good note. With this in mind, we know that end of year celebrations won’t be the same. While we may not be able to end the year in the traditional sense, we can still come together to share messages of hope, inspiration, kindness and learnings. From today, we’re excited to be launching Canva’s #OnAGoodNote New Years Eve challenge to help the world start 2021 on a ‘good note’. You can take up the challenge by logging onto Canva to design and share a note with a stranger on the other side of the world, reminding everyone that we’re all in this together and sharing love and kindness when we need it most. Join the #OnAGoodNote challenge: Pick your favorite template from our new collection of New Years cards Write your message for a stranger – it could be something you’ve learned, your hopes for the new year, or something you’re grateful for Get creative by customizing the colors and adding your favorite icons to bring your cheerful note to life Finally, hit the submit button and we’ll match your card with a random stranger Then, when the clock strikes 12 on New Years Eve, watch your inbox as we welcome in the new year on a good note. By sending a message, you’ll also receive one from a randomly matched stranger sharing their own note with you. While traditional celebrations might be off the cards, we hope you can join us in helping the world feel a little more connected. We can’t wait to see your note! Canva for Education's first-ever professional development Summit 2020-11-24T06:10:33Z canva-for-education-s-first-ever-professional-development-summit Whilst many have heard of the global online design platform Canva (now worth over $US6bn and over 40 million people using it every month), Canva for Education is the learning and project-based extension - made specifically for teachers and their students, where interactive, immersive teaching and learning can take place.  Canva for Education empowers educators with free, easy to use compelling design resources to enhance class collaboration and engagement; it also equips them with more curriculum content, regardless of whether they’re teaching in the classroom or remotely. On a mission to unlock the power of creativity in every learner and empower all teachers and learners to create, collaborate and grow, for the first time, Canva for Education is hosting its very own professional development Summit for all educators to explore the future of collaboration in and outside the classroom. Best of all, the Canva for Education Summit is 100% free and virtual. 1 December 2020 at 2pm PST / 4pm CST / 7pm GMT-3 / 9am AEST+1 Running for ~2 hours, the Summit will include: An introduction into Canva for Education with Leslie Fisher, K12 edtech specialist Deep dive into collaborative student assignments with George Lee, CAST Academy Coordinator, Balboa High School, SFUSD Redefining collaboration with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and more with Carly Daff, Canva for Education’s Product Director Everyone who registers and attends the Summit will receive a certificate of attendance, which they can use for professional development purposes. TUESDAY 1 DECEMBER 2pm PST / 4pm CST / 7pm GMT-3 / 9am AEST+1 For more information:  Physical? Virtual? Hybrid? Canva empowers collaboration in ALL classrooms 2020-11-24T05:58:57Z physical-virtual-hybrid-canva-empowers-collaboration-in-all-classrooms With collaboration in the classroom key to exceptional learning outcomes, Canva for Education has today launched a whole new raft of features to cement its position as the collaboration platform of choice for teachers and their students around the globe, regardless of whether they’re in a physical classroom, virtual or a hybrid of the two. From real-time collaboration functionality, Talking Presentations, online whiteboards for class brainstorms, a Notification Center, a ‘Publish Assignment’ option as well as all new group work templates, Canva for Education has everything educators need to keep students engaged, accountable, communicating, debating, sharing decisions and creating together to achieve a deeper level of learning.  Group work now available, in real-time Class group work is now a breeze on Canva for Education. Teachers and students can work on one document simultaneously, regardless of where they are located. With a raft of new templates specifically designed with classroom collaboration at its core, from group critique activities to stipulating group roles, you can now create, collaborate, brainstorm, note and present learnings, together, remotely.   Avatars show who’s working on the document, with comments and replies showing-up right away. Collaborators can see which elements are selected by who, thanks to color-coding, and names on-display within designs.  Comments are also supported on web and mobile, so teachers and students can, quite literally, collaborate from anywhere. The importance of collaboration in the classroom helps students develop their higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management and leadership skills. George Lee, Coordinator of the CAST academy at Balboa High School, part of the San Francisco Unified School District, explained teachers have been looking for a way to create a sense of collaboration in a visual format when students only have one screen in front of them.  “Canva is the only collaborative tool that utilizes visual language. Simultaneous collaboration has enabled a creative community which is actually better than a physical classroom. The notion of creativity is not a single person, rather a collaboration. It isn’t until we come together and understand something collectively that we truly gain knowledge. Canva gives us the opportunity to do this in the classroom,” said Lee.  Not just another presentation If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that the classroom is no longer limited to four walls within the school premises. With remote and hybrid learning part of the ‘new normal’, we know the tools and elements educators use in the classroom not only need to contribute to a student’s learning experience, the output needs to be interesting, impressive and memorable to ensure full engagement. Canva for Education’s new Talking Presentations feature provides an alternative to live, or fully pre-recorded formats, giving educators and students alike the ability to integrate short videos of themselves as playable elements within their presentation slides.  Carly Daff, Canva for Education’s Director of Product, explained it’s important to equip teachers with the tools they need to ensure they can keep students looking forward to every class. “Even before schools moved to an online environment, one of the biggest challenges facing educators was maintaining students’ engagement and shifting their attention away from their phones and computers. Now with many schools online, and students in the comfort of their own homes with computers and phones at the ready, it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep students engaged virtually and ensure they’re paying attention. “Our new Talking Presentations feature ensures students and teachers alike can create interactive learning experiences that not only allow teachers to add their personal touches to their lessons, but it also empowers Student Voice. This tool is also useful for those who, whilst at home, might have conflicting priorities and are not able to adhere to a strict ‘school hours’ routine. If they happen to miss a class, they can simply watch and re-watch the content at their own pace, and a time more suitable to them,” said Daff. Easily distribute assignments on Canva Distributing assignments to a class has never been easier. With Canva for Education’s all new ‘Publish Assignment’ feature, teachers can create an assignment and designate it to their relevant classes to complete.  Each student within the class will receive an email notifying them of the assignment, instructions to complete the task, as well as a button to open it directly from any device. Alternatively, they’ll be able to find the assignment in their class designs page. Streamline collaboration with notifications Teachers and students will never miss a beat with Canva’s new Notifications Center; helping classes stay informed by making it easy to review and respond to classmates and colleagues, moving projects along faster than ever before. Once enabled, teachers and students have the ability to receive alerts when tagged in comments, granted permissions to designs, folders and projects, or when approval or access requests are received. All requests can be seen and responded to in one place easily, leaving less time searching through emails. New templates to encourage and support group work in the classroom Teachers and their students can now build creative and collaborative classes with our newest templates. Form groups, assign roles and best of all, keep the creativity flowing as students collaborate in real-time, remotely, or within the classroom.  Each of these new templates come complete with briefing sheets and student ready worksheets. Share this template with your class and have them form groups together. Assign project roles - it is important students work together similarly to how they will in the real world. Empower classes to set norms and expectations with a group contract. Sentiment is key to success - check in with how students are feeling in their groups. Bolstering connection in the classroom Canva for Education also recently partnered with the lovable Care Bears as part of its ‘Back to School’ campaign - adding a little bit of fun and positivity to what has been a rather tumultuous year. With over 52 Care Bears themed templates available exclusively to the Canva for Education community, the collection includes: classroom kits, classroom worksheets, a colourful array of classroom announcements to be used in conjunction with any LMS, and most importantly, social and emotional learning (SEL) activities to bolster connections in the classroom. “Social connection is critical to the physical and mental well being of students. Our new range of SEL activities and collaboration tools aims to empower students to feel seen and heard by their teachers, and their peers. The more we can provide educators with the resources needed to engage in connection with students, the more we open their minds up to the limitless potential of learning and growth,” concluded Daff. To get started, teachers can register for their free Canva for Education account at    About Canva   Canva is a free online graphic design platform used by more than 40 million people every month across 190 countries. Canva for Education is the creativity tool for every classroom. Featuring Canva’s intuitive drag-and-drop design tools, Canva for Education offers a rich and authentic learning experience empowering teachers and students to create and collaborate. It also includes add-ons such as education-specific content and classroom-friendly templates, an all-new collaboration space, a review workflow, version history plus so much more. New survey reveals COVID-19 has made Aussies more aware of supporting small business 2020-07-22T04:41:37Z new-survey-reveals-covid-19-has-made-aussies-more-aware-of-supporting-small-business With a second wave and further restrictions looming, 85 percent of Australians have experienced a wake-up call to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research. The study asked 500 Australians how they’ve handled the novel coronavirus’ impact on their local communities and how they’re supporting each other in this difficult time. Conducted on behalf of Canva, the survey found that 45 percent of respondents feel COVID-19 has brought their community closer together, with 28 percent donating supplies to those in need and 22 percent donating to local charities lending a hand to combat the virus. “Recent months have stressed the importance of acting with kindness and compassion - especially when it comes to supporting our local communities in a time where small businesses are struggling to break even and keep their employees,” said Canva’s Trends and Data Analytics Lead, Dr. Tim O’Keefe. One respondent shared how they had set up a food bank for international students, with another helping an elderly neighbours with home maintenance work. During the initial lockdown period, more than half of the respondents shared they had consciously supported between 1-10 local businesses in their community. 62 percent of those surveyed said they’re more consciously ordering delivery and takeaway from small businesses rather than large corporations or chains. “Around the world, we’re seeing millions of small businesses quickly adapt so they can continue operations. We’ve also seen a surge in the use of Canva’s free small business templates, with the creation of takeout menus growing by 66% as restaurants pivot to offering delivery-only, new marketing material to promote how distilleries are now producing hand sanitiser, and the adoption of personalised Zoom background designs for personal trainers running virtual classes. It’s incredibly inspiring to see this positive trend towards innovation, determination, and camaraderie across the globe,” added Dr. O’Keefe. Another four in 10 respondents said they’ve been consciously sharing small businesses across social media to support them at this time. 15 percent of respondents have started writing reviews online, with 9 percent making donations to keep their favourite local spots open. More Information: Lachlan Andrews ( Leading with compassion: how employers can support working parents during the COVID-19 outbreak 2020-06-10T04:41:15Z leading-with-compassion-how-employers-can-support-working-parents-during-the-covid-19-outbreak The world is experiencing a global crisis never before seen. With many countries around the globe in lockdown, and domestic and international travel all but come to a complete stop, all of a sudden the traditional workplace is a thing of the past. Excluding our hero frontline workers, the majority are now a remote, or somewhat remote workforce. However, as working from home becomes the new normal, it’s imperative we consider how this arrangement affects the ‘person behind the employee’. Canva’s Head of People, Crystal Boysen, shares how Canva is looking after working parents and those who are caring for others. The world is in the midst of a global crisis, a pandemic no less, where everyone in one way or another has been affected by the new coronavirus. Since COVID-19’s global emergence five months ago, it has been an incredible challenge for businesses of all sizes and governments across every nation to #stopthespread. The workplace of pre-2020 is no longer, as organizations around the globe try to function either in a fully or partially remote working environment, trying to navigate this new normal. This is uncharted territory, and whilst scientists and epidemiologists around the world are scrambling to learn more about the disease in the hope of finding a vaccine, the rest of us are trying to put ‘best practice’ in place to assist in flattening the curve and keep our communities as safe as possible. There are many countries around the world gradually easing isolation restrictions, however some have experienced a second wave of infection, and it constantly remains top of mind for my colleagues and I - what role do we play in ensuring the same doesn’t happen within our places of work and our broader communities? Either way, one thing is certain, the impact of COVID-19 will be felt for months, perhaps years, and as a business, we need to be prepared for the long term. Depending on where you live, schools and daycares may still be closed. Others may be making a judgement call and keeping their children at home to prevent exposure or transmission of the virus to others. What this means is a work/life balance, in the traditional sense, is going to be even harder to attain for many working parents. Looking at the figures closer to our Sydney office, there are currently 7.2 million families in the Australian workforce, and with schools only just now re-opening its doors for students full time, and daycares still functioning at less capacity due to funding restrictions, parents have been required to be full-time parents during the day, but also maintain their full time jobs.  The reality is, parents around the globe have been forced to juggle two very important priorities and undoubtedly feel stretched thin, under tension and burned out. I’ve read of parents who have said the enforced WFH policy and being a parent broke them professionally and personally. I can understand why. I’ve also heard from parents who are struggling with a work-home life-distinction; with no physical disconnect between work and home, and the multiple hats parents wear every day - mum/dad, partner, chef, chauffeur, teacher, cleaner, ‘organizer of the household’ - working longer hours and still managing to do absolutely everything; there are only so many hours in a day - something has to give. So how do we alleviate some of the pressure? Leading with compassion We certainly don’t have all the answers, but, as a starting point, we’re firm believers in leading with compassion.  Every single person we come across could be fighting a battle we know nothing about and sometimes as leaders we become so focused on deadlines, numbers, quotas, goals and a never-ending to-do list, that we can lose sight of the fact our team members are human beings, just like us. We cannot forget compassion is an instinct we’re all born with, it’s ingrained in us at our very core, and for us here at Canva, we make sure we’re cognizant of that, and really try to ensure it’s at the forefront of all we do. We’re not leading with compassion solely for parents who are being full time carers and professionals simultaneously, or those family units who have had people laid off from their jobs. We strive to lead with compassion for all, in any circumstance - however it’s now more important than ever, during this unprecedented time, to rally together to support those that need extra support and little more empathy and understanding. But what does that actually mean - to lead with compassion?    “While empathy is the tendency to feel others’ emotions and take them on as if you were feeling them, compassion is the intent to contribute to the happiness and wellbeing of others.” — Harvard Business Review At Canva it’s not about being in charge, but rather taking care of those in our charge. To us, leading with compassion means through every thought, word and deed, we empathize with our employees' needs while focusing on the actions we can take to contribute to their overall happiness and wellbeing. At Canva, we believe compassion is foundational to a healthy working environment. We are committed to doing our best to always put our people first, provide them the flexibility they need to not only meet all their professional goals, but also the day-to-day needs of their personal lives, support their growth and, in this instance, foster an environment that helps them do their best work during this challenging time. How we’re supporting working parents at Canva During this global crisis, Canva’s people-first response means we are providing ongoing, day-to-day flexibility for working parents, so they can strike a balance between both work and family commitments without it impacting their salary. We completely trust our people to put in their best effort. Family first, with a “whatever works for you, works for us” mentality. How? What are the initiatives? Supportive teams and flexibility We firmly believe in empowering not only our working parents, but all of our employees, to find a daily schedule that works for them and simply ask them to communicate their availability to their respective teams. We also encourage them to lean on their coach to assist in prioritizing workloads, clarify expectations and regularly check in on progress. At the end of the day, our main priority is to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. A parent myself, I know how easily things come up at home that draw me away from my workday, that’s why it's so important in this current situation to be fluid – with kids at home it’ll be a rare event if you can lock yourself away for a 9-5 routine.  Truthfully working from home has been a tough adjustment. I have two little ones who have been home full time since mid-March. Luckily my husband has been willing and able to be the primary carer while I work, but I still struggle with finding the right balance and managing the associated guilt that comes along with trying to do it all.  [Caption] Crystal, her husband and 2 children - Emery, 3, and Bennett, 1. My kids don't fully understand the concept of mommy working from home yet so I get plenty of ‘visitors’ throughout the day and it’s hard not to be distracted, or want to join them when you hear them playing outside your door all day long.  [Caption] Crystal’s son, Bennett, ‘zoombombing’ work calls has become a welcomed addition to those also on the call, so much so Crystal’s colleagues have come to expect his appearance during meetings. During this time, I’ve learnt that I need to let go of the guilt and figure out what works best for me and my family. I’ve realized I have to balance my workday with my family time in a new way and am looking for the positives. For example, without a commute to the office, I’m now able to spend more time with the kids in the morning and afternoon. I block my calendar from 7-9am so we can have quality time as a family and we’ve tried to repurpose ‘commute’ time into family walks. I also try to always log off my computer by 5pm and am fiercely protective of a no meeting rule in the evenings when bath and bedtime routines reign supreme. I often check emails or jump back online after the kids have gone to bed, but that flexibility is important for me to feel like I’m able to fit ‘work’ with ‘life’.  Supporting the right state of mind There’s a lot of commentary out in the public domain about managing the ‘mental load’. We know parents are struggling to balance work, child care and self-care while keeping worries under control – both your children’s and your own. You don’t have to do it alone. This is why the provision of support is so important to Canva. To support our team members, we’ve created a dedicated internal website that provides guidance on how to seek support - including mental health support for those who feel anxious, confused, scared or stressed during this outbreak, as well imparting coping mechanisms for working in physical isolation from others.  Canva is also fully covering the cost of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) sessions, delivered online, to further ensure the team’s well being in the workplace and also in their personal lives. We also fully subsidize Mindfulness/Meditation app subscriptions such as Headspace, Calm or Smiling Mind, as meditation has been shown to help people stress less, focus more and even sleep better.  We’ve also hosted a number of webinars, from ‘Managing stress and building resilience in times of uncertainty’ to ensure our teams have the tools required to help cope during these challenging times, to most recently hosting a virtual Q&A session with Audrey McGibbon from Global Leadership Wellbeing Survey and Martine Beaumont from Select Wellness, to lead a discussion about the importance of balance and boundaries in managing the challenges of working from home.  The longer our environment is compromised or limited by the impact of COVID-19 the more we’ll continue to add to this space; I have no doubt circumstances will continue to change. Allowing unlimited sick and carer’s leave To provide greater flexibility to take care of ourselves and our loved ones during the COVID-19 global crisis, Canva is not requiring employees to log sick or carer’s leave. All that is asked is that those employees provide transparency on time away to coaches, group leads and other members of the team so that business as usual can continue, and where necessary a team approach needed to chip in and get things done. At the end of the day, for those with extra obligations at home, we’re not asking them to work harder or to make up for the time others within your team are more likely to have. It’s time for all of us to take a moment and try to understand the person behind the ‘employee’, the commitments, the responsibilities, the mental load. So on a final note: be patient with your kids; they’re still adjusting to their new unqualified teacher, missing their friends and extended family members, mostly confined to the realms of home and unable to participate in their extra-curricular activities. The younger children could be especially frustrated with no direct understanding of why outside ‘there is a virus causing everyone to remain apart’; communicate openly with your team, they’re working on company-wide goals with you, and may be in the same boat - and together we’re all trying to achieve the same thing; and most importantly, be kind to yourself. Whether it's within your workplace, or personal life, it’s times like these that call for all of us to lead with compassion - our greatest strength stems from rallying together. There are enough stressors in the world without the COVID-19 pandemic thrown into the mix. Take solace in that it won’t always be this way. Hang in there, be kind yourselves, your families and your employees in this difficult time. Remember, help is always available to you if you need it. Check out to find local websites and emergency contact numbers wherever you are, for whatever you need. The importance of culture as you scale 2020-05-14T01:09:59Z the-importance-of-culture-as-you-scale Every assumption we’ve ever made about running Canva has been challenged in the last couple of months. Running meetings. Setting goals. Product roadmaps. Onboarding newbies. Supporting parents. Even going for coffee. The world has been upended since COVID-19 first emerged five months ago and it has been an incredible challenge for businesses of all sizes: from corner stores to corporations. Since we took the step of going entirely remote to #stopthespread we have been on a steep learning curve of how to collaborate with 900+ people all around the world who had no idea at the start of 2020 that they’d be working from dinner tables, ironing boards and corner desks for more than three months. (Six months? A year? Who knows?) The one thing I take solace in – and have taken solace in every time we are met with a challenge at Canva – is the people we have with us on this journey.  Canva’s ethos is very strong on its sense of belonging and inclusion – here’s a little video we pulled together to showcase all that we stand for at one of the company’s quarterly events, the Season Opener. When I look at how Canvanauts act, how they selflessly prioritize their colleagues and our community, how they swarm around problems, how they think creatively; I am extremely proud. Within 24 hours of announcing that everyone would be working remotely, teams all across Canva had made it a reality. And not just a functional reality, an enjoyable and productive one. Clarity was given on all the tiny minutiae of working from home – mobile internet allowances, lunch stipends, flexibility for parents juggling at-home kids. Teams adjusted their cadences for video meetings and online collaboration. Our in-house gym went virtual with daily video training sessions. Partnerships were made with mindfulness apps to support our mental health. Our kitchen converted all the produce slated for company lunches into meals that could be shipped to those in need via charities. And all this was done organically, driven primarily by individuals working at the grassroots and coming up with the ideas and solutions that could make it all viable. Every person that joins us on the Canva journey has a unique and powerful impact on where we – as an organization – go from here. Needless to say, our strength is in the type of person our culture attracts, who rallies around Canva’s mission, and who is empowered to pursue that mission through a multitude of avenues. That well-articulated culture has burned brightly for a while now and is, for me, the ultimate sign of our success. But it wasn’t always that way. Back when we were a small team, eight people all sitting around the same table, I remember reading advice to entrepreneurs about “maintaining culture” and scoffing. We were a tight-knit team, building an amazing product. Culture was the last thing we needed to focus on building. But whether we knew it or not, we were building it anyway. “When they started out, our co-founders believed that they were creating a great product. Then they realized that they were creating a great company that creates great products. Finally, they realized that it was most important of all to create a culture that enables the creation of a great company that creates great products.” — David Noël, Soundcloud Creating a culturally focused company from its very inception would be an interesting experiment, however, the genesis of most startups is in solving a problem or building something that you desperately think should exist. Your focus is on that and that alone. But through the process of making a product or harnessing technology you are intrinsically imbuing your organisation with a culture: the natures of the people that you hire and work with, the decisions you make, the shorthand you use to collaborate, the choices you make in your product and your roadmap… they are all imprinted with your cultural fingerprint. And it’s that fingerprint that expands out like the rings of a tree to form your organization as it grows. Set crazy big goals and make them happen At Canva we never shirk from a challenge, and we take great pride in tackling things in a way that others would be intimidated by. It’s the foundation for one of our six values: Set crazy big goals and make them happen. This value is talked about a lot to make sure people understand the process by which we set these big goals and the expectations we have that people will try to use this process in every aspect of their work. But it’s also lived a lot by setting crazy big goals ourselves as leaders and then pursuing them with all our heart. The perfect example of this is the way that we went about internationalizing our product. Canva’s six core corporate values. ‘Be a force for good’ and ‘Empower others’ - making the world a better place through positive actions, inclusion and diversity. ‘Pursue excellence’ - maintain a high bar for ourselves and the people we work with. Continuous growth and development. Lead by example. ‘Be a good human’ - valuing good communication. Being open, honest and constructive: individually, within your team, across the company, and externally. ‘Make complex things simple’ - always aiming for the most simple, pragmatic and effective solution to any problem. Think of the user. ‘Set crazy big goals and make them happen’ - set ambitious goals, prioritise, hustle to execute and celebrate success! In 2015 we had achieved great growth as a design tool, but that growth had been restricted to people who could speak English. Our product was in English, our emails were in English, our templates were in English, even our marketing was all in English. We realized to grow a truly global product and to fulfil our mission – empower the world to design – we needed to move beyond this mono-lingual view of the world and make a product that was truly accessible by everyone in the world.  We did a tiny bit of benchmarking with tech companies that had come before us, like Facebook and Google, and saw that they’d taken almost 10 years to become fully internationalized products. We decided we could do it in two. So we set ourselves the goal of being in 100 languages by the end of 2017. The cross-team collaboration required to achieve this was mind boggling. Not only did we have to deal with the technical aspects of serving different languages in different parts of the world, we also had to setup a translation pipeline that would automatically do this any time someone wrote a piece of text, get our email engine to do the same for any of our communications, and then start serving Russian design content to Russians and Portuguese design content to Brazilians. We didn’t know how we were going to do it all when we started, but after taking the first few steps we learnt from our stumbles, iterated and adapted along the way. On December 24, 2017 we published Canva in our 100th language.  Canva has over 100 languages – including five right to left scripts such as Hebrew and Arabic. An example of the many languages used on the Canva platform. It was a time for massive celebration. Internally, we designed our own beautiful mural on one of our office walls – with the word ‘creativity’ in all one hundred languages.  Members of our team each doing their part in creating our very own mural celebrating Canva in over 100 languages! Putting resources into such a crazy big goal is not only about calculating the return on investment, it’s also a huge signal culturally about what we value and what we’re striving to achieve. As you grow there’s a real balance you need to achieve by showing examples and giving people a deeper understanding of the ‘why’. Actions may speak louder than words, but it’s important to back culture up with examples and communication, so that people understand expectations, can express them to others that come into your tribe, and also demonstrate them so newcomers see them in effect. We didn’t codify our culture into our six values until about four years into our journey, but since then we’ve seen how massively valuable it is to have that shared understanding of what everyone at Canva believes in and how that shapes our decisions moving forward.  Our values are at the heart of everything we do. They're the spirit behind every action and intention here at Canva, helping us to create a workplace where everyone can thrive. No matter what someone’s role is, where they’re based or what their goals are, our values act as a universal guide to help our teams do the best work of their life at Canva. So much so, we created our very own Culture Book, which highlights how we strive to live by our values, and paves a way for new employees to feel at home within our organization straight away, so they’re ready to take on the world with us. The team developed a Canva Culture Book, primarily for new starters so they know what our values are, and how each member of our team strives to live them daily. A lot of the Canva culture you’ll see talked about in the press revolves around the shiny things – free lunches, a gym, extra-curricular clubs – but it’s not until something like COVID-19 hits you begin to see the real culture of an organisation. It’s in those moments of crisis and stress, when everyone is reacting reflexively and having to make their own decisions, that you witness a person’s – or team’s – true colors.  By the end of our first day of remote work, everyone’s ‘Be a good human’ side had come out: Slack channels had sprung up to share WFH information, people were offering cars to move desks and chairs, our coaches had swung into full support mode for anyone experiencing mental stress, and our People team had reached out to ensure the safety of anyone travelling overseas. We’re all team players. We keep our minds open, our intentions kind and our actions respectful. For us, this is what being a good human is all about.  By the end of the second day, everyone was exemplifying how we strive to ‘Be a force for good’. We were reaching out to our community, figuring out who was hardest hit and who needed the greatest support. We were scrambling to find the best content for teachers who needed to teach remotely for the first time. We were helping out businesses who couldn’t afford to keep their doors open. Our kitchen staff kept busy and started pulling together meals for those in need. [Side note: you can read more about the initiatives we have in place whilst we’re working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic here!] Every single person who works within our organization – and the culture they collectively create –  becomes part of our story in making a positive impact in the world. So whilst we don’t have our shared lunches or our rooftop yoga sessions anymore (and who knows when we’ll get them back), after seeing our team swiftly move into WFH mode since the start of March, it’s easy to see how the culture we nurture and are so proud of, trumps any of those superficial perks. Listen to Cameron share his thoughts about the journey of building Canva and where the company, and its culture, is headed from here. How we’re spreading good vibes while everyone’s working from home 2020-04-09T01:21:53Z how-we-re-spreading-good-vibes-while-everyone-s-working-from-home Read the full article here: Canva’s humble journey started in our CEO and cofounder’s mother’s lounge room in Western Australia. Eight years later, a now global business with offices in Sydney, Manila and China, our 800+ strong team is testament to our ability to maintain a happy, engaged and productive workforce. In December 2019/January 2020 Australia overcame one of its worst national disasters with fire storms ravaging our lands, during which we witnessed the great Aussie spirit, pure grit and bravery, hope and overwhelming stories of kindness, generosity and charity. Meanwhile the eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas, Philippines also in January meant our team members in Manila had to adapt to new work schedules, while our colleagues in China were starting to feel the first waves of the coronavirus outbreak hit home. Now the pandemic is spreading. We’re witnessing unprecedented times, with many people in panic mode - ranging from pensioners, business owners, parents and their school children, in limbo wondering what the next few months will look like. We’ve seen people battling each other for the last roll of TP, stockpiling goods, abusing retail staff for nation-wide enforced rations, mass organisation-wide layoffs - it could be said this pandemic is bringing out the worst in everyone. Being located in Sydney myself, I’ve personally witnessed polar opposite ‘vibes’, only months apart. With governments around the globe urgently trying to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Australia has imposed a number of strict regulations to slow down infection rates: Shutdown of principal places of social gathering - including registered and licensed clubs, entertainment venues, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, indoor sports venues and places of worship; No international travel to any country; Some states closing their borders for domestic travel; Restaurants and cafes are restricted to takeaway only; Cancellation of events like the ANZAC Day Memorial Services; Postponement of national sporting events including the NRL and AFL tournaments; and Encouraging all people to stay at home, practice physical distancing of at least 1.5m if it’s absolutely necessary to enter into the public domain and good hand hygiene. What does this mean for our people? Our extended communities? Our users? Our priorities are to, above all else: keep our team, and their families safe by introducing work from home measures; do our part to slow community spread of the virus to help protect the most vulnerable; and ensure we continue to serve our design community with the highest standards. But what happens to team morale, and the culture Canva is so lovingly known for, when all face-to-face contact, in-person meetings, international and domestic travel, and other events are put on hold to work from home? I’ll share how the Canva Vibe team is taking our mission further by lifting morale and engagement across our remote workforce. The Virtual Canva Vibe Now more than ever, the need for good vibes and a strong company culture is intensifying. So much so, our ‘Vibe Team’ has been working tirelessly over the past couple of weeks to ensure that when the time came for the entire 800+ Canva workforce to work remotely, the same culture could be felt across the world wide web, straight to everyone’s home office/couch/dining room table - wherever their best work is done! Our Vibe Team is a dedicated group of individuals (roughly 1 to every 25 employees) whose primary purpose is ensure there is a strong internal culture, and therefore a wonderful work environment that inspires everyone to do their best work - to have that fire in their belly to continuously learn and improve, as well as feel supported and truly love what they do each day. To that end, with our now completely remote workplace, the Vibe Team has developed a dedicated internal website as a one-stop-shop key resource to help bolster our team’s strong sense of belonging and camaraderie. An ever-evolving platform, currently the site includes: Daily Updates A dedicated space where super top line updates (also known as TL:DR content) are shared for the global team; they will be updated on a ‘as they happen’ basis. More social channels Additional Slack channels have been created with working from home (WFH) tips and tricks, how-tos and a bit of fun; these include #wfh-fashion-challenges, #wfh-food-and-bev-challenge where teams can spice up and share their working from home outfits, join the daily cook-along and ‘rate your mates’ plates and #best-of-zoom-meetings where our team can show off their best Zoom backgrounds and calls. Sydney Dashboard Content that is normally played across our digital screens within Canva’s Sydney offices, are now being broadcast virtually through our new ‘intranet’. Updated daily, the purpose of this dashboard is to inspire lunch options, recommend good books, recognise ‘Canvaversaries’ and birthdays, and welcome our newest recruits (known as ‘Canvanauts’). It’s important we continue to implement as many BAU activities as possible - for it is these quirky little internal communication pieces that add up to make Canva’s well-loved culture and vibe. Covid-homebase A central area containing all the key information relating to COVID-19 and WFH policies. Includes country-specific government updates and mandates, new company-wide announcements, as well as toolkits for BAU activity to proceed remotely, ensuring we’re working as a collective as seamlessly and cohesively as possible. Lunch Stipend In this current climate, we are extremely lucky to be able to keep up our livelihood and work from home, especially as there are other industries that don’t have this opportunity. One area that has been impacted massively are our local cafes, restaurants and commercial fruit and vegetable suppliers; and closer to home, our very own suppliers to Canva. We see this as a great opportunity to embrace our values and offer support to these communities in need. All our team members receive a daily lunch stipend whilst we’re a 100% remote workforce - and during this time we’re encouraging everyone to think about the communities that have been greatly affected by the current situation when it comes how and where to spend the allowance. To that end, our people can: Receive the stipend in their fortnightly paycheck to spend within their local communities, supporting their local providers. OR Help local suppliers and provide food to local charities 🙏 Rather than receiving the stipend in one’s paycheck, it’ll be donated to either Wayside Chapel or OzHarvest. We have chosen these charities as they reflect the values that we ourselves embody and echo our philosophy of being able to bring people together through good nutritious food. OR Help local suppliers and receive a home delivery hamper 🥖 Most of Canva’s food and beverage suppliers have lost up to 80%-90% of their weekly clients and are facing uncertain futures. To ensure they are able to keep operating we have pulled together a weekly mixed hamper that showcases their amazing seasonal produce and smallgoods. The hamper will be delivered every Tuesday and contain the following: Fresh bread from Bread & Butter Project; Half doz. free range eggs; Fresh fruit and vegetables from Rami (who supplements our Canva veg supply); Farm veg, Hebron Farm (Canva’s Farm); Freshly Ground Coffee from Kua Coffee; and Flowers from our florist Selena Murray Cooking@Home Our resident chefs have developed weekly menus, shopping lists and how-to videos to inspire. The video series showcases how easy, and cost-effective, it is to pull together a healthy breakfast and lunch using limited resources. Updated weekly, the videos include step-by-step instructions on how to make pesto linguine through to the ultimate in 2 minute noodles recipes. Health and Wellbeing Our resident Health and Wellbeing Coach has transformed a whole raft of wellness plans into virtual ones via Zoom - including fitness programs like chair yoga, how to deal with 3:30itis and a series of stretches and functional movements to get the blood flow moving. Here’s an example of one of the many exercises shared with our teams, to keep our bodies moving and help us all be less sedentary. Clubs from Home From #wine-club and #music-club, through to #pasta-club-official and #mindfulness-club, the virtual club scene is strong at Canva. Keeping our employees engaged and active in the company - beyond their remit as per their job description - is an integral part of our culture. We have over 360 active clubs currently at Canva, with many more by the day moving to a virtual format; their value is enormous to building strong long-lasting relationships with other members of our team, the cross-pollination of ideas and information and knowledge sharing. WFH Tips Moving 800+ people completely online is unchartered territory for many, so the development of our WFH (working from home) tips resource offers insight into some of the best ways to work with remote teams, as well as how to stay productive while watching Netflix plus much more. We’ve also developed a comprehensive ‘Remote Working Toolkit’ which includes resources for individuals, teams and leads; such as guidelines for remote work, WFH productivity reimbursements, list of tools available for remote collaboration such as Slack, Zoom, Trello, Jira, Coda and the like. Canva University has also launched a ‘How do you remotely do it?’ series, including a number of panels, sessions and deep dives on working remotely. Podcasts Currently featuring four shows - hosted by some of Canva’s most charismatic team members - these dedicated podcasts are critical to boosting engagement across our entirely remote organisation. Over 42 million people listen to podcasts weekly, that’s more than people go to the movies! A statistic that will sure rise given the current #coronavirus climate. This form of communication: allows us to reach our employees with a format they’re used to; is easy to digest; has the ability to engage a global team - podcasts allow us to make important information available on demand immediately to others in different timezones; and enhances peer-to-peer connection. Mental Health It’s extra important to look after your headspace when working remotely for extended periods and during times of uncertainty. To effectively support the mental health of all our people, Canva is providing every employee with: 13 free video consultations with a psychologist via the company’s EAP providers; Access to a comprehensive resources library on managing one’s mental health during times of isolation Mindfulness and meditation app subsidies - these practices can be incredibly effective in times like these. There are plenty of really great apps out there (Headspace, Calm, Smiling Mind etc) and Canva will help cover the subscription fees Access to a number of virtual webinar series covering key mental health topics, as well as strategies for copying and building resilience. Sharing Economy Whether you’re looking for soap or kids panadol, this dedicated area includes an interactive map where team members can upload ‘shopping hotspots’. It also allows you to ‘pin drop’ companies that have had to close their doors, but are still alive and kicking online - so we can continue to ‘shop local’. Finally there’s an area to ‘Hitch a Ride’ - where if you have a car, you can list your availability to help out other Canvanauts if needed. Virtual Friday Night Drinks We’ve developed a virtual ‘Friday Night Drinks’ Zoom meeting which features live performances to support the local entertainment industry that has been so disadvantaged by the outbreak of COVID-19. Team Innings An initiative to help keep the internal wins and celebrations alive, and continue building connections with each of our teams - while we’re all remote. From virtual games of Pictionary and Bingo as an ice breaker, through to dedicated dress up meetings (Canva is big on dress ups - especially at our Season Openers - we’ve had Under the Sea, Game of Thrones, Hawaiian just to name a few), exercises with our resident Health and Wellness Coach and specialised cooking tutorials with our group of chefs. Why keeping the vibe alive is important I am a firm believer that ‘keeping the vibe alive’ (or culture) is absolutely paramount for any organisation, especially during times of crisis and uncertainty. For us, we know our culture and vibe is the backbone to our success; our great people develop our great products. It takes a village to constantly lead the charge and work to become one of the world’s most loved brands. We hope these initiatives will help us ride this wave of uncertainty, by providing an environment for our people to be the best they can be, deliver their best work and ensure we continue to deliver a service that is exceptional. We’re not professing to have all the answers, we’re learning as we go - this is unchartered territory, and we are well aware there are organisations that do not have the luxury or flexibility to implement the measures we have - but every little effort can add up to something more impactful. If our methods mean less people commuting to and from work, with less touchpoints running the risk of infection, it’s just one small step to help keep our communities safer. Secondly, if our initiatives inspire other organisations to implement little changes to make their respective teams and communities safer, more cohesive, then that too is a win. Thirdly, our people come first, second and third - during this time of crisis each and everyone’s well being is of the utmost importance - it takes a village to build and maintain a business like ours - and if we can do our bit to ensure our global teams have what they need to be good humans and to excel in their work and home life, then we’re ensuring we’re doing our bit to be a force for good. What else are our people doing to support the broader community? We, as an organisation, are offering all public health organisations (PHO) around the world with free lifetime licences for Canva Pro. This initiative comes in response to the surge of misinformation surrounding the virus, as PHO’s struggle to fight back against myths and rumours gaining traction in the public domain. Canva’s in-house design team is volunteering its services to PHO’s in need of further assistance with delivering effective visual communications. We have also launched a collection of new health-related templates including flyers, posters and social media posts designed with pre-populated content based on the information supplied by the World Health Organisation (WHO). All of our farm produce is being donated to Wayside Chapel, local communities and OzHarvest. We’re also producing finished meals for our nearby charity organisations, to continue to help those in need during this global crisis. Regardless of where you are in the world, 2020 will be one of the toughest years yet. We all need to rally together to build resilience and courage, help each other out, share information/resources and learn from each other so that together we can come out the other side of this global crisis stronger and more empowered than ever before.