Is life all lollypops and rainbows when you work alongside your family every day? Envato staff tell all!
In the immortal words of Lilo from the Disney classic Lilo & Stitch “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”
While the original statement was directed at something akin to a genetically engineered koala (thanks Wikipedia), it’s also a phrase that could easily be adopted at Envato, given the number of family members we have working under the one roof at our Melbourne HQ…and no, that’s not including co-founders Collis and Cyan Ta’eed!
Take brothers Vasko and Daniel Jovanoski. The latter was just five months into his role as a Development Team Lead last year when he encouraged his younger brother to apply for a Service Desk Specialist position. Far from having reservations about working so close together, Vasko said it was an easy decision to make. “Daniel told me about the role and the amazing culture and people at Envato, so applying for the role was an easy call to make.”
“There’s been a lot of positives, such as being able to catch up more regularly now and spend more time with him (Daniel), whether it be going for a coffee in the morning or grabbing lunch.”
“Also beating him at table-tennis has been quite enjoyable also! Sorry, Dan… I had to…” concludes Vasko with a laugh.
Despite having a torrid time on the table tennis table with his brother, Dan likewise has been a big fan of sharing his workday with family. “As we don’t live together anymore, it’s been great grabbing a coffee in the morning and catching up. I catch-up with Vasko more now than ever before…and I’ve even received credit for helping cook at the company BBQ when it was actually Vasko who volunteered!”
“There have been zero downsides, it’s been great.”
Likewise, it’s been all positive for the McKenna family. Sam McKenna, her husband Pat and his brother Alex have ensured that Envato has always had a McKenna in the building since 2013. “Pat started it,” says Sam. “He had this amazing opportunity with an awesome team which he’d tell me all about when he got home to find me still in my freelancing-PJs!”
Pat confirms he played a strong role in getting the rest of his family in the door. “I think I may have influenced Alex and Sam by constantly telling them about how nice it is to work at Envato, and that jealousy eventually morphed into job applications”
For Alex, having a familiar face in his brother Pat as he commenced in a new Customer Experience role made the transition to a new place of work so much smoother. “At the beginning of my time at Envato, Pat and I were working in different roles but on the same team. So while learning the ropes he was an amazing resource for learning why things were the way they were and I think it really helped me get up to speed in my job much faster.”
“And now with two other McKennas here there’s always someone to talk to and get a coffee or lunch with.”
However, there are downsides. “We end up talking about work constantly, even when we’re out at parties or family gatherings,” says Pat. “It can alienate everyone else a little bit.” It’s a sentiment Alex agrees with. “It does tend to come up, but we tend to have different opinions on things though so it’s usually quite good to hear their opinions on work topics,” he says.
“I think we do talk a lot about achievements or frustrations, but I think Alex is really great at leaving work at work” counters Sam.
“Also, my Dad keeps demanding that we get him some Envato merchandise,” jumps in Pat, reflecting further on the challenges they face as a family.
“Sometimes when Pat and Sam are too lazy to come to the office they make me collect their mail and bring it home for them,” muses Alex.
“Pat and I have been mistaken for brother and sister a couple of times, which is kind of funny but also concerning,” reflects Sam.
But the very minor frustrations are made up for a whole lot of good experiences. “Ultimately, you’ve always got someone supportive to rant to when you’re having a bad day,” concludes Pat.