Flexible work is proven to drive employee engagement, boost productivity, and improve well-being. We talked to some of Envato's remote team members about they make remote work work.
Envato is officially a remote-first workplace! Our Flexible Work Policy encourages employees to build a life they love and choose a way of working that works for them which ensures that they maintain a healthy work-life balance, pursue personal goals, and enjoy family life, community commitments, and other interests.
In addition to being beneficial to employees, flexible work is also a perk for Envato as a business – remote work is proven to drive employee engagement and productivity and boost employee well-being and happiness.
“Our Flexible Work Policy is derived from our belief that the quality of work accomplished is more important than working a fixed 9 to 5,” says Claire March, Envato’s Senior People Experience Manager. “We firmly believe that our employees can still be successful and productive if they work remotely, and our policy also emphasizes the importance of accountability and the benefits of collaboration, which are both super important for working flexibly.”
While remote work has its perks, it also has its challenges. Employees working from afar often miss out on some key experiences that come with working from an office – such as connecting and communicating with colleagues in person. So how do we ensure that our people can still participate in the social aspects of work?
“We’ve expanded our flexible working policy to allow our employees to stay connected, have fun and make the most of flexible working,” explains Claire. “Our Connect Your Way budget provides all eligible employees with an annual allowance to connect with nearby employees in real life. People use this for dinners, drinks, bowling, kayaking – anything that keeps them connected!”
To learn more about how flexible and remote work impacts the work and home lives of our people, we chatted with some remote team members to hear about the benefits flexible work affords them, the challenges of working from afar, and their tips for making remote work work.
I lead the Envato Elements Customer Success team. I left my last role looking for a new challenge, and that’s when I stumbled across Envato – I knew right away it was the place for me. I officially joined the team in June 2021 and work from Canberra, Australia.
This is my first remote job, and while I’ve been here just over a year, the flexibility has been a real game changer for my family.
I’m up early, but not by choice – our 3-year-old is a 5 am kid. So I get up, have breakfast, throw on some kids’ TV, and start my day. I’ll generally sit on the couch with my laptop and catch up on everything that’s happened overnight. My team is scattered all over the globe, so no matter the time of day, there’s always work to do. We head off to daycare at around 7:30 am, then I get in a quick gym session on the way home, and I’m back online around 8:45 am.
From there, I can knuckle down with almost no distractions. It’s common for me to take calls later in the evening to cater to my team in the EU. Those are perfect for me, as I can pick up our 3-year-old from daycare and take her to the park or for a swim, followed by ice cream. Then, I jump back online once the kids are asleep.
Immeasurably. There is much less tension after a day of work, and we’re all full of energy going into the weekends. Sick kids have also become a much less chaotic problem to solve. Envato is so focused on finding the right balance for its employees that it becomes second nature sometimes. My manager has kids, too, so she fully understands. I’ve never felt worried or anxious about needing to move my day around, and I can’t imagine a more positive indicator than that.
The flexibility, for sure. Life is for us crazy at the best of times – my wife and I have two kids, a 3-year-old and a 4-week-old. Being able to schedule my days around my family’s needs has been huge for our mental health. When things come up last minute (and they always do), it’s a huge relief to know that I can step away, do whatever I need to do, and come back knowing I’ve made things a little easier for my family.
Kids can be loud – like super loud – and it can be easy to get distracted. If you can, find yourself a place that is just for you. Have your kids walk you to your “office,” say goodbye, and then get to work. Making your kids a part of your routine means they’re much more likely to respect your space.
Kids love it when you bring them into your world – it’s a unique chance to introduce them to what you do. Our 3-year-old joins me for calls occasionally to say hello to the team or to show off a new dress or her freshly painted nails, and the team loves saying hello. Mix it up, too – work from your favorite cafe or sit in the sun while you eat lunch. Find what works for you, and above all, create a space you want to be in – fill it with photos, plants, trinkets, you name it. Also, noise-canceling headphones are a must!
I’m the Social Media Manager at Envato and look after our various social media accounts. I have been working remotely since I started at Envato, initially working from Sydney and now living in Perth. Working remotely has given me the freedom to move to a new city without the added stress of finding a new job and has given my life a very welcome level of consistency during a time of change.
Even before moving state, working from home in Sydney allowed me to walk the dog in his favorite park when the sun appeared and be present for removalists, real estate agents, and the like when we decided to make the move interstate.
While being pregnant, I’ve been able to take appointments with doctors and specialists near me at short notice and I was in the comfort of my own home when I experienced some very unpleasant bouts of morning sickness.
It’s been great to have continuity in my life with many changes happening (a new baby, a new state, new people, etc.). I enjoy being able to see familiar faces every day. The last two weeks before we moved included visits from removalists, people purchasing our furniture, final real estate inspections, cleaners, etc. Working from home enabled me to be present for these important ‘life admin’ tasks.
I have continued working East Coast hours to stay more connected with my team based in Sydney, New Zealand, and Mexico. I start my work day at 6 am with meetings and catchups until 10 am. My partner brings me breakfast and snacks before he heads off to work and will give the team a wave and a good morning while I’m on my calls.
At 10 am, I like to make myself a healthy meal while listening to a podcast, and I usually eat my meal and reply to emails and messages outside the lovely Perth Sun. After my early lunch, I’ll usually stay outside, sit in the shade with my cat, and get stuck into content planning, creative briefing, and social media scheduling for the rest of the day.
I finish by 2:30 pm, which leaves me the afternoon to do whatever I want. I walk the dog, practice my baking skills, call family and friends, or meet with my midwife or physio to prepare for the next exciting stage of my life – being a Mum!
I have to try harder to meet people and make friends in a new city, given I’m at home a lot. Luckily, I’ve joined a great app that helps me to meet other expectant mums in the area, and I’m having my first coffee meetup this week. I’m also planning on attending a local Envato meetup in Perth to connect with other Envatians who live and work in the area.
I often join meetings early so I can enjoy some chit-chat with my colleagues, and I returned to HQ in Melbourne in November for our annual ‘back to base’ event, Envato Connect!
I suggest getting your meetings out of the way in the morning when you’re awake, engaged, and more likely to connect with your team effectively. Make the most of any opportunity to meet with colleagues or visit the office. Break your day into digestible sections and utilize different areas of your working environment to signal to yourself that it’s meeting time, focus time, planning time, etc. Envato has many Slack channels and interest groups – from pet lovers to yogis and dad joke connoisseurs – so there are plenty of opportunities to connect with colleagues on a deeper level, even when working remotely.
I’m the Senior Social Media Specialist and have been at Envato for over four months. I work from a farm in Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand. I’m in the guest house, so every morning, I commute in my Crocs with a coffee across to the main house to get the best WiFi connection. It’s also great to have separation from where I sleep to where I work.
I was specifically seeking a fully remote role, as I do my best work in my own space and on my own schedule. I also film TikToks and create content so having the privacy and environment to do that is excellent.
I’m near Christchurch, but not near enough for a quick commute to any job. Christchurch also doesn’t have the right opportunities for me to be able to make an impact on a global scale. I love that the content I create reaches an international audience.
I’m also close to nature on the farm – there’s beauty in every direction (I’m incredibly lucky). So if I need a break from digital tools, there’s always a stunning walk at my doorstep.
I wake up, cuddle with the cat I recently domesticated (a stray was living in the farm barn), have a coffee, do the Commute in my Crocs™, and then settle into roughly two hours of uninterrupted work before Australia wakes up and joins me online.
I have about five hours of timezone cross-over with my manager Bethany – who is in Perth – so we usually jump on a call and chat through projects and briefs. I’ll break for a proper lunch which typically involves leftovers and a TikTok scroll, before jumping back into meetings, writing briefs, and creating content.
After work, I stomp back to the guest house and either find something mind-numbing to watch on Netflix, head out the door to see friends, go for a walk with my partner, or find it within me to go to the local gym.
It was only last year that I moved from city life in Auckland to the farm, so rural living is still quite a culture shock for me. Being able to head into town for a meal or to head to the gym when needed is essential for me and helps me avoid feeling isolated. Envato prioritizes making your work schedule work for your lifestyle. I feel confident to take opportunities when they pop up and never feel chained to my desk for a set time.
THE WIFI CONNECTION. We have capped rural WiFi with frequent outages – the guest house WiFi doesn’t even play Netflix half the time, let alone let me take a Google Meet call! There are spots on the farm where I can hotspot my phone’s network if push comes to shove – luckily, everyone at work understands if I suddenly dip out. I am patiently waiting (kind of) for Starlink to be installed within the next month. It will be life-changing.
When it comes to staying motivated, I have a ‘Focus Candle.’ If I find myself scrolling a little beyond where I need to on TikTok (it happens), I switch gears by lighting my candle. While it’s lit, I’m productive. My reward is the sweet, sweet smell of Wild Grapefruit.
I’m part of the SEO team and work as an Outreach Specialist based in Guadalajara, Mexico. I love remote work; I’ve always been introverted, and working from home allows me to stay relaxed and productive while enjoying the company of my furry friends.
Working remotely has allowed me to spend more time with my loved ones. My family lives in a different city, and now I can visit them whenever I want, without waiting for holidays or vacations. I feel so lucky to work at a company that values us as individuals with specific needs. We can do our best work because we have the freedom to organize our own schedules.
The time difference between my team and I is huge – 17 hours! When I’m finishing a day, they’re starting another. It can sound daunting, but it’s great if you consider that I can spend the whole morning working (when I’m most productive) without being interrupted by meetings.
It also can be hard to get immediate responses to your questions. When working remotely, you need to understand that not everyone is available simultaneously and consider it could take one or two days (at least) for people to reply.
I’m an SEO Outreach Specialist. I have been working at Envato for almost two years from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and thanks to working remotely, I have the opportunity to live where I’ve always wanted – on the beach.
The main benefit of working remotely is working from your favorite places. Work doesn’t stop you from living a full life. You can enjoy life and work simultaneously without one affecting the other.
By working from a different time zone than the rest of my team, I have plenty of time to work and focus during the day. In the evenings, I can prepare to spend time in meetings with the team, which allows me to be very productive without constant interruptions.
Flexible work allowed me to live the life of my dreams. It’s not easy to find the right job in the right place, and usually, you have to choose between one or the other. Thanks to Envato and the many communication tools they offer, I could live where I wanted and work a job I love while feeling like part of the team.
The most challenging part of working remotely is the lack of connection with collaborators and that sense of community. Still, on the other hand, thanks to the freedom to work from anywhere, I can find coworking spaces where I can connect with people from other companies and learn from their experiences, which is fun and interesting.
We also have many options and tools to stay connected as a team. Additionally, we try to have brief catch ups where we stay up-to-date with what others are doing and maintain a sense of belonging.
My main tip for working remotely is to prepare for the workday as if you were going to the office. It’s easy to get distracted constantly, so having a professional mindset during work hours is paramount. Changing from my pajamas to a comfortable but more professional outfit, making my coffee in the morning, and preparing my desk always puts me in the right mood.
There’s no doubt that flexible work can be hugely beneficial for everyone’s personal and professional life. To learn more about the Envato employee experience, check out these articles on Working From Anywhere and our parental leave policy.