Flexibility essential for success in ‘new world’ of work


The recent from the Committee of Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Australia’s Future Workforce?, made headlines with predictions of up to 5 million job losses in the next decade due to technological drivers.

Leading Australian startup Envato sees the report as an important fork in the road for the country, and a critical opportunity to invest in our digital futures.

“We believe Australian owned digital businesses like Envato illustrate the possibilities of a de-industrialised, flexible economy,” said Envato Human Resources Director James Law.

Launched in 2006, Envato is a network of digital marketplaces that connect designers and developers with buyers worldwide. Envato Market is the leading marketplace globally for website themes and other creative assets. Tuts+, Envato’s online learning hub, does big business subscribing learners to thousands of diverse tutorials on everything from craft to coding. 

The bootstrapped, family owned startup has over 160 staff based in its Melbourne head office and over 80 remote contractors worldwide. Born global, it serves 5.5 million community members in 200 countries, and has made millionaires of 45 creative freelancers to date (a number forecast to more than double in 18 months).

Flexibility - from business development to workplace practices - has been a lynchpin in its success.

“True flexibility is needed to cope with this new world of working, says James Law.

“We must adapt new styles of work practice and more inclusive organisational cultures as older models of doing business dwindle in appeal and efficiency. Flexibility promotes agility, which we’ll need to compete and thrive. Australian startups excel at this, and are in a position to support and lead other businesses who are at a different stage of the journey.”

As well as generous flexible working options (such as working from home and support for family or carer commitments), Envato lets its Australian employees work from anywhere in the world for up to three months a year.

Stints working abroad mean home grown team members connect to best practices, networks of influencers, and can represent their Australian brand globally. It’s good for the company, good for the individual, and helps keep talent here.

“If an Australian company can open up the world as a backdrop for work and professional development, great workers are less likely to feel that traditional pull of heading offshore to grow their careers.” says James Law.

Coding not for the ‘brown cardigan’ brigade

Envato’s Talent Acquisition Manager Elizabeth Enders said CEDA chief executive Professor Stephen Martin was right to recommend greater investment in education to ready the next generation Australian workforce, and help existing workers at risk of job loss transition into growing areas such as software development, data science or online community building.

“We’re growing rapidly and want to be able to offer roles to qualified candidates around Australia for years to come,” she said.

“It’s encouraging to see skills such as coding being introduced earlier in our education system. This approach helps young people build their capabilities and explore their options.

“Not to mention, Envato is a company of very stylish design talent - there’s not a brown cardigan in sight!,” said Elizabeth, in response to calls by the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, for Australia to move beyond the outdated stereotypes of a nerdy guy in a brown cardigan.

About Envato:

  • Envato is a bootstrapped, family owned Australian startup with over 160 staff based in its Melbourne head office and 80 remote contractors worldwide

  • As a company Envato has returned a quarter of a billion to their creative freelancer community to date.

  • Envato was the first Australian startup to publicly release its diversity figures.

  • In 2014 Envato was named Australia’s Coolest Tech Company by Job Advisor.

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About Envato

Location: Headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. Team located around the world.

What Is Envato?

Founded in 2006, Envato is the world’s leading community for creative assets and creative people.

The network includes Envato Market, Envato Studio, Envato Tuts+ and Envato Elements.

A community of more than eight million people worldwide buy and sell creative assets on Envato Market with total community earnings exceeding $500 million. Millions of students have taken video courses and free tutorials on the Envato Tuts+ education network and Envato Studio connects people with hand picked freelancers to complete their creative projects. Envato Elements is a subscription service with thousands of ready-to-use graphic templates, fonts and assets available for unlimited download.