Graphic design startup Canva has been named the coolest Australian tech company thanks to its egalitarian work culture and a suite of perks ranging from free lunch to lucrative shares in the business.
Staff at Canva are treated to a free lunch at 1pm every weekday and also take part in regular team-building exercises.
JobAdvisor’s list of the 10 coolest Australian tech companies, published today, also includes Smart50 winner Vinomofo, software company Envato and app developer Buzinga.
While most small businesses and early-stage startups wouldn’t be able to afford an in-house chef, Melanie Perkins, co-founder and chief executive of Canva, toldSmartCompany it actually doesn’t cost a lot to create a great workplace culture.
“It doesn’t need to be expensive to put your people first,” Perkins says.
“It’s more about team bonding and your perspective – do you care about your team and do you want them to come to work, or not? Yes, there’s all these awesome economic benefits… but it all comes from the place of wanting people to love their work.”
In the past, Canva has released doves and even smashed plates in order to launch a new project.
But what is Perkins’ top tip for creating a great workplace culture?
“I definitely recommend having lunch together,” she says.
“It can be really, really inexpensive, but the value you get from that and the feeling of unity and family is so important. It’s something we did from the very early days. With my first company we’d sit around my mum’s living room table. It means you’re talking to people you might not be normally talking to.”
Even if a business doesn’t hold regular lunches, Perkins says it’s important that employees come together in order to celebrate successes.
The fast-growing startup’s attitude towards workplace culture is paying dividends, announcing it had closed a $US15 million Series A funding round last month.
Here are the top 10 coolest companies in the Australian tech scene, according to JobAdvisor:
5. Vocus Communications
9. Integral Ad Science