A Day in the Life of an Automattician

A number of my colleagues at Automattic have been writing “A Day in the Life” posts about how they work throughout the day. I took notes of one of my workdays a few weeks ago and am finally writing them up here. πŸ™‚


This is my desk. Yes, I cleaned up a LOT of stuff off of it before I took the photo. It’s not as dark and depressing as it appears in my office.



Ok, fine. It’s a really cloudy day today, so sue me. πŸ˜›

Now without further ado, a day in my life at work.

7:00a: Get out of bed, shower, brush teeth and get dressed.

7:15a: Grab breakfast and coffee. Start opening all the P2 posts (one of our internal communication tools) I want to read. I’m up to 40+ tabs open now. Eat while catching up on team chatter in Slack (another internal communication tool).

7:45a: Uh oh – cat barf emergency with Roxy and the daily medicine routine for Pixel.

8:00a: My team chat which normally starts now is pushed back a little bit. Instead, I start reading all the P2 posts I opened in tabs. Have to also deal with another cat barf emergency. πŸ™

8:20a: Team chat! Normally we do a video chat, but this time we do text only. I am bummed because my hair looks good for a change.

9:15a: Time for a break to relocate from my kitchen table to my office. Spend some quality time with the foam roller to work out some soreness in my legs from the long run I did the day before. Refill beverages.

9:30a: On Fridays, my team doesn’t do any ticket work from morning in our time zone until lunchtime, but instead we work on improving documentation for both internal / external sites. We update screenshots, write new copy, and create new documents if we find something missing. Also had a brief conversation with my husband as he was working remotely today.

9:50a: Finally get working on the docs project. Roxy still is having tummy trouble.

11:15a: Impromptu trip to the vet due to the barfing kitty.

1:00p: I got back from the vet, grabbed my lunch, and went back to work. I don’t normally eat at my desk, but as I was reading through documentation, it wasn’t a big deal to eat my salad and read documentation at the same time.

???: Taking another break to monitor Roxy (she had been dehydrated and got subcutaneous fluids and anti nausea medication) and had a phone call from the vet with test results. It happened pretty fast, so I’m not sure what exact time that all happened.

2:30p: Finish up the documentation projects I started this morning.

2:45p: Start working on some Guided Transfers. This process involves moving a user’s WordPress.com site to their own new self-hosted site. This involves a lot of work with hosts, FTP, and checking to make sure the transfer is seamless for the user.

3:15p: Took a break to return a phone call from my sister.

3:30p: Back to Guided Transfers and helping some of our Happiness Engineer trials in Slack.

5:00p (ish): I’m pretty sure that I ended my day around 5pm. All the Guided Transfers were completed and I had been caught up on all the reading I wanted to do today.

The great thing about working remotely and for a company like Automattic is the flexibility that we’re given to get our work done. There’s no time clock to punch, no “middle management” keeping tabs on your every move, no 8-5 workday. Ironically, I did have an 8-5 workday on this “Day in the Life” – but I also had the flexibility to take my kitty to the vet as soon as I could and there wasn’t an expectation that I would have to “make up” that time I missed.

I have coworkers who don’t even start their day until 10-11am and others that work in 2-3 hour chunks – it’s all what works best for each individual. The benefit of working where you live means you have coworkers around the globe and with the communication tools we use, everything happens all the time – a sort of organized chaos – and time ceases to be the primary focus of being productive. There was a great piece on our CEO Matt Mullenweg on how things work here that explains it much better than I ever could. πŸ™‚

Are you jealous yet? We are hiring! πŸ˜‰

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