It’s almost been a year since I started my trial and subsequent hiring at Automattic. To say this job has been life changing is an understatement. My official title is Happiness Engineer. I engineer happiness all day long by helping users create the sites of their dreams while also working on troubleshooting and general support. We do this via live chat and email. I spend the majority of my day in live chat but dedicate hours to email support as well. Plus there is always something to catch up on in our P2s and projects that need tending to. One of the projects I’ve been working on this year is wrangling our support rotations. Once a year, every person outside of support gets to work in support for a week. Scheduling this for some 300+ people is definitely a challenge!
We are making a push to have 24/7 live chat coverage. Some weeks, I will switch a weekday to work on the weekend instead. The flexibility of my schedule is really conducive to life with 3 small kids. I get to work for a company that supports me and also encourages me to make life as a working mother, well, work. I think some people confuse flexibility with spontaneity. I have the flexibility to plan my days in advance while also being respectful of my team and the goals that we have set. Obviously if something last minute comes up, I can usually adjust for it. But the ability to schedule my hours when I need to is inspiring. I have the autonomy to be in charge of how I work. Some days are filled with more meetings than others. I try to keep all the meetings I schedule the same day of the week which just makes my life easier for planning purposes.
Here is a look at my typical day:
6am: Waahh!! Ugh it’s early. Is that the baby crying? I get the baby, change him, grab a bottle, and bring him into the bed for some quality YouTube time while I spend the next 30 to 45 minutes trying to relax/mentally planning all the stuff for the day/looking at my Instagram feed.
7am: The baby is tired of YouTube and is ready to wake up the big kids. Big kids get up. I pack lunches (my least favorite task of the day) and find clothes for school.
8am: My husband takes the kids to school and I take a deep breath and relish that I am about to start my day without need of “real” clothes or commuting. The next hour is spent scrolling through P2s, checking in on Slack, making coffee, going over the support rotation calendar, and reading the news.
9am: Log into Happychat, which is our brand new chat interface. It’s pretty cool. The next five hours are spent helping set up domains, finding the perfect theme, setting up widgets, and anything else that may come my way. Some days are more difficult than others. But in general, nothing is too insurmountable. And if I do have a question or need a sanity check, I ask in our live chat Slack channel.
2pm: Before I know it, my chat hours are over. My day flies by! At this point, I usually spend 30 or so minutes on any follow ups to chat that I need to do.
230pm: Shower/get dressed/eat some food. Fun fact: since working from home, I really suck at eating actual meals. It’s just so much work to find food and eat it. I really should look into the Soylent all the cool kids drink.
3pm: Any errands that I need to run such as grocery shopping get done between now and about 4pm. This is a great time to go grocery shopping because it’s not very crowded. 🙂
4pm: Head over to get the little kids from school. Then head over to get the big kid.
5pm: Home!! Get snacks for the kids, get the iPad for my oldest. The youngest watch Trolls for the 1,286th time. I start making dinner/checking Slack/email/scrolling through Instagram.
6pm: Kids are eating dinner and quiet. I spend the next hour doing some tickets. I’ve gotten to an average of 11-13 tickets per hour depending on how many distractions or interruptions I have.
8pm: All the kids are in bed. My husband and I are sitting down to dinner and watching our shows. I like to use this time to work on some more tickets while watching TV.
10pm: Time for me to go to bed. So tired. Lay in bed, read for a bit, scroll through Instagram one last time and then off to sleep.
As an aside, here are my favorite work from home tools:
My planner, fun pens, emoji post it notes, water, gum, and 5 hour energy.
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