Life as a WordPress.com Happiness Engineer, Wife, Parent, Homeschooler, and Author

Black coffee much with light coffee in it. The mug says Freedom to Publish in white writing. It sits on a wooden table in front of a Mac computer keyboard and black headphones.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I work for Automattic, Inc., the parent company of WordPress.com, as a Happiness Engineer. I celebrated one year at Automattic and wanted to write about what this year has been like for me.

I work remotely, usually out of my home office, and I make my schedule. But what does a day look like for someone who does this job as a married, mom, who homeschools and writes? Well, take a walk through my day.

Planning my schedule

I began my time as a Happiness Engineer working Tuesdays – Saturdays with Sunday and Monday off. My husband’s schedule was the same, and we wanted to keep the same hours so that we could see each other. But then he moved to a different position at his company and his scheduled changed to Monday – Friday. That meant we only had one day off together.

Something had to change because I enjoy spending time with my husband and I also find it harder to work when he is home.

My new schedule had to 

  • accommodate the required two weekend-days every four weeks that was implemented to allow us 24/7 Live Chat support for Business Plan subscribers.
  • let me have Sundays off because my daughter plays Junior Roller Derby and has practices then.
  • give me two days off with my husband so that we could do family things.
  • provide me time to homeschool as needed.
  • allow me down time to work on personal projects

With those requirements in mind, I changed my non-weekend schedule to Monday – Friday and my Weekend Schedule to Tuesday – Thursday. But I was still trying to keep a regular schedule working 8 AM – 4 AM so that I would be finished with work before my husband came home.

After the Grand Meetup this year, and after reading Ari Meisel’s The Art of Doing Less, I learned that the hours that I was working were not my most productive. The truth is my schedule only worked with a few of my requirements, and it showed. I was tired a lot, and my writing suffered.

My current schedule

5:00 AM – Wake Up and Morning Routine: I wake up and drink celery juice and prepare myself for the day by doing Headspace, reading, or just staying in bed until I am ready to get up.

6:00 AM – 10:00 AM: I am available to be scheduled for core work or to do other work-related things during this time. Usually, I am on for Live Chats or Tickets as I try not to be scheduled for Business Concierge sessions this early. I am not awake enough to engage in screenshares this early. During this time I also check Slack and our various P2s for any information that I may have missed previously. I drink coffee, eat breakfast, and also check on my daughter and my dogs. I have a standing desk and treadmill and try to get some time in standing or walking too.

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM: I am unavailable for work. I use this time to work with my daughter on homeschooling activities, take a nap if need be, do household chores like start dinner or laundry, and catch up with my husband and my friends. I fit in short errands and try not to tire myself out too much.

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: I’m back in Live Chat or Tickets, or I may have a Business Concierge session. I am available for work-related items here, and if I am not scheduled, I am testing things, learning more about Domains as I work with the Domain Guild to answer questions, or working on helping the Diversity & Inclusion Committee reach our goals. I may have a team meeting schedule during this time as well

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM: After wrapping up this is my time. I hang with my family and try to disconnect from the computer. I write, read, crochet, knit, paint, or binge watch The West Wing or Fraiser. I aim to be in bed no later than 11, but that does not happen often.

Weekend Work Day: My weekend day mirrors this more or less but I do plan which weekends I am to work as far in advance as possible.

So this is a sample day and things change when I need them to which is one of the things that I love about Automattic. My days are never boring and I always get to try my hand at a new challenge. It’s fun and I enjoy being a Happiness Engineer.

If this sounds like something you’d like to do, why not come work with us? We’re hiring!