Working at Automattic is randomly checking something at 6:30 on a Saturday morning and discovering three teammates–two European and one American–online and working as well. It’s not that we’re understaffed or overworked, we just set our own schedules.
I contribute to the development of web publishing software. I don’t generally use it to publish things myself.
About halfway through the year, I posted my travel stats as collected by TripIt. I did so because I was amused by the proportion of time I’d spent traveling versus at “home,” which is nominally Boston.
Back then, I’d spent 156 of 196 days traveling, or roughly 80% of the year on the go.
I checked again this morning, and was further amused. I have no further travel planned for 2013, which leaves me with the following:
I was gone from Boston for 302 of the 365 days in 2013. That’s about 83% of the year. In those 302 days, I traveled 130,409 miles, or 209,873 kilometers. I visited 56 cities in four countries across two continents.
2014 doesn’t look to be much different. I leave Boston this Friday, January 3, and have plans that will keep me away through at least the middle of February; I hope to extend that many months more. In 2013, I managed to leave Boston in January and not return until June, which is to say, I have a new personal record to set. 🙂
I experienced two notable milestones last week. It’s been a year since I joined Automattic, and I’ve been without a permanent home for the same duration. During this year, I’ve visited a new country, met innumerable incredible people from both Automattic and the WordPress community, attended fourteen (14!) WordCamps and spoken at seven (7!), and taken over as lead of Team Custom. I’ve flown in excess of 100,000 miles and spent at least seven months away from my Boston-area home base.
What a great experience I’ve had and a wild year it’s been! I have no desire or intent to settle down any time soon, and going forward, will be posting more about my nomadic experience at Get Transient along with Siobhan McKeown, Hanni Ross, and guests.
I happened upon the stats in TripIt this morning. Laughing ensued.
For the year, I’ve been gone from home (the Boston area, vaguely) 156 days. Today is day 196. Quick math says, I’ve been away from “home” 80% of the year. Mind you, I write this from Montréal, where I’m spending a chunk of the summer.
How far have I gone in these 156 days? 60,388 miles or 97,185 km.
Hurricane Sandy disrupted life along much of the east coast, but couldn’t stop the Boston WordPress meetup. We couldn’t meet in person, so we used a Google Hangout instead. I spoke for around 90 minutes about all things Automattic.
Here’s the video:
And the slides:
Automattic received a good deal of press coverage yesterday. Exciting to see it all!
- Step Into the Office-Less Company: How One Tech Firm Manages 123 At-Home Employees Scattered Across 26 Countries and 94 Cities, The Wall Street Journal
- With 60 Million Websites, WordPress Rules The Web. So Where’s The Money?, Forbes
- Why Some Company Offices Are Virtual, Bloomberg Businessweek
Matt also posted his thoughts on the future of work in response to one aspect of the Forbes article.
As a new Automattic employee (an Automattician), it’s exciting to see this much coverage of my new employer. Without a doubt, one of the (many) benefits that drew me to my new position was the distributed nature of our business. Since starting with Automattic, I’ve worked from Somerville, MA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; and Derry, NH. Having the flexibility to be this geographically untethered is so important to me right now, and there are few other companies I could be working for that would afford me this freedom.
Automattic is a distributed company, meaning we have no offices per se, and therefore no set office hours. My team is spread across four time zones, and while we schedule team chats each week, I otherwise don’t generally have set time commitments. This means that I can wake up when I am so inclined to do so, and work as late as I’d like. In other words, I set my own hours based on my needs, work commitments, and non-work obligations.
This flexibility is one of the many characteristics of working at Automattic that strongly attracted me to a position with the company. It’s also one of the most challenging “benefits” to adapt to. As I Tweeted earlier (though without the word mentality that belonged at the end):
One of my biggest challenges since starting at @automattic is getting out of the "It's X o'clock and I've only done Y so far today."
— Erick Hitter (@ethitter) September 4, 2012
I have no doubt that I’ll eventually adapt to this aspect of my new job, but right now, shedding the sense that I haven’t accomplished enough in my day simply based on the current time of day is proving rather difficult.
So as of today, I’m the first Automattic employee living in Massachusetts. Interesting…