In this episode of Stuck@Om, I got a chance to chat with my good friend, Matt Mullenweg. Matt is the CEO of Automattic and a founding member of WordPress. Matt usually travels extensively for work — he logged over 500,000 miles in the air last year — but he confessed that he is enjoying his extended time at home and it might bring about a lasting change in his behavior.
Recently, I started embracing a concept Matt calls “Away From Keyboard”, shortened to “AFK”. It began as a simple way to relate that you were away from your desk but evolved into a way to encourage vacation and time off. It’s important to embrace rest and restoration — it helps us become more productive and mentally stable.
Matt shares that they’ve cultivated a culture at Automattic that’s open and honest, where everyone communicates freely. They’ve found success implementing an open vacation policy (taking as much time off as employees want or need). Every five years, Automattic requires its employees to take a 2-3 month paid sabbatical. Matt finds those team members return full of ideas and renewed energy, positively impacting the company.
We also chat about the importance of virtual social gatherings and the importance of continuing human-to-human connection. Matt also shares some tips for those new to the work-from-home model. Be sure to listen to this short but expansive conversation.
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Outline of This Episode
- How Matt is enjoying being “grounded”
- The big idea behind “Away from Keyboard”
- Automattic’s open vacation and a sabbatical policy
- Matt implemented “half days” due to Covid-19
- Fall back on the core of your culture
- The 5 levels of autonomy
- Make space for virtual social gatherings
Resources & People Mentioned
- The 5 Levels of Autonomy
- Stuck@Om with Jason Fried
- The Welfare Effects of Social Media