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A Day in the Life of a Buffer Happiness Hero

A lot of thought, scheduling and tools go into making sure we give each Buffer customer and community as happy an experience as possible.

Right now, there are a total of 7 Buffer Happiness Heroes and Weekend Warriors (plus our Chief Happiness Officer, Carolyn)  all across the world helping customers nearly 24 hours a day. And we’re looking to grow the team!

That’s in addition to all our other team members, who usually devote at least a few hours each month to diving into delivering some customer happiness, too.

How do we all keep up with what’s going on? Great question!

I thought it might be fun to keep track of one day of my team interactions and share with you an overview of how and when we connect, and why. Here’s an inside look at my “day in the life.”

Morning: Jawbone, Hipchat and sync

6:20 a.m.
Jawbone: When I wake up, I reach for my iPhone and check out how well I slept using the Jawbone UP app, one of our Buffer perks. I can also support my teammates’ step and sleep achievements with a comment and a smiley face.

7:30 a.m.
Log in to HelpScout and SparkCentral for customer support, and HipChat and Sqwiggle for team communication.

7:34 a.m.
HipChat: Send a ‘Good morning” chat message to the “Delivering Happiness” Room.

7:54 a.m.
HipChat: Troubleshooting conversation with Åsa about an account issue.

10:02 a.m.
HipChat: Chat with Rodolphe about business plan pricing. Shared some screenshots. Decided to move over to Sqwiggle for a video chat.

10:32 a.m.
Sqwiggle: Sync with Åsa! Our daily catch-up in Europe timezone covered recent issues and bugs, the Stockholm startup community and a future Buffer meetup.

sync with Åsa

Mid-day: IBZs and chats

1:20 p.m.
HipChat: After my lunch, a quick hello to my East Coast team members who have started their day.

1:32 p.m.
HipChat: IBZ (Inbox zero) celebration! These animated celebrations are our equivalent to a group high-five :)

IBZ GIF1:54 p.m.
HipChat: Chat in the Happiness Channel about one of our admin tools having some quirks, with backend developer Colin jumping in and offering to investigate!

2:20 p.m.
Facebook: We have a Buffer Team Group, and Adam has shared some notes on a book he is reading and I loved his insights. I left a comment on his post!

2:23 p.m.
HipChat: Another IBZ celebration GIF!

2:28 p.m.
HipChat: An FYI: Adam shared that FireFox has been updated.

2:30 p.m.
Google Hangout: Europe/East Coast sync
Europe East Coast sync

Afternoon: Email, pair call and IDoneThis

4:27 p.m.
Gmail: Hit my work email IBZ and caught up with everything. We have a transparent email policy, meaning all emails are shared. As a result, inbox management becomes a finely tuned skill! It’s great to have an opportunity to respond and share thoughts, offer support, encouragement and gratitude.

4:58 p.m.
Sqwiggle: Ready for my pair call! My daily catch-up with the teammate I am paired with for a week at a time is one of my favorite activities. Hi, Courtney!
Courtney pair call

5:48 p.m.
IDoneThis: I wrap up my day with this tool to share my achievements for the day and to check out and comment on what everyone else has been doing :)

And that’s a quick look inside a day in the life of a Buffer Happiness Hero!

What does your day look like? What are some of the tools you use to get things done? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments.

  • Dave! Thanks so freaking much for posting this. I was psyched when Buffer opened up new Happiness Hero positions and I applied the first or second day they were posted (thanks Patrik for the heads up!), and this article is really cool. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks for checking it out, Brendan!

    • rose fredy

      What’s great amazing buffer doing. I appreciate what your doing guys I real like to work with you.
      Kindly contact me if there is any job position.

  • This is lovely, but do you work from 7:30am until 6pm. Is this, uhm, “healthy?”

    • Great one, Ahmed! This does seem like a long day for Dave! Hopefully there were a lot of nice breaks in there. :)

      • uhm. That was a genuine question actually. Cause I often wake up “early” to catch with my co-workers who are three hours ahead of me and then most of the time I end up working till late because I have to do some more work that is relevant to my time zone. I do take breaks. Sometimes a longer lunch break cause I know I will be working “late.” I was wondering if I should perhaps shift my work a tad earlier to match my co-workers’ schedule and forget about my time zone? I mean you are the advocates of productivity and healthy lifestyle. I thought you guys perhaps would know more? What’s your judgement on the situation.

        • Great question! This might be one for us to explore in a future blog post. We tend to let each team member experiment and find the work rhythm that works best for them. We don’t really have any fixed hours or expectations for when or how long we should be working. I wonder if this post from Leo about the origin of the 8-hour workday might have some tips for you:

          • I read this.

            The problem is my experimenting has taken more than two months now. I’m not very happy about the way I work although my employer is actually happy with my performance. uff. uff.

            By the way, I want to say thank you. You totally revolutionized the way my team and I work together. We share everything, our goals, reads, classes we’re taking online, etc. Thank you so much.

          • Hmm, that’s a tough one Ahmed! Would love to hear where your experiments lead you! I’ve noticed it really helps if you and your employer are fairly aligned when it comes to priorities and what’s most important in life and work. It’s so amazing to hear all the great strides you and your team are making. Great stuff!

    • I think its totally healthy. If you love what you’re doing… ^_^

      • You could love what you do while giving yourself fairer work terms/conditions. My question was just out of curiosity actually.

        Then again, if he had to spend so much time working then it’s because of us whiny customers? Lol

    • I thought the same thing! But as a content writer who also writes at home, I can honestly say I’ve worked 16+ hour days just… writing. That’s it. If you love what you do (and Dave really seems to), it can be rewarding. I don’t know about how healthy it is in the long term–I suppose you have to be aware of your diet, exercise, and family time… all those good things :)

      • I think ultimately even if you still love what you do, you’ll start hating your job routine and looking for something new.

  • Hannah

    You guys do a fantastic job – fabulous customer service :)

  • Share Ross

    Amazing! Very cool to read through this and get a feel for what you do. Love Buffer as a company and love the transparency! Wow! I too applied for the HH gig. Rock on!

  • Thanks for giving the users an insight into your day. It looks like you are a great team! That’s important.

  • Reading your articles about how is the work in Buffer, the excellent communication, the great transparency and how well-matched is the team makes me envy your work! ;-) Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Pedro, thanks so much for the kind words! We have a lot of fun together and work on getting better every day. :)

  • Thanks for sharing, Dave! Just curious – do you still get to moonlight as a trapeze artist? :)

    • Great question, Thea! Dave is still at it and in fact I believe he’s organizing a trapeze lesson for us at our next retreat!

      • @courtneyseiter:disqus Oh wow – how fun! :) Perhaps someone might consider capturing some video footage to share in the future… *hint hint* hehe :)

  • Oh, awesome behind the scenes of your awesome job you’re doing Dave. Thanks a lot for sharing. What happens between 2:30 and 4:27? :) Lunch, workout, nap, walk in the park? Are you willing to share what you do when you’re not working?

    Lets see if I can share what I do at least in a brief comment :)

    5:50 wake up and prepare fresh juice (in winter usually oranges, spinach and ginger – 1 liter). Brisk shower, commute to work. I get to work between 6:45 to 7:00 – 8:00 drinking juice, cleaning Inbox, sorting mails, priorities, creating ToDo, checking out social media accounts, responding to them, checking out support queue if there is anything important to know before our customer service heroes are going to report anything unusual
    8:00 – 8:15 breakfast with thinking about what toplevel tasks are there to be done. Sorting the todo list, checking out industry news until 8:30
    8:30 – 11:00 various tasks from social media, marketing, blogging etc. area
    11:00 – 12:00 walking in the park or going for shopping to the local farmers market int he summer.
    12:00 – 12:30 lunch in the office usually as I eat tons of fruits every day
    12:30 – 16:00 – meetings, social media posts planning, analyzing, planning of various marketing campaigns, reaching out to media, monitoring our brand mentions, replying to emails and trying to get things from the ToDo list done :)

    16:00 – 18:00 – commute home, going for a run or working out, preparing a fresh salad
    18:00 – 18:30 – checking out email, answer if necessary since we have colleagues across the world

    20:30 – 21:00 – emails, chatting with colleagues if necessary

    In between I try to read articles, books, watch movies, clean up the apartment, or spend some time with the loved ones.
    22:00 bed time :)

    And I stay on the social media accounts all day long, replying immediately to all tweets, shares or comments. Only during the sleep there is a silence from us :) We’re small company, so I can handle it all by myself. Nothing like the thousands of tweets Buffer is delivering every day :)

    The times are changing every day of course as well as the workload or tasks I do.

    • Wow, thanks so much for opening up and sharing your “day in the life,” Petr! Seems like a very fulfilling schedule!

  • Thanks for posting this – it’s very interesting to get an inside look at what this position looks like from day to day. :-)

  • Thanks for this great insight, Dave! Really nice set of tools here. :)

    HipChat has become a game changer for our team. I’m pretty sure we’ve had entire conversations in only GIFs before. Also LOVE the integrations with Trello, Twitter, MailChimp, and more!

    I’m curious about the use of both Sqwiggle and Google Hangout instead of just one or the other. Are there benefits found in one that make it more useful in certain cases?

    Also, for one on one video sync, is there an advantage of using Sqwiggle over HipChat’s new(ish) video chat feature? I’ve been looking at Sqwiggle, but with our (non-distributed) team primarily using one-on-one chat when someone is away, I haven’t found a great need yet. Thanks again for sharing this! :)

    • Hey Mike! Hopping in for Dave here. :) We tend to use Google Hangouts for the times where a whole bunch of us need to get together (like 4 or more people). I’ve really enjoyed Hipchat’s video feature! We tend to use it as a Sqwiggle backup. In practicality it probably has everything we need; I think we just like how Sqwiggle lets you look at your teammates throughout the day. Helps us all feel a bit more connected!

      • Thanks, Courtney! That makes sense. Totally understand the benefit for a distributed team of being able to see your teammates’ faces throughout the day. Love that feature of Sqwiggle! :)

        Do you all utilize the team chat & file sharing within Sqwiggle or primarily stick to HipChat for that?

        • We tend to primarily do our chatting and sharing on Hipchat. :) The way both tools have been adding on features we could probably cut back to just one, but we love both so much!

          • Guest

            Ah, ok, I get that. I think it’s a great sign that a SAAS product design and happiness team are doing things right, when you can’t imagine your workflow without them. :)

          • Hmm… not sure why that went through as a guest.

      • That makes total sense. That’s something I’ve heard from a lot of people on non-centrally located teams and even entrepeneurs who are solo. I think how you’ve created a virtual office is really cool.

        • It’s a fun challenge, Brendan! I love working remotely but also adore when we’re all in the same place on our retreats. :)

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