Originally aired on November 24, 2020 @ 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT
Join Amy as she provides you with a sneak peek into how the Cloudflare Team has been doing with the transition from daily office life to working from home. How is the team adapting to the shift? What do they miss and not miss about office life? What snacks are they eating? How has it been sharing a workspace with family or housemates? Tune in to find out!
This week's guest: Jade Wang (Developer Relations @ Cloudflare)
Okay, good morning. Welcome to Home Office TV. I'm Amy Bibeau. Today we have Jade Wang with us. Hi, Jade. Hi. Thanks for having me on your show. Good. You've been on my show. I haven't seen you for like a year. It was about a year ago that you moved from San Francisco to Austin, correct? Yeah, January. January 2nd was when we moved. How's that been going? Well, I mean, we didn't see much of Austin before, you know, before the pandemic started. But we actually had a lot of previous trips to Austin where we got to explore more. We certainly picked a heck of a year to choose to live in a high rise rather than in a, like when we were moving, it was down to one, one single home or a high rise and we picked the high rise because we didn't know there would be a pandemic. Do you think that you would have picked the single family home? Like if you, if you knew about that? Oh, for sure. Yeah. Cause then we would have an outdoor yard and we suit up every time we go through the elevator because of the sheer number of people who use the elevator as the common touch point for the entire building. And so if we would live in a single family home, we wouldn't have to suit up quite so intensely every time. And then, but you, I did see, you do have some balcony, you have some outdoor space. Yes. And what floor are you on in the high rise? Uh, we are on the ninth floor. Okay. And out of how many? Uh, 20 something. Okay. Wow. That's a, that's a lot of people. Yeah. That is like dense. And, and has, has anyone like in your building had COVID? Like, have there been announcements where they're like, somebody has COVID? Many months ago, they, you know, they're like when there was the first confirmed case, but at this point the caseload is just so high. Um, especially in Texas as a whole, like Austin is less bad than other places in Texas in terms of caseload. But, um, after the Halloween spike, like kind of all bets are off. So you, you kind of assume somebody has breathed in this elevator before you. Um, so like I usually wear a face shield and double mask. So like a, um, N95 with a cloth mask on top of it, which protects the N95 from the droplets. And I change the cloth mask and shove it in the laundry every time I go out. Wow. But then I reuse the N95. I reuse the N95. That makes sense. So you're, you're, you're protecting that. And then how do you suit up? You have a little one. How old is your son? Uh, he is 17 months old. Okay. Almost 18 months now. And how do you suit up the baby for trips down the elevator? Um, so our stroller has a rain cover that is compatible with it. Um, like it's the UPPAbaby stroller and they sell a rain cover. Um, so we stick the rain cover on top and there's like little air holes. Uh, but once the cover is in place, there's very little air exchange with the outside. Um, and the, and the main risk is not the outside air. Like the outside air is, uh, is pretty good. Um, it's really the, the, the main risk comes from the lobby area and the, uh, and the elevator air. So we just have the, um, we just have that up for the duration while he's going through those spaces. That makes sense. That's nice to have like a, like a hack like that to get you through because it must be worrying, right? As a new mother. Oh yeah. Like we, um, the first time we, uh, had to solve this problem was in January. Cause we, uh, we had a trip to China, um, in late January of this year. And at the time, you know, my parents were like, you know, there's a, there's a new virus, a novel, uh, coronavirus, um, that's just been detected. And this was like in early January that they, they texted me this and I was like, yeah, I'm looking at the, um, the WHO website and they said, it's a level one warning. I think we'll be okay. Um, and you know, we, we, we went to, I mean, we were letting my, uh, my, at that time seven, seven month old son meet his one Oh two year old great grandfather, uh, for the first time. And we don't know if there's going to be another opportunity. Right. Right. So, um, so we took him to, uh, to meet grandfather and right. Like after we, like the day that we landed, um, my dad, like as we were coming home from the airport was like tonight at midnight is when Wuhan locks down. Wow. And he's like, mark my words, it's going to be a global pandemic. I'm like, I'm reading the Western sources. No one thinks that his entire trip, we think that my parents are overreacting, but they turned out to be right. And they, and I'm grateful that they trained us in how to, um, how to sanitize everything, how to keep safe because they lived through the first round of SARS, um, 20 years ago. And they, they still have the muscle memory on how to correctly wash your hands and, uh, how to structure your home. Um, so that, you know, we wear a long, you know, a light jacket or a long sleeve shirt every time we leave the home and we hang that, we hang that sort of thing. And also the masks, uh, next to the door, like in the doorway so that it doesn't potentially contaminate the rest of the whole house. Right. You like spray it with some Lysol or something. Yeah. Well, actually my mom sprays everything down. I'm super low key. Like I, I haven't like, I haven't, I've sanitized nary a grocery, um, into my home. Um, like I definitely have been wearing a mask since March though. Like, and I, I buy the Trader Joe's like spray hand sanitizer because it smells good. And like, sometimes I'll spray my mask. Like if I'm, if I'm in a place where there's a lot of people, I, even though it's not that great to breathe in the alcohol, I'll like spray the outside of my Klausler mask. Cause that's the one I've been wearing. I finally just ordered some, some masks. The Facebook advertising's finally got to me. So I ordered a couple of like the Stark's vacuum masks that have a filter. So those should be coming relatively soon. Um, but I I've been using my old school and 95 from the fires. Remember when, yeah, yeah. I literally have had that one. And I feel like that one's kind of like had its day. Um, so, so getting back to just working from home, we were chatting a little bit before, how has it been going? So you have two people in your family that work at Klausler and a child, but you have grandma also on board. Yeah. My, my husband's mom lives with us. And so she has the nine to five shift on baby care. Um, and so that allows us to work without interruptions and like, I I've heard, um, some funny and also some, uh, stressful stories from other parents, um, in our parents group. And, you know, for us, the main challenge has been, uh, the early morning, the late night and the weekends are basically when we also, uh, have a double whammy of baby duty and also try to get all the other chores done. Sure. Sure. I mean, that's so nice that you have grandma on board. I think that in the U S like where we've moved into this, like everybody living in their own little private box, the nuclear family unit, um, is really counterproductive. Yeah. I mean, versus like the Asian, I'm going to call it the Asian model or the Eastern model of, you know, multiple generations in one household. To me, that makes a lot more popular in Latin America too. Oh yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. The extended family network model. Yeah. Yeah. I think that, that, um, I mean, it makes so much sense like economically for people. I mean, some people are forced to do this out of like economic, you know, um, need, but I think from, uh, you know, for one thing, engaging the elderly generation, because, you know, it can't be healthy. Like, I know my mom like lives with her husband kind of alone and, you know, she feels disconnected from, um, from her family. Like not that she wants to live with my sister and her five adopted children, because I think that would be too much. Um, so how does it work like doing both calls? So you guys, do you guys have calls at the same time? Like how do you structure that? Yeah. So, um, so our living room, uh, we have both of our desks set up there and that's where we have our main workspace. Uh, our external monitors are ergonomic keyboards and all that stuff. Um, our TV where we cast beer meeting. Uh, but when we have calls, um, I'm taking this right now in our bedroom, um, where I have a call space that's actually on a, on a very small desk, uh, facing a window. Um, and then we have two additional call spaces that are outdoors. Uh, so we have, um, on the ninth floor, we have a balcony space. Uh, on one of them, we have a couple of camping chairs, um, and which are meant to be outdoors. And on another one, we have a little, um, a patio couch. So then you're not taking this call from the moon, not enough oxygen up here. I love that Jade's on the moon and I'm in Brazil. Like you got to hand it to being able to have zoom backgrounds. They do add some like joy to the, to the screen time. Would you say you've been experiencing some screen fatigue at this point in the pandemic? Um, a little bit, not too bad. Um, I guess I, you know, I don't have quite as many back-to-back meetings as other people do. So that's been nice. Do you want to talk a little bit about your role at Cloudflare? What is it that you are, we don't have to, but you know, I run the startup program. So, um, so yeah, I, uh, I'm part of the team that, uh, we it's our mission to make startups as successful as possible. Um, whether or not they're using Cloudflare products, but, uh, hopefully they are. And if they have questions, um, about what's included in the startup plan, uh, then we help them out with that and, uh, enable additional things that they might want. Cool. Um, we have a, we have, uh, one year of a startup, uh, a plan that's tailored to startups that they get for free if they are a participating, if they are in a participating escalator program. And you had a startup. So you and your husband had a startup before you joined Cloudflare also. So you, you're not new to working from home. No, you know, I think working, I really like working from home. Um, there's a lot of things, there's a lot of ways in which it can be a lot more efficient. Um, the first is a lack of commute. Um, yeah. And the second thing is, there are a lot of things that can get done during the day. Um, if you, you know, if you, if you only had five minutes in the location and it doesn't have to take two to three hours later, um, for instance, meal planning, right. Um, there's a lot of, there are a lot of, you know, dinners that can be cooked in a slow cooker. All you have to do is dump a bunch of things in there and flip a switch. And then later on the meal will be done. But if you aren't there at the correct time, then it becomes a lot harder. Um, there's, you know, there's other things like, uh, roasting, say a tri-tip. Um, all you have, like my, my method is the, like, I find a lot of shortcuts, um, to do things as efficiently as possible. Um, and my shortcut for the tri-tip is I stick a thermometer in there and it's dry rubbed and it goes into the oven at 170, which is the lowest temperature that the oven is capable of. And it goes in at lunchtime. And at dinnertime, I turn on the broiler of, and just like sear it on the outside and it's done. It's like literally five minutes of actual work. Uh, but you just have it in the oven for the entire afternoon while you're working and it doesn't have to be monitored. You don't have to look at it or anything. Yeah. I find the efficiency of being able to do like small household tasks while I'm at work from working from home, like really nice, like in the morning, like I'm not a big do my dishes before I go to bed. Like by the end of the day, I'm kind of a lazy girl. Like I just want to watch my screens or whatever with my vape pen. But like, like in the morning, like I just, I, I fill up the sink with hot water, like while I'm checking my email, like while I'm making my breakfast, you know? Um, and then that's the thing that gets my, cause like the place that I live, you know, it's annoying when it, you have to run that water forever before it gets hot. It makes me really annoyed. So like, I have like jars that I fill with the cold water that I'll later use for like watering my plants. Like, so I get the water hot, like while I'm doing the dishes or like rinsing things. And I'm like, okay, well now it's time for the shower. Cause the water is already, cause I also don't like my bathtub to get all cold, like filled with cold water at the bottom, you know? Or like eating at home, like having lunch at home is really nice. It's like, okay, I can make a salad. I can, I mean, I do miss the office. Is there anything that you miss in particular? What, what would you say you miss the most about going in? Um, sort of casual interactions with other people. Uh, for instance, you know, you, you and other people just happen to be getting snacks at the same time and you, you know, chat about what you're going to do this weekend. Like that sort of casual interaction, like that's not something you're going to ever plan to, uh, you know, schedule a meeting for. Um, and that ends up that sort of little casual attraction, uh, gets missing. Uh, I think what replaces it is kind of nice, um, and scalable, but like, for instance, uh, we have a cooking chat channel and we have, um, the various ERG chat channels, uh, and you know, that kind of, that kind of, uh, water cooler. Right. The virtual aspect of the, yeah, that, that does kind of, um, take its place a little bit. Yeah. I miss that too. Like, of course I was at the front desk and so we would see everybody come in and I liked saying good morning. And it was like my social, you know, it was kind of like, I went to work, but it also had a social aspect. I miss doing the flowers. Of course. Yeah. I miss the boba orders. Like when we have, when we would have a group boba order and there would be the artwork. I know I I'm sad. That's sweet. A little, they went away even before the pandemic started. Um, that, that was my favorite boba. Like I, I never really even got into too much other boba, but they're roasted oolong with the light. Like that is something that was really fun. Yeah. I miss that. And then how do you like bookend your day as far as like when you're like, I, one of the topics that comes up a lot on my show is, you know, the commute maybe was a hassle for people, but it also was their like entry point into work zone. And then they're like exit point, like out of work zone. And so some people actually really kind of cherished that time as like a buffer between like home life and work life. How do you start and end your day now that you're working from home? Uh, well, we're doing baby led weaning, uh, which is where you let your kid eat with their own hands. And so my, um, my morning routine starts with, well, my morning, my actual morning, morning routine starts at usually around six 30, um, sometimes seven, uh, which is around when my baby wakes up. And so I have morning baby duty. And then breakfast time is, uh, I, I prepare my own breakfast and his breakfast and, and I give him little pieces of food and he eats it, um, with his own little chubby hands. And, uh, and recently we've been working on, um, training him to not drop things on the floor. Um, in the beginning, you know, that's, uh, it's always a challenge because their coordination isn't quite there. Um, and now I think we're, we've been pretty successful in getting him to not drop things on the floor on purpose. Okay, nice. Um, so, so, you know, we have that and then all of my sort of, Oh, I have a period of self care that's after breakfast. Um, because that's when a grandma takes over baby duty. So all of my tooth brushing, actually getting dressed, go from my night pajamas into my day pajamas happens around that time. And that's when work begins. Um, and then we have a earlier than usual dinner time, but basically my, the end of my day is, uh, literally when dinner prep begins. I mean, I remember as a kid, dinnertime for us in the Midwest was like 5 30, you know, in Minnesota, you're not like an 8 PM dinner family, you know, especially with a kiddo. Yeah, exactly. My Madre would get home from work and there was always a lot of like, there was always a lot of notes at my house about what we had to do as children. You know, there was always a list of tasks and oftentimes it would be like, start dinner, you know, be at the slow cooker, start the roast to make the meatloaf, you know, like get the hamburger. You know, we, we did a lot of like spaghetti, you know, it was always like a protein and like a starch and reluctant vegetables, but yeah, we, the 8 PM dinner or whatever, like, it's not a thing when you have kids. No, like I am not making two dinners, like a kiddo dinner and adult dinner, right? Like there's just no way that fits into the schedule. So I make one dinner for everybody and that dinner gets served at 5 30. But now the baby's not eating the tri -tip yet. Oh, he is. Oh, he is nice. Just cut it into tiny, tiny pieces against the grain. And, and he picks it up with his hand and he's got enough teeth now. He has around 11 ish teeth. And yeah, he usually like the, any, the only things he doesn't eat are choke, potential choking hazards. Sure. Grapes. Yeah. Like if you quarter grapes down, then, then they're okay. But yeah, like any, oh, and anything that's too spicy. Sure. He can, he can handle like lots of complex spices, but like actual, you know, Sichuan food he's going to have trouble with. He's a baby. He is. I remember when you were out for, you know, when you had your baby, like I remember like putting flower, you know, putting your little welcome back flowers. And I remember when we used to schedule you for the, you know, the maternity or the mother's room that we had, I believe before we got started, you were pointing out that that's a blessing to not have to be pumping. Oh yeah. Yeah. Like there's a lot of silver linings to working from home because, you know, like pumping and bringing the milk home is a, is a big schlep, not just the scheduling part, but also making sure that it's in, in a cold temperature, the entire way home. And also like the amount of time that it takes to actually do the pumping is the same amount of time it takes to nurse the baby directly. But, but you don't have all the bottle washing. You don't have all the schlepping things back and forth and all the other steps and the sanitizing and all that. There's an Italian word for that. It's a spettimento. You don't have all the extra spettimento. I mean, like right now we have like a global pandemia, which is a lot of spettimento. There's like a lot of extra spettimento for us all, but I do like to promote that Italian word. It's a spettimento. It's spelled with an S-B-A-T -T, spatta. It means batter. It's like if the wind was blowing and you had shutters and they were just like smashing on the wind, it's spatta. A bunch of extra noise. Batter, to batter it means. So it's like, it's like the battering of our will and our happiness with like lots of little fine, fine details is a spettimento. So yeah, pumping, it seems like a lot of spettimento that I'm glad that you don't have to deal with now. It's substituted by, I mean, like you said, there's a huge process just to go into your elevator. I mean, that would probably make you stay home more. Now, are you going grocery shopping or are you guys doing Instacart? We're Instacarting. And you know what, actually one of my top advice to, you know, parents through this pandemic, and I'm sure a lot of people already do this, is trim scope wherever you can. If there's a thing that doesn't have to be done, then like see if you can, like if the ball drops on the floor and nothing bad will happen, then let that ball drop on the floor and see how much more time you can get by just trimming scope. And then for the things that remain, which things can be outsourced, right? Like grocery shopping has to get done, Instacart. And one of the great advantages to like, I use a combination of Instacart and HEB and like the Whole Foods delivery service and Favor, which is a thing from Austin. In the state of Texas, there's a service called Favor where you can get anything from any store and they have a runner who will go to that store and bring it to you. And this is great for things like that, like, you know, CVS, or sorry, like there's a lot of stores that Instacart doesn't necessarily cover. And so like Trader Joe's, for instance, and so you can get a person to go instead of you. So like that's a major task that can just be outsourced. And one of the great things is I'm on the opposite of the low-key end in terms of planning and caution around the pandemic. And so I try to space my grocery deliveries about two weeks apart. And so what this means is I try to take as few trips down the elevator as possible. And so there's a good amount of planning involved because like vegetables have different kind of shelf life, but all the different shelf life is, you know, something that you can look up online. Like celery and carrots are your friends because they will easily last, like squashes, like butternut squash, like any kind of like winter squash, they will last like over two weeks. So you can always count on those for the second week. And then the first week is where all your like broccoli and asparagus go into the, that kind of thing goes into the first week. Bell peppers are also your friend. They will last you through the entire two weeks. Zucchinis last for a long time too. Have you thought, have you ever tried the imperfect produce? I have not. I don't know what, I don't, I've been trying to find a farm delivery box in this area and I haven't yet. And so I heard about that in the Bay Area. I don't know if they do like every location. Probably in Austin. They're a really amazing resource because you can order a ton of non-produce items from them. So you can get a lot of pantry staples as well as a ton of like meat and seafood that are more sustainably sourced. Like they have, you know, they tend to have like a story or some of it's even food waste where you're like salvaging something, you know, that would be potential waste. So I'll share, I'll share my link with you just in case. Sure thing. Because it's like they have special like heirloom chicken friends and they have different like fish. So it's like, oh, this isn't the right size for a restaurant. And so we're working with this vendor, you know, to supply it to other people who aren't as particular. So it's a really great resource for not going out of the house and shopping. Yeah, for sure. We also use butcher box, which actually my mother-in-law found like at the beginning of the pandemic, we were, we, we had this at the, at the very beginning of the pandemic before Instacart and all the other services started hiring more drivers, there was this huge backlog. And so my strategy had been, you know, like as soon as you have a cart worth of groceries, when you select checkout the only time slot that was available was one week ahead. Wow. So I would. So that's kind of what started me on the like plan multiple weeks ahead kind of thing. And during that time, she also did some research and pointed me to butcher box, which, which, you know, they primarily do cuts of meat, and it's like frozen and they ship it to you the whole thing shipped frozen. But it also has, they also have chicken and fish and other things available that are all just one big frozen box. And so now that I no longer pump, I have more freezer space available. Yeah. So yeah, there's butcher box, it was a pretty great resource. And, and just like the work involved in planning two weeks worth of meals. I had, I have evolved my process many times during all of this. I used to do it on paper on a notepad. But what happens is sometimes, you know, people don't eat the quantity that you think they will. And then one thing that I like to do is I incorporate some of the leftovers instead of serving it just as is I make it into a new dish, right? And then, and then suddenly, it's like the two days later, everything needs to get pushed down by a day. Because essentially, I've treated entire meals worth of leftover remix. And so and so it went from paper to moving a lot of post it's around to Trello. And so for a long time, I use Trello to plan about two weeks worth of meals. What is Trello? Trello is a Kanban board. Basically, you have cards that represent things that you can do that have to be done. And, and you have us and they have a status and the normal the normal way that people use Trello is you have a backlog column, you have the things that are currently being worked on, and you have a column that's things that are done. And so if you have a team of people, you can, like everyone can take a to do list item. And you can see who's working on what, and then what gets done. Kanbans existed before Trello, but it's a it's a, it basically it's a card system for things that are need to be done. And then you move from that to another app. Yeah, so I was using Trello not in the way that it was intended. Because each card would be a, a, you know, a dish that I was doing. And each column for me was a day that that meal that that dish was going to be done. And so I, I just had an unwieldy number of columns because I was planning two weeks out. But now I use Saffron, which is a another meal planning app. Um, it was it was really funny how how I I found Saffron. My husband was it was actually during a meal prep time. He was laughing about something he saw on Twitter. VS code stories. Basically, the guy who authored Saffron the app was also was had posted this thing where you um, like stories is a popular feature for a lot of social media apps. And VS code is what people use for coding, but he made a stories feature for VS code, but delivered a deadpan like he was, you know, expecting as though it were a serious feature. And it was just incredibly funny. And when my husband went to look at his profile, like, hey, this sounds like it's up your alley. And so told me about Saffron. And so I started using it. And the team is super great, because I've been, I've been emailing them feedback about their app and, and feature requests, and they implement them. Awesome. Well, that's really great. We've got about 30 seconds left. So I'm gonna just kind of wrap us up. But I really appreciate you being on. I'm definitely going to check out that Saffron app because I don't really do meal planning. But I have all this food at my house. And I think it would be a really good idea to like feed it into some kind of a format that gave me like more like certainty about what I'm going to eat. And I'm glad that you're doing well and staying safe. Thanks. Yeah, I'm glad that I'm glad that you have this show. I'm glad we got to see each other. This feels like my one time of the week where I have a friend. So with that, we're off the air, but I'm gonna just say goodbye. And I hope to see you at another maybe sustainability meeting again here soon and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.