Cloudflare TV

Home Office TV

Presented by Amy Bibeau, Talea Sayed
Originally aired on 

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: Talea Sayed (Sales Programs @ Cloudflare)


Transcript (Beta)

Welcome to Home Office TV. I'm Amy Bibeau and this is my show where we talk about what it's been like for our employees at Cloudflare to go from a very office-based going in their everyday type of lifestyle to suddenly working at home and what kinds of challenges and potential like rays of light have come from that experience.

And today my guest is Talea.

And Talea, can you please introduce yourself? Yeah. Hi everyone.

I'm Talea. I work on our sales team working on programs and I'm really excited to be here today.

I've known Amy for a while and I've been at Cloudflare now for almost five years.

So this transition has been really interesting from going to the same place for, you know, almost five years of your life before all of this happened.

Wow. Five years at Cloudflare. That is a really long time.

So you've seen a ton of growth at Cloudflare since you joined. How many people did we have when you started five years ago?

I think it was around 150. Oh my god.

So it's like 10 times more. Yeah. A lot of new people and you kind of go through phases of, you know, wanting to get to know everyone and introduce yourself and be very welcoming to the new class.

And then you get really busy in tunnel vision.

You're like, please no one talk to me. But I always try my best to get to know all of our new team members.

And it's just really exciting to see how much we've grown and how our team has developed since then.

Great. And how's it been going for you working at home?

What's your setup like? Do you have a good setup? Yeah.

So it's actually kind of interesting. I think we, thankfully with everything going on, we kind of looked a little bit more at our living space and we decided to move into a bigger space.

I live with my partner and so we kind of split the living room and the bedroom and we have like one pop out desk that sits in the bedroom and then like another kind of desk set up over there.

But we can't both be on calls all the time and do all the meetings we need to in the same room.

And so we're kind of making it work.

And then hopefully with the new space, which we're moving into this weekend, we'll have a little bit more room for us.

That's exciting.

So you're moving this coming weekend. Yeah, which is going to be interesting.

I have a lot of heavy grade sanitizing products just to, you know, go in and clean the new space before we move and always figuring out the order of operations between like what you touch and is it now contaminated and sanitizing everything always makes my head spin a little bit, but that's okay.

We're just going to roll with it.

We're just really thankful that we were able to get a bigger space to help accommodate us during this time.

So will you each have a little more space like in your new place, you'll both be able to be on calls at the same time without so many issues?

Yeah, exactly. That's exciting. And what is the thing that you miss the most about going into the office?

I think the thing that I miss the most is just seeing people as you like go through the hallways or as people pop into one building or the other because there's people that you naturally talk to on a day-to-day basis, but there's a lot of people that you don't.

And so you never really see those people to remind yourself like, oh, I should get coffee with that person or catch up and see what they're doing and what they're working on, especially with the size that we are.

I think I miss the intimate kind of conversations that you would have in passing.

And you would also find a lot of opportunities to collaborate that way.

And so you kind of have to figure out how to facilitate that without actually being able to like bump into people anymore and more actively kind of catch up with people that you normally wouldn't.

Yeah, I think that's been the main, you know, you would think it's the snacks that people are missing.

But I think the thing that most of the people that I've had on my show have said is like they're really missing, like just seeing their colleagues, seeing people, organic conversations, like you said, organic collaboration, finding those people that aren't on your team and seeing them and like having that conversation, like how was your weekend?

How are your kids? Like what's going on? I know as my role, you know, at the front desk, I used to see everybody, you know, and like that's how I got to know everybody, you know, and so it's like, I have to make it a point now to like, think like, okay, well, who am I not seeing?

Like, who can I send a message to?

Like, who should I chat and just say, Hey, how are you? Like, sometimes I'll chat you and I'll be like, Hey, how are you?

You know, do you want to be on my show?

You know, because it's like these, these conversations, for me are kind of like a nice little grounding point of the week where I get to have that face to face conversation with someone who's not on my team.

And honestly, like I've noticed that I'm kind of sad, like when whenever like my little episode ends after half an hour, you know, and I like stop the recording, and then suddenly that person is gone.

Because like, for a minute, because I live alone, like for a minute, I feel like I have like a friend that I'm seeing, you know, that I haven't talked to for a while.

Like, last week, I was talking to Suzanne Aldridge. And like, when I like clicked off, I was like, I'm kind of sad now.

Like, I miss seeing people.

I miss like human interaction. And I think like, for those of us who live alone, this, this, you know, isolation, you really have to figure out like, what are you going to and like take a very active role, which I don't always do.

Sometimes I'll just get really like internal, you know?

Yeah, which is interesting.

Someone was explaining that to me that, you know, the whole world is very fixated on external, but now we're all like super forced to be internal, which at first is a little strange, especially when, you know, you're working at home and you have no distinction between like, your home space and your office space.

And so you really have to actively like cup the clock and like shut, shut off your laptop to unplug because otherwise you're almost driving yourself nuts.

Just like thinking about work and thinking about what you just said or what that person said or something that just happened that wouldn't necessarily be anything that you second guess when you see people in person all the time.

But I think as you're internal all the time, you always have that internal dialogue, just like running and running and running.

I found meditation really helpful during this time, personally, just as a way to, you know, have a little bit more of a breakup during my days, like especially, and kind of digest everything that's going on.

The world is so, so different, even though, you know, we're working our best to keep it to some level of normalcy that we were used to.

I don't think it, like, I don't know if it ever is going to be kind of back to what our expectation of normal.

Yeah, that's a really good point.

I think that, especially like knowing when the day stops and starts.

And then, yeah, like wondering, like, because, you know, so many more interactions are happening via chat and email.

So it's like, well, is that what that person meant?

Or do they understand what I meant? One of my home office challenges that you can maybe hear in the background is, I live next to a car garage that works on, like, Priuses, like a hybrid.

And there's a rash, maybe people know this, there's a rash of catalytic converters being stolen from hybrid cars.

And so the sound I hear most often, if I don't have some music on, is like very loud cars being taken from this parking lot.

So this is a quick plug for people that have a hybrid car that you should really buy this little protector that will save your catalytic converter from being easily stolen.

It's like a $5,000 repair. What's happening down the street is like these people are getting their catalytic converter stolen, and then the place will replace it.

And then they'll say, you should really add this like piece of protection and the people don't want to do it.

And they'll be back two weeks later, because their thing got stolen again. So anyway, that is like one of the soundtracks of my life is like a very loud rumbling sound coming from outside.

But like circling back to meditation or having some kind of like a practice to get out of your head, I think is really important for me that that was kind of the touchstone of like, like going from like just being content to exist kind of in like a pit of isolated darkness to like taking more control over like my own happiness again was we started doing like a morning group like zoom call where we do like morning Sanskrit singing with some friends of mine from back home and like just doing that like on a almost daily basis depending on if I can get up on time, um, you know, really kind of helped me like it provided like a tether to the outside world was like, Okay, here's my morning singing practice.

I get to see my friends, even if it's like they're far away in Minnesota. But like, how do you know when your day is done?

Do you find yourself working longer hours?

I'm working from home? Or do you have a good filter on like when to stop? I think I think I've developed a good filter when to stop as time has gone on.

And yeah, I think at first to we're, we're very cautious.

So we still sanitize almost everything that comes into into the house.

And that just felt like it was so much of almost like every day, like after work and stuff that we would just be sanitizing for hours and hours and hours, all the groceries, all the things and I think now it's a little bit easier to figure out like, okay, like this is what I'm going to do in the morning.

Then we're going to take a little break for lunch.

And then I'm going to finish all this stuff up. But I guess looking on it to give more of like a straight answer.

It's figuring out what I'm going to like do that day and just like do that day and then like looking at the end of it and just being like, Okay, like, this is okay, if I put it in tomorrow's workload.

This thing needs to get done right now. And it's going to take me like this long.

And, you know, just kind of like reasoning through that and being reasonable and like kind to myself at the same time, because I think it's really important to take care of yourself, especially now.

Yeah, for sure. Like it's, we're going through a really intense time as a collective.

You know, there's a lot of like scary things happening.

There's a lot of cultural and societal divisions that are that are like getting the spotlight shown on them.

I I've said before on this show that it's almost like we're going through like humanity is kind of going through this like collective, like shadow period where like the things that maybe and again, that happens when you're at home alone, or like maybe at home with your family, like suddenly the things that maybe you were able to ignore because of all the external distractions, you know, that we can constantly focus on going out, going to the bars, going out to eat, watching your sport ball game, going to your sport ball game, playing a sport ball game, you know, like all of these like external distractions are kind of going away.

And it can be a bit confronting for the individual.

But I think also as a society, we're moving through, you know, a confrontation of ideals, we're having to examine some pretty intense, like issues, especially here in the United States, I know we have a global company.

So you know, some people might be watching from other places. But here in the United States, we're really going through this intense time where it's like, hey, there's some really shadowy parts of our society that, you know, are not empowering for everyone.

There, there, there's some like roots of our country that are not like healthy and clean and beautiful.

And so it's like, you know, we've been glossing over a lot of that.

And now it's really coming to the surface. And so we've got a lot of, you know, societal unrest, and there's there's just a lot going on.

So I'm being kind to ourself and taking care of ourselves and finding ways to, like, be gentle with how many expectations that we place on ourself, I think is really important for, you know, for that mind game to like, stay sane and to stay sane and healthy, you know, so totally, I wasn't Oh, go ahead.

Oh, sorry.

I was gonna say, it's so interesting that you say that, too. Because I think one of the things I'm really grateful for during this time is that we have the opportunity to even with everything going on right now, dig really deep, because we're not distracted.

And so we can kind of be more inquisitive, like within our within ourselves to ask, like, do I understand this?

What's going on? How can I help?

And, you know, not just kind of having like the scratching at the surface, but like, you can really go deeper and deeper, because we have this time and kind of this allowance to be so I'll just use the word internal, because we've been talking about internal external.

But it's, I think it's really awesome.

If, like, if there's one positive out of this, or I, I always try and look for the positives, especially out of things that aren't that, that don't look that ideal on the outside.

But I think this is definitely one of them. And I do think also, it's interesting, and I won't go too much into it.

But it's interesting to see that there's so many things that we are paying attention to, which is awesome.

But I think there's a there's things going on in the world, too, that we're like, not quite paying attention to also, which is really interesting.

And there's things that aren't getting noticed.

Sure. I think like, as a humanity, as a collective, raising our level of awareness, you know, and continuing to raise that level of awareness, you know, is a, it's like a constant battle.

It's like peeling back those layers, you know, it's like, okay, well, now we noticed this is happening, like, you know, where, how much deeper can we go, you know?

And, you know, I think like the positives, like, that's another thing we'd like to talk about on my segment is like, what, you know, what are the positives that have come out of this for people, you know, it's like, maybe they get, you know, more time at home with their families, even though that might be kind of intense, you know, to like, suddenly, like people are full time parents and full time working, you know, and you have kids at home, then like, maybe it's really great, because you get that more time with your children.

But maybe it's also really difficult, because you're like, wow, our teachers must be working really hard to keep all these children, you know, engaged throughout the day.

So it's like, people are getting like a deeper look at the perspective of maybe like what other people might be going through, which I think can be a really positive.

I've been kind of excited to like, just see less commuting and less air travel.

And maybe that's like a little bit of a break, you know, for our, you know, Earth Mother that sustains us and gives us everything.

I always like to give a shout out, you know, to the planet on my segment, because, you know, every single thing that we have, and that we do, like comes to us from the Earth.

And so like, to see just a little bit of a drop, you know, in consumption of like, single use plastic, you know, like, here's all these like stadiums that, you know, have been sending out, you know, hundreds of thousands of pieces of like, single use plastic that maybe like, just for one season, the Earth can get a break, you know, maybe just like a couple more whales, like won't get choked by plastic or turtles, you know, and so it's like, I'm like, okay, well, that's a bright side, you know, and like, maybe when we go back to opening these things, there can be like a more of an awareness, like, I really would love to see corporations like shining the light on like, well, how can we implement more sustainable practices now that we kind of have a little break to like, think about and not that that's going to happen necessarily, like, right away, but I just, I'm kind of grateful for the planet to have a little bit of a break from the humans constantly like running around, like with the low garbage making practices.

Yeah, I think too, it's interesting that you say that I don't remember where it was, but someone was saying that because there's less air pollution, you can finally see some of the views, the really beautiful views that you haven't been able to see for like, years, which is just amazing to see how, I guess, how much good the like, environment is doing, because we're not out in it every day.

And maybe also like, letting people understand that, like, hey, we do have an impact.

And you can see we have an impact by, I think it was one of the things you're mentioning, like there was something like that in India, like in the Himalayas, like suddenly there was like all this less air pollution.

And so people were able to like, see the mountains again.

We do kind of face some serious issues as a species right now.

This is kind of, like I said, an intense time on the planet.

And I'm always hopeful that, you know, humans are going to start making kind of different choices or like, see like, hey, we, you can tell we have an impact on this by the fact that once we stop doing things, the thing is getting better, you know.

So that's pretty great. I know that, have you started any like new hobbies or started doing anything like, like adding anything into your life that you weren't doing as much before the work at home period?

That's a good question. At first, I guess I would say that like, I like, I didn't.

I just, I guess it's nice to kind of just like, appreciate the space a little bit more.

So I guess I spent a little before like, I like plants a lot.

I know you and I have those in common. I love my plants.

And before it was more sometimes just like a chore to like water them and take care of them every day.

And now, you know, maybe it's more back from like a chore to an actual hobby where I get to enjoy them.

I have this like, it's called lipstick curls.

It's like this plant that has like curly green leaves, and then it like, sprouts these little flowers.

And I, I guess I didn't really realize this when I looked at the pictures when I got this, but then it's, it sprouts the flowers, which are kind of like a cone thing.

And then this fuzzy thing that grows out of it actually looks like lipstick.

So like, it looks like lipstick. And I just was like, so excited and happy when I saw the flowers grow.

And I look at them every day.

And it just makes me like, happy. So I guess it's not necessarily like new hobbies, but just getting back to why I, you know, started things like planting in the first place.

And like, why I have plants, because I really enjoy them.

And like, you watch them grow, and they kind of go off in weird directions and do their own things.

And my succulents will like, drop and then sprout little babies.

And they're just so cute. And so that, and I think I started reading and writing a lot more, just getting back into those things that, you know, I felt like I didn't necessarily have time for.

And when I was younger, I used to, like, if there was a spring break or something like that, especially when, you know, pre-college days, I would just sit in my room all day and just like, read and read and read and read.

And just finding that enjoyment of like, doing all these things again has been really awesome.

Yeah, I can relate to that, especially obviously the plant friends.

You know, I had a few plants when this started. And I started, I bought a couple at Trader Joe's when I, I was like, I was kind of still in my pit of darkness.

And I was just like, ah, not very happy.

And I saw some little sad plant at Trader Joe's, and I kind of felt like I should adopt it, like rescue it.

Because it was like, it just didn't look that happy there.

And I was like, all right, I'm going to bring this one home.

And it's like, it's grown so much. And like, it sprouted these little flowers.

And then I've grown a whole nother plant out of it, because it like, broke off and I rooted it.

And then I have another one on the way.

And so I've been doing cuttings and like propagating my little plant friends, they get way more attention now than they did.

I think just that, like your home so much.

So like, my space at home, like has improved. I didn't have art on my walls for a long time.

Like I used to be kind of like, I'm like weirdly lazy about like hanging a picture, like literally, like, I don't know, I had this one apartment for like seven years.

And I like did not really hang up the art because I felt like intimidated about like putting a nail in the wall.

It's like silly, you know. And so I got so tired of sitting here, you know, on my computer, looking at my bare walls.

And I've been making these little paintings. And so I started sticking the paintings on the wall, like without frames.

And then one day I was like, okay, Amy, buy some frames, you know, because I just got like stuck them up with tape.

And I was like, are we like in a dorm room?

Like, is this high school, you know? So I, you know, I bought frames and I hung up my art and like just a lot of nesting in my space.

And it really feels good to like, be like, okay, this is my, I mean, I'm happy to live alone, even though I kind of miss people.

But like having to deal with like roommates during a pandemic, I think would be kind of intense.

So it's just like, you know, working on my little tiny studio and like doing organizing projects and like trying to stay.

One of the things I'm trying to do is like practice my guitar.

I say that I'm going to practice it and I really haven't started it yet. So it's kind of on my list.

Like I have some resistance. I'm not sure why. Cause it's like, it hurts my hands to like, to like do the, the like chords, but I'm trying to like move into making some progress with that.

So I can show like my teacher that I made progress, you know, like I almost, it's like, am I doing it for myself?

But like, that's one motivation, but I kind of want to show, you know, my teacher in Brazil, like, Hey, like I've been practicing, like, look, I can play a song, you know?

Cause I know that that would make him happy too. And it would make, it would make me happier also.

I just haven't quite like dedicated like the practice time to it yet, even though I have plenty of the time, you know?

So it's interesting.

Cause like we have all that extra time to examine our like patterns. It's like, okay, well, why, you know what I mean?

How come I'm not like taking this like step towards doing this thing that I'm going to like have a benefit for, from later.

So it's like, we have all that extra like time for contemplation, which I think is sometimes good and sometimes kind of annoying.

Cause I just want to like eat snacks and like watch TV.

I started, you know, like I literally started making salad dressing and I was like really proud of myself.

I know like everybody else in the world has already been making their own salad dressing, but like, you know, just like the little things where I'm like, okay, that's kind of fun.

So. No, totally.

I, it's funny that you say that because at first when this all started, everyone was making these like, or at least maybe not everyone, but I would just see like these really elaborate meals that people would make on like Instagram and stuff there where they made like 24 hour, like very short ribs.

And like, who, like, do you really have like time to do all of this right now?

Cause especially at first, I think I was just so concerned that everything was getting bought up.

So I was like, let's just get pasta and stuff that'll last for awhile and see what happens.

And you know, now it's a little bit more comfortable, but I was really impressed by like these elaborate like things that people were trying to make.

It's, I think we're going to have a lot of talented chefs when we're, when we're done with this.

Right. A lot more like home, home chef experiences. I see it's like, sometimes it's like the time versus the motivation.

It's like, I have the time to do the thing, but you know what I mean?

Like, how do I find that well of inspiration?

Which again, now we have to really find kind of from within ourselves, or I guess you can find it like if you're watching the various, you know, Instagrams and social media or YouTube, you know, like if you're like really seeking it, it's like, we've been given a gift of time.

And so it's like, how are we going to, like, are we going to step out hopefully from this experience with like, Hey, like what did we learn or what did we do?

Or like, what, what are we like cultivating that we can like, maybe like ingrain into our lives and then move forward with because it's, it's like become a more like real pattern that we're like going for or something.

So for me, like, I don't know, I got salad dressing, making some paintings, the guitar friend, you know, is hopefully going to, you know, make an appearance in my hands one of these days.

How's it been going living and working with your partner and like being together so much?

How long have you guys been together?

I think like four and a half years or something like that. Um, so I think at first, it's just, it's, it's a definitely something you have to adapt to.

Because I think before, right, you're, you're both at work all day.

And so subtract all like you're waking up your 40 hours from like your actual waking hours every week, like you're not really spending that much time together.

But now you're kind of spending all your time together.

Things that I've noticed to have just been, because we were together all the time doesn't mean we're spending time together.

So you still have to also like actively kind of like carve out that time. Um, but we're just, we try our best to just be like really light and very, um, take things with a lot of ease right now, especially with each other.

So you know, if we get mad or someone does something annoying, we just kind of like play it off or make it funny or something because there's just too much going on right now to like, who wants to fight when there's only like this much space and not that we like fought in general, but, um, you know, when you're together all the time, I think we've definitely, um, and just like had a lot more, um, appreciation and patience, I think.

Um, and along the lines of like the joking and the funniness, I think, you know, there's some days when there's kids who play in the courtyard, um, in our, in our apartment complex.

And I just remember this one day where this kid was like, I don't want to do this anymore.

And we're both just like, we feel you girl, like for all of us, um, just kind of taking things very, very lightly, I guess is the main theme.

I probably, um, that's great. That's that, um, we've got about a minute left.

So I'm going to wrap us up, but I think that's an excellent way to approach it because it's like, this certainly isn't the time to turn on each other, you know, it's like, and it can be such a pattern that people maybe have like, Hey, like I'm stressed out.

And so I'm going to channel that stress and project it onto my partner, my dog or my kids or, you know, whatever it may be.

So it sounds like really good that you guys have figured out that like, Hey, um, you know, we need to be a team here.

We need to like go easy, keep it light. Cause I know that COVID, you know, something like ruining a non -zero, not ruining, but like bringing to light again, you know, a non-zero amount of issues people have in relationships.

And some people are like, you know, taking steps to like move away, you know, from, from being in those.

And so I'm super excited that that is going well. And I just want to say, thank you so much for taking the time to be here today with me.

And it's so great to see you and, you know, hopefully in the next little while we'll be back in the office.

Um, but otherwise, you know, I'm excited to get this, like, keep sharing our plant friends and keep connecting.

And so with that, I am going to say goodbye.