Home Office TV
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!
My name is Amy and I'm with Cloudflare and I work on the places team in the office team and so I'm here today interviewing our head of physical security Kayla.
Kayla will you say your last name exactly how you're supposed to say it?
It's Kayla Prettitore.
Kayla Prettitore. I always want to make it like a little more. We're not on yet.
I'm actually watching. Not quite live yet so.
I'm gonna assume we're live now.
It's fun. It's like a guessing game. Are we live? Is this on TV?
Who knows? Who can tell me? So I'm gonna repeat what I was just saying. I'm Amy Bibeau and I am on the places team and office team at Cloudflare and I am here interviewing our fabulous head of physical security Kayla Prettitore and I always want to make it sound a little more like Italian.
Isn't an Italian last name? It is.
Okay okay and you've gone through some transformations as we've switched. This whole purpose of this segment is to discuss what it's like to have gone from working in an office environment full-time to working at home.
So we're gonna be talking about people's home office setups and how that transition has been going for people.
So again I'm Amy and I'm interviewing Kayla our head of physical security.
So Kayla first before we get started can you tell me like what brought you to Cloudflare?
How did you end up joining our team at Cloudflare? Yeah thanks for having me Amy.
It's a great question. I joined Cloudflare honestly because what really attracted me was the fact that we want to take physical security and do it in a new transformative way.
If anyone's familiar with physical security they're familiar with the fact that physical security is pretty outdated.
It hasn't really advanced much in the last you know 10 or 15 years but now what's really exciting is there's some small startup companies that are really taking physical security to a new level.
What excited me about Cloudflare was we're working with those companies already.
Some companies that I was really excited about when I was consulting prior to coming to Cloudflare we had already started working with them before I got on board and that really piqued my interest.
We want to take physical security and and do it in a new transformative more technically advanced way and in a way that no one else is doing it.
We want to be at the forefront of physical security especially in the technology space and so that's what really excited me and attracted me to Cloudflare and I'm very happy to be here.
I just had my one-year anniversary.
Congratulations that's super exciting. So did you move from the East Coast to the West Coast to work at Cloudflare?
So I am originally from New York yes moved out to the Bay Area in 2017 so prior to joining Cloudflare I was already in the Bay Area but was living in San Jose and then migrated up to San Francisco to join Cloudflare.
And how has this changed? I know for you you've been really busy since the pandemic came upon us all like the your job has shifted a lot I would imagine like like your day-to-day like can you tell us about like kind of how the day-to -day I mean aside from just not being in the office but like what's the day-to-day balance of your work how has that shifted for you?
Yeah it's a great question you know previously my my day-to-day was really filled with doing a lot of physical checks on our offices.
I have a responsibility for all of our offices globally so can't necessarily be in the same same place at once so it was really already relying on using a lot of technology to be everywhere and to check in with all of our offices globally and that part has kind of remained the same but one of the things that's that's different is now I can't physically travel and get to each office to do you know spot checks and work on new projects with our different teams and different offices and so now we're working on a lot of projects remotely and one of the things that's greatly shifted is during this COVID-19 pandemic I've been fortunate enough to be on our business continuity team and really helped in leading our response to this pandemic so that's been a majority of my day is focusing on focusing on a response and figuring out how to keep our employees safe and eventually how to reopen our offices safely.
Right everybody wants to go well not everybody like you know there's like this I'm worried that I might become too lazy to ever go back to the office like it was a for me I can say that it was a really big transition in my life to go to work in a full-time job before I joined Cloudflare I was self-employed I had numerous like side hustles that all came together to make one grand hustle that allowed me to like exist in the world and you know pay for rent and stuff like that and when I started at Cloudflare and started doing this like 40 hour a work like week I was like what is what have the people been doing all these years like I I gained a whole new respect especially for working parents you know people who are commuting and then working full-time and then going home and like being parents like I found like just as like a single person that 40 hours a week like felt like a lot of and not that I'm not working 40 hours from home but it's a totally different thing I think working from home to like being in an office and like engaging with so many people the way that that takes your energy and I especially think the commuting you know for people like to be able to cut the commute out for people's lives I think you know nobody's really missing the commute but but what is the thing you're missing the most about being in the office yeah I I mean I'm I'm definitely an extrovert I I definitely gain a lot of energy from being around other people and having a lot of face-to -face interaction with others and that the whole social aspect of being in an office so I really miss that I miss seeing all my all my friends and all of our teammates in the office that's that's I think the toughest part you know seeing people on zoom is great or on Google Hangouts or any other video conferencing platform but not the same as being able to be together in person especially during this time you know we're we're going through some really challenging challenging situations and it's kind of when you need people the most and and that's I think the toughest thing is not being able to have physical interaction with with other people yeah I would agree with that it's been a really weird for me I live alone and so like there just been like days I like don't see any people and I don't even want to go outside I'm like I could go outside it's a beautiful day but I get so comfortable and I I'm also an extrovert like I and I get energy from other people as well you know from just for interactions and you know you're more excited like to dress up go to the office like see the people there's like meetings like anything could happen like on my team like anything could happen during the day so it adds this like layer of like excitement or uncertainty like who are the interview candidates gonna be like what's the lunch going to be you know what are the leftovers going to be you know how many LaCroix's you know like am I gonna drink or whatever so I miss I miss that a lot as well what about your ergonomics setup I see like right now you're working in your backyard yes I actually similar similar to you I was in a very small San Francisco apartment good fortune of being able to come back to New York and stay with my family so in my backyard setup my ergonomic backyard setup which is for me and you know most people who who work with me in in the San Francisco office usually know that they can find me on the roof and 101 and bar our building I like to spend a lot of time outdoors so it's been great being able to work from from home in the backyard and then so you you know you're you're co-worker is Herschel the golden retriever and he's he's been enjoying the work from home he has yeah he's been enjoying having me around a lot more often during you know in between meetings we're able to go on some walk breaks and spend some time outside together and he's definitely loving having you know his human home more often and there's no conflicts like with Herschel doesn't have any like important zoom meetings that he's gonna have that are gonna conflict like with your meetings because I know that for some of our people who are working from home I know it's been a big transition where people have families and they have partners and their partners are working from home and their kids are trying to do schoolwork and so I can only imagine you know hopefully one of these people will someday be on this segment if we you know if it becomes a thing but like so Herschel what about your family does anybody from like from your family working from home right now also yeah so it's kind of fun I mean my I don't think we've all lived under one roof since you know probably about 10 or 12 years ago I have a younger younger sister and a younger brother my parents are here so everyone's kind of under under one roof again my sister's working from home my brother's kind of a emergency worker so so he has to go into into work every day but my sister and I are always competing for where's the best quiet space to take meetings but it's been fun it's you know it's kind of one of those things the silver lining of this whole pandemic is you know being able to be with family and spend time with those people that you know being across the country I wouldn't have gotten this you know close family time yeah that's very fortunate that you know that you were able to like you know Cloudflare let people know at least you know as much in advance as we can like hey you know like if you don't want to live in I mean like now it's looking like you know January 4th is our earliest like full occupancy idea so obviously you know on the office team and on the BCT we're working hard to try to get those people who really need to be in the office you know to be productive some office space but it's been challenging I think with local municipalities having different rules like there was like a wind down of things and then suddenly there was a reopening and as we're seeing this reopening we're seeing you know a lot of spikes as you know we might expect in cases is it challenging in your family dynamic with your brother going out so he has to go out into the world is there like a version of him in the house or you know like like how are you guys like distancing at home when you have kind of this like wildcard energy of someone who really you know is out being of service to humanity and needs to be front-facing yeah it's a great question and I'm sure tons of families are struggling with this dynamic right now as well I think you know one of the biggest things is you know he makes sure that he takes precautions while at work so they've got a lot of safety precautions in place for for those frontline workers which is great you know you can feel feel safe coming home and then he takes like additional precautions when he does come home so you know you know shower right away and make sure that all those all those clothes that you're wearing all day or the first thing that you know kind of come off and shower and get cleaned and you know don't touch anything in the house that you could possibly contaminate so I think we've got a good process squared away you know my parents are a bit older and you know they're they're still home so we want to make sure that you know those people that are in higher risk categories don't you know don't come into contact with the disease as much as possible so we are taking a bit more precautions probably than maybe some others might be but I think it's been working out pretty well so far and I think it's just you know doing the doing the simple things maintaining personal hygiene and wearing a mask you know making sure your hands washing your hands do the basics right and I think you by doing that and you know you can have a lot of respect for the other people that you that you're living with and that you're coming in contact with.
So you know COVID was trending you know and then we saw a lot of backlash against you know people feeling like their freedoms were infringed upon and so we've been kind of watching like a variety of like uprisings you know some people are uprising because they don't want to wear a mask and they want to get a haircut other people are uprising because they're tired of being shot by the police you know so there's a big public safety lens I think out there in the world but as the media like follows certain things and then stops following certain things I think people's attention spans have kind of like shifted away from like we're having a pandemic into like well what else is like I think Americans attention span is a bit short so it's like you know it's like oh well we were already having the pandemic you know what I mean like even like our president doesn't like seem to think that we need to continue doing a lot of testing and stuff like that my question that I'm getting to is a kind of a public safety in general question so imagine you had the budget for a municipality and you got to decide where the funding was gonna go and that's for like education police public safety the firemen public health how would you spend a public safety budget where do you think we need to be allocating our resources right now great question I think it's tough right I don't envy any anyone that's in that position that has to figure out where that budget goes it's not easy it's not an easy decision but one of the things that I think is kind of a you know what comes back to like one common goal is is education and getting everyone the training that they need whether it be with our you know our first responders or just with the general public right I mean one of the biggest things that we've seen throughout this pandemic is you can you can save a lot of lives just by wearing a mask and just by maintaining personal hygiene and how do we make sure that everyone gets access to that information and gets access to the training and the education that they need to keep themselves safe and to keep our community safe right and keep others I think that for me would be a big focus is figuring out how to get our public and and all of our first responders the training that they need yeah education is super important and I would say you know like really making sure people have excellent job opportunities you know so that like communities that you know have traditionally been you know had heavy police presences because of the perceived you know criminal activities that you know people are getting like you know ground-up support and like in their community education real jobs trainings interesting jobs you know like I think as we're moving towards like automation in so many parts of our society like it's interesting to think of like what are like the jobs of the future going to be I have this dream where we start valuing cleaning up the planet like as if it was like a really like important thing you know and where we could like employ a lot of unemployed people to like you know plant trees figure out how we can use science and like the new kind of technologies that's coming out to like remediate you know plastics and you know like really like if we could somehow start because I feel like we have this thing called money and we decide like what it's worth and we decide like how to spend it and I to me it's kind of like our values seem a bit skewed like let's start valuing like the things I can like bring us you know together as humanity and you know like make some interesting like you know jobs cuz it's like people people need to be occupied my whole spiritual practice is like you know that our work is our spiritual practice like so the work that we're doing you know is to be of service so I have a dream that you know like what do you what do you think is the most optimistic thing that humans have going for us right now I think right now you know dealing with with all this uncertainty one of the biggest positive things that I've seen you know I like to read a lot of the the good news that's going on and not focus on just the you know the unfortunate news that we keep continuing to see through the media there's just a lot of people that are out there helping each other and I think that's something that we need to focus on more it's like humanity has the ability to to do so much good and and there are so many people out there doing a lot of good right now you know whether it's helping those that are at high risk you know get the groceries they need or or you know get access to the health care that they need there's just so many great things that people are doing for others and like you said they're they're being in service to others you know all of our frontline workers who are out there going to work you know don't have the option to work from home there they're getting up every day and doing it and you know putting themselves at risk and putting their families at risk potentially I think those are those are the good you know silver linings that we're seeing throughout this this uncertain time and those are the stories that you want to hear more of you want to hear more of the people that are helping each other the people that are finding ways to do good during this time and people that are using you know maybe this extra time they have at home because they don't have to commute to you know give back and and be a resource to someone else that's been you know what's I think keeping me hopeful and keeping a lot of others hopeful during this time is seeing how much people can come together yeah that's that's a good point I think that people the more we can you know like recognize that like I've always had the view that like the earth is kind of one thing like all the different ecosystems of the earth you know like naturally work in harmony and then you kind of throw humans in and we're a little bit of a monkey wrench of a species you know when it comes to like cooperation or like understanding maybe how one choice like impacts another choice and so what I'm hoping for the future is that like humanity continues to understand like the way that that we interact with each other the way that we interact with the planet that everything really is all connected and that the more that like these kind of concepts can be taught to people like that you know there's no a way you know when we'd like throw our trash you know there is there's no a way there's no a way for when we you know you know do something that's impactful in a negative way and same thing for when we do impactful things that are you know that are in a positive way and I think you know one of the things for me that being at home has been like I started a new like morning practice like in a morning spiritual practice that I that I do almost every day and that's kind of helped me like ground and center and get through like the challenging times have you started any like new and then I also started growing plants like really my house plants get a lot of energy now like they tell me when they want to be moved to like a more sunny spot you know like I like move them around the house all the time now so I guess like they're my new friends so like I've gotten more into like my plant friends and like kind of like a morning practice have you shifted anything like have you added anything into your normal routine since we started working at home yeah I mean I think you know number one just now that I've come back to New York and have the opportunity to do that just spending a lot more time with family I have a golden retriever so he's getting a lot more exercise now my my morning routine is you know while San Francisco is still sleeping before they get up I spent a lot of time outdoors and taking advantage of the nice weather for sure and then uh yeah just cooking a lot more I think you know one of the things we're we were focused on in the beginning of this pandemic is having these kind of cooking contests among our team which is a little fun activity to get everyone involved in and you know who's baking what kind of bread or who's trying out new recipes and sharing recipes with each other that's been really fun so definitely focusing on things like that haven't gotten to the plants side of things yet but maybe that'll maybe that'll come next you know it's it's literally the only people that I live with our plants you know so like I kind of like I listen to them a little more now like I've been propagating making cuttings and then planting them I've definitely had some attrition in the plant friend situation you know there was one that had like spider mites and I didn't save it you know I didn't like there was like a process I could have done of cleaning every leaf I'm not that girl you know like I composted that plant friends and you know I pray for it to go back to the earth and become new plant friends there's also the fruit fly contingency that comes with growing plants I don't know like from whence they come but you know I they like to nestle in and like hide in different places so I find myself with a battle on my hands on my hands with those little guys and one question I want to ask you also how did you get into physical security like in the first place I'm curious about your journey to that yeah I I kind of have a nonlinear journey to physical security I I started working pretty much right out of high school I was working it's my my co-worker sister I started working right out of high school and joined the utility company here in New York Con Edison that was my first job started working there working on a lot of safety stuff was working in our cranes and rigging department so you know something totally outside of safety and security but was was pretty exciting got to figure out logistics and how to organize you know different large moves that we were doing with transformers and and all this heavy equipment is pretty pretty interesting pretty exciting but through that I started working with our emergency department a lot we had a lot of emergency moves and things that would have to get done and through that I met my previous boss who was the director of corporate security and we just kind of hit it off and ended up she had a position open in her department that I applied for and eventually got into and I started working out just kind of working with our investigations team in corporate security and help them build a platform to be able to manage their investigations so using technology kind of kind of all comes back to technology which is pretty interesting and then from there got involved in access control systems and video management systems again you know learning the technology and understanding how it works was was really interesting to me and then kind of replacing all that technology we had a lot of antiquated systems that we changed out and then I just kept getting more ingrained in the emergency aspect of physical security you know doing incident response and handling things like you know big power outages power outages that we had and you know other other incidents and figuring out how to how to manage the logistics aspect of that response was give me a lot of energy you know helping people is one of the big things that gives me energy and and I really enjoy doing so that got me you know ingrained even more in physical security and emergency response and I got to work with a lot of different municipalities a lot of different emergency service providers which which again isn't something else that I really enjoy and then eventually you know moved over to doing consulting and working with a lot of tech companies and then I found Cloudflare and like I said earlier you know definitely joined because of the new approach and the new way that we're looking at physical security especially on the technology side was fascinating to me so awesome I'm curious like when you're talking about like you're moving transformers and like you know figuring out like what happens cuz I mean people like we have no idea for the most part like how the grid works or like you know what I mean you're just like my powers not working you know like everybody but we don't have any idea what that looks like on the back end you know of like what it takes to get like power up and running again and like what what happened and so it's so interesting that you have some of that like knowledge like about like the grid because you know we're very we're all very like dependent on I would say the supply chain and like the the grid you know like I think one thing COVID might have taught us or the pandemic like like just how dependent we are on things that come from so far away and I think you know that's something that to be mindful of like we've all kind of like in our dominant culture like we're dependent on like food that's you know processed and brought to a store nobody like can kind of grow their own food we're certainly not making our own power for the most part so I think some of the limitations of how much like individual control we have over the system that we're living in has really kind of been brought to light by the by this pandemic and so it's interesting that you have that like background of being on different sides and like kind of seeing it firsthand because I think for a lot of people it's just like this very mysterious kind of thing kind of like how we don't teach that much science in school so like electric electricity can still be like really mysterious or how we get power or like what you know what that looks like what the impact of that looks like so did you find Cloudflare or did Cloudflare find you did you apply or did we recruit you somehow?
It was more of a recruitment effort you know through some mutual contacts that I had I mentioned you know some of the startup companies that we were already previously working with we had some mutual connections you know Joe Sullivan who I work for and Susan Chang they both had some connections with vendors that we were using that I was also using from my previous company and we kind of met through that and they they told me about the opportunity that was available and I applied and then kind of went from there yeah it was it was a really interesting experience.
Well I know that we all feel very lucky to have you at Cloudflare like I know that like I mean not just because you're like another curly hair like awesome sister and like super fun and friendly but you know like it feels I know for my team dealing with like the facilities side of things you know it's been nice to have like someone that's like the security professional you know that we can be like hey like this is what's going on with you know with the door or you know what do we do like just kind of knowing that you're tracking all of that for like the office is certainly like a helpful thing.
So speaking of your co-worker Herschel like do you think that it's time for maybe him to have a cameo like or can we get him on camera?
I will try to consult to get him down here he's hanging out with the family.
He's hanging out with the fam. Maybe we can text him and see if he can.
Does he get texted? He's working on it you know he's not quite there yet.
What made you choose a golden retriever? That's a good question. I grew up with one as a kid and she was like you know our family dog and she was the best dog that we ever had and when I you know was on my own and wanted to have a dog of my own I was like well it just kind of makes sense you know I grew up with this family dog and the opportunity kind of just presented itself to have a golden retriever again and I said why not?
I mean he's a great pet. He's a great buddy. Right yeah thank you so much.
I really appreciate having you be my first guest and learn about how it's been going for you to transition to working from home and you know now I would have like my fade out music so I think we're good.
Thank you so much Kayla.
Thank you. Thanks for having me. You're welcome. you