Originally aired on December 8, 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: Kelleen O'Toole (People Team @ Cloudflare)
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to Cloudflare TV. I'm Amy Bibeau. I am the host of this Home Office TV segment that we've had going for a while. My guest today is Kelleen O'Toole. Kelleen is making her Cloudflare TV debut. Hello. Hi. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for being on. How are you doing with working from home? I'm doing pretty well now. I would say that it was definitely, I mean, it's definitely a rollercoaster. There's a lot of ups and downs. I think that I've gotten very much in the swing of the working from home part, but not the pandemic part. So yeah. Right. So from like working from home, we're starting to get into a flow, feeling good about that, the pandemic, or as my Brazilian friends call it, the pandemia. We're not really acing it. It doesn't feel like we're acing it as a, as a country. No. We're feeling pandemia 101. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It just, I mean, it's definitely an emotional rollercoaster because sometimes I'll feel like, oh, I'm doing super well this week. And like, I've been going on my walks and, you know, having breakfast every day. I would say if I go and walk and have breakfast, that's like a good day that I feel like I did the bare minimum. Minimum of self-care or whatever you want to call it. But then there are other days where I'm just like, I am, it's so monotonous and I'm just tired of the, doing the same thing every day. I can relate to that. I think I've been trying to go for more walks too. And I noticed it's like an improvement in my mood, but sometimes I just want to stare at my phone and play candy crush. Yeah. I've discovered some, some new phone games for sure. Yeah. Some word finds recently. And, uh, oh, what's the other one that I really, oh, spider solitaire, which I discovered from back from my childhood that I used to play and now playing it again. Notice if I play too many phone games, when I close my eyes, I see the images of those phone games in my brain. And you hear it. Well, I don't usually turn the noise on, but if you hear the noise, that's a bad sign too. Totally. Um, so like with your routine from what, from working from home, is that kind of how you start your day? Like breakfast, go for a walk and then start work. Like one thing I've noticed as I've been talking to, um, our team who's working from home is like, we used to have this very clearly delineated structure of like commuting to the office, getting to the office, starting your day. How do you start and end your day now that we're in the pandemia working from home? Yeah. So my goal each day is, especially if I don't have an early meeting, then I will try to do like a hour long walk in the morning. Um, before starting around, you know, eight 39 ish. Um, and then, so that's like my number one goal, but that doesn't always happen because sometimes I get a poor night's sleep and I sleep in a little bit. Um, so I wake up and, and basically make coffee. Um, I have, I actually don't know what it's called, but it's like, I've gotten very into it. It's an espresso maker that you put on the stove, the water goes in the bottom and then the water kind of comes up. My mom calls it a percolator. It's like a little Europe. It's like a little Italian, like coffee maker and it goes up through the top. It's like a little percolator. Yeah. So I'm obsessed with that. Um, I make a little oat milk latte usually. And, um, and yeah, and I always have to do half decaf because I can't do too much caffeine. Um, yeah. And then try to have some breakfast. I've been making homemade granola recently, so that's been awesome. And, uh, you know, take my vitamins in the morning, like all of these routine things. Um, and then start working and it's been, it's definitely a challenge to stop for lunch. Um, I've found like, I, I definitely eat at my desk. Um, so I think when I try to do is just shave a little off at the beginning and the end of the day, because I'm basically working straight through, I'm not really taking a break. Um, but working from home gives you a little bit of that flexibility, which is nice. It's nice to cook. I mean, as much as we might miss some of the office snacks, um, it is nice, I think, to have your kitchen right there and be able to just like whip up something. I've been eating some delicious salads. What happened to your homemade granola? So it's oats. Um, and then it's a bunch of seeds. So it's really just like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, um, Oh, pumpkin seeds. Uh, and then some walnuts, some almonds. So it's like nut seeds and oats and a little bit of honey and a little bit of coconut, uh, oil. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's really good. I think I've perfected it now. Cause I've made it like a handful of times. And then with your granola, do you put some fruit with it or like a little, yeah, I don't like dried fruit much. So what I'll do is fresh fruit if I have it. Um, otherwise I do like a tiny bit of honey, um, and then plain plain yogurt, plain Greek yogurt. Okay. Yeah. I remember like delicious snacks. I remember the fruit, like the fruit guys, you just like, I mean, I ate so much more fruit when I was in the office. Like I swear to God, I buy fruit now and it just sits there. I'm like, yeah, but I'm not at the office, like chopping it up into my little fruit salad. It just sits there and like the bananas get old. And then I put them in the freezer, like as if I'm going to make banana bread. Oh yeah, no. Well, but I've actually been doing too that I, so today I had granola, but I also have been making smoothies. So kind of like a smoothie bowl. Um, and so that's what I've used bananas for. Cause I definitely don't eat bananas normally. Um, they do definitely sit out. Well, I buy them for smoothies. I literally, I do. I buy them for smoothies and then they sit there and then they get just a little bit too Brown. And I'm like, now, you know, I want my banana, like a little more on the green side. Like as soon as it just even getting like a little too ripe, I'm like, Oh, it's too much banana for me. How do you end your day? How do you know when it's time to be done? Yeah, that one's tough. Especially when it's busy, when it's super, I mean, when is it not busy, but especially when it's extra busy. Um, so I, I've tried a couple different things for ending my day. Like sometimes if I don't go on my walk in the morning, I do try to do that in the afternoon, which is hard now because it gets dark. Yeah. So yesterday I went on an amazing walk. I basically was just like, I wasn't at really a stopping point in my work, but I was just like, okay, I started early this morning. Like I have to go outside. So I just shut down and went for a walk and it was really warm yesterday. So it was nice. It was like beautiful sunset went down to, um, I live near, uh, China beach, ocean beach, uh, sorry, Baker beach. So I went to China beach and like the waves were really big and beautiful and, um, watch the surfers for a bit. So that was really nice. Like just a sunset walk. Um, so I'll try to do that sometimes. And then other times I'll try to do like a workout at the end of the day, but I'm not great at the home workouts. I gotta be honest. Like it's, it's definitely a bit of a challenge, um, like a yoga class or something, but yeah. And so from a, from a pandemia like side of things, is your family in Hawaii still, or where do they, where does your people hail from? I know, I know we were talking before the show, you grew up in Hawaii. Is that where everybody is now still? Um, no. So actually my, so I live in San Francisco. My parents, uh, well, my parents were divorced. So my dad lives in Kona still. Um, but he's actually in LA for most of the pandemic. He's been there, um, just visiting his family. So he decided cause he lives alone, totally by himself in Kona. So he kind of has been spending more time in, in LA. Um, and then my mom is in San Jose, so she's actually really close. Um, yeah. And I didn't, I, it's funny because I don't have a car. Like I did, I never had a car. Um, but my parents have kind of been letting me use one of theirs, um, during this time, which has dragged on for quite some time, but that, that way I'm able to go see them for social distance. Um, like we had a social distance Thanksgiving and yeah. And where's your grandma that we were talking about trying to get her a copy of this segment? Grammy. Um, she's down in LA. Both my grandmas are, are down in LA and then my step-grandma lives in New Hampshire. So I actually am lucky enough to have three, three grandmas. Three Grammys. That's awesome. I'm, I'm on the grandma-less track at this point in my, my journey. Um, but you know, my, I can feel the presence of my ancestors. Um, you know, I feel like, you know, they've all put in so much energy so that we could be here, you know, on this planet, which, you know, I think it's, it's kind of a crazy time on the earth right now. That's one of the things we talk about, you know, in the, in my show is like, is there anything that you're optimistic about like for the future? Like, I mean, obviously we're going through like a hard time now. I've been a little excited that like, in some senses, the earth has been getting a little bit of a break from all the commuting. And, you know, there were some days where we had more clean air and, and so like on some levels, like the earth is getting a break, but then when you add all like the plastic gloves and sanitizer and stuff like that, I'm not sure. Is there anything that you're optimistic about during this pandemic? Hmm. I mean, I'm, I'm unfortunately pretty pessimistic as a person, but I'm trying to be positive. Um, so I think, well, for me, environmentally, I'm not sure. Um, I think I personally have been trying to buy more local, um, local items recently. So I feel like at least maybe there are some other people trying to do the same thing, like really trying to buy more small stores that go to the farmer's market more often, things like that, which I have more time for. So I'm, that's a little bit of a hopeful thing because I'm like, you know, if I'm going to the farmer's market, that food's only coming from not very far away and is going directly back into like the local economy and everything. So that's, that's one positive. Um, and then I'm also in general trying to buy more from like my local restaurants, which I know buy local produce as well. Um, and then I personally have become, well, I know I just had yogurt this morning, but I I've been more vegetarian. I've been pretty much a vegetarian and mostly vegan recently. Um, since I've been home, I've been kind of like, well, why not now is the time to kind of make that transition. Um, so just the stuff that I keep at home is all vegetarian and mostly vegan. So that's also a positive for environmentally. And for your body probably too, you know, like it it's given, like, I think one thing about this pandemic and lockdown, it's given us more of a chance to examine our own selves, our patterns, our habits. There's, I know you have a housemate that you share space with. Yeah. So, you know, um, but, you know, for even those of us who might live with some, we still have that more internal time. There's more time to ourselves. And so, um, you know, hopefully we're finding some things that we can do that's, you know, better personal choices, you know, for our longevity or for the planet and more that self-examination like time, you know? Yeah. No, I've definitely found that. Um, and I I've definitely improved my habits, um, on a lot of things because I think like going on the walks and, um, just having my like routines. Another thing I do in the morning is, um, spray my plants, uh, because I have 35 houseplants. So I have quite a few just in my room. Um, so I know that misting plants, I don't think a lot of people say it's not actually, it doesn't really do anything, but I personally find it very therapeutic. So I do it anyway. Um, but, you know, kind of checking on them, looking at them, picking off dead leaves, that kind of thing. Like it's a really nice routine in the morning to have. And, and I really like, I would say improve my space now that I've been home. Like I've, you know, gotten a new bed, um, put up some art around my room and sort of like made it more of like a homey space. Um, which has been really great because I think before I was busy and I sort of didn't pay attention to that as much. Um, and it's kind of like a crash pad, you know, you're in, you're out. And like, so now you've got a chance to do more like nesting, you know, I definitely nested more. Um, I've actually moved since the pandemic as well. Like I had to get out of the city because I was like, it was super dense where I lived. Like there was like nary, like a majestic tree within walking distance, you know, and I need there to be like a majestic tree within walking distance. I don't want to have to get in my car and drive just to see a majestic tree. Like, you know, so now I live where I can walk and like 10 minutes away, there's some giant redwoods. Yeah. I need to feel like I'm in the presence of something that's like larger and bigger than myself and my, my own like confusion. So I like, I upgraded my spot. I didn't hang my art in my new place, but I noticed, um, that was one of the things I did last, you know, in the summer, like, okay, I have like, I started making paintings. And then I was like, I have all these paintings that I made. Like I should buy some frames so that I framed them and I put them on the wall. And I was like, Ooh, then I was happier when I would look around because we're spending so much time in our space. Now going back to your plant friends, we discussed maybe doing a little tour. Do you want to, do you want to show us some of your plant friends? Yeah, sure. So I'm hoping that this doesn't get too like messy or wobbly. I don't want to shake the camera too much, but these are some of my little plant friends over here. Um, so I think these three are kind of the thriving ones. It's a bittly fig, um, in the there and then a, uh, Indian banyan and then a bird of paradise. And then, uh, yeah. And then I have some, some smaller ones on the other side, but also my giant pothos. Oh, nice. I'm very proud of that guy. I have one as well that I'm also very proud of. Yeah. I just love how like drapey and, you know, it's really nice to see it thrive. Although it has one yellow leaf, which is bugging me. It might be fertilizer. One of mine got yellow leaves. Um, I think it was because when I moved, I put it in my bedroom and there wasn't much light in there. And then it like started getting yellow leaves and got really serious about its yellowness. So I added some fertilizer. Do you struggle with the plant gnats? No, I don't. Thankfully. Well, I think I've seen one or two, but no, not too many. They are a plague. I am. I'm scared of that because every time I buy a new plant and I'm bringing in from the nursery, I'm like, Oh no. Like it's, and I've now, you know, watch some videos where you're supposed to isolate them. And I've really been educating myself on YouTube about plants. Yeah, I get it. I deepened my relationship with my plant friends during this pandemia for sure. Like I, I started several cuttings and grew some new plants. Um, I got this, um, it's like a mantra plant, I guess it's called. I got it from Trader Joe's and it kind of felt like a rescue. I feel like when you buy a plant from Trader Joe's, it's like, it's like, you're doing a rescue. Yeah. It was really sad. And I grew it into three plants. Like I, you know, it's still, it's a thriving one plant, but I, I planted two little offshoots. So I think, um, but I'm, I'm with you. I think you have to isolate. Cause I brought one in that I had got at the San Francisco flower market and it had, um, spider mites. Oh no. But luckily they didn't get to the other plants, but I was like, well, you're a waste of, you know, like many items, you know, I didn't even know how you do, I mean, how you get rid of them. Like, I'm, I mean, I guess there are videos about that, that I can watch, but I'm just like, that scares me a little bit. Totally. We don't want to infestation. Cause then you start to control and you're like, oh, now I know why they're struggling with this pandemia. There there's, I've heard a very bad things about mealy bugs. So I'm really scared about those specifically, because I feel like, I think you can just wash them off thankfully, but like, I don't know, it just sounds awful. Like they get these little white spots in the back, like kind of looks like a little nest or something. I don't, it's kind of gross, but, um, thankfully so far so good. But I think since I've been home, like my plants have done a lot better. Like I think because I'm paying more attention to them and I just got a water or a moisture meter. So you stick it because I have some tall plants. So you stick it in the soil and it kind of tells you how dry or wet it is. Um, and then you kind of keep it at the certain level. So I'm hoping that that, that helps too, but I'm kind of getting into the, like, my goal is to ultimately live outside the city and have a garden. So I'm kind of training for that day. Yes. I mean, I know a lot of us would probably like to live in a, um, you know, like in a way where we can be growing some of our own food and a little closer to nature. Like I think this city life is definitely, you know, it's a human construct to live in like these densely packed areas. Um, there, I don't think there was a lot of thought in the design of the modern city in general of like, you know, that balance that humans actually really need with nature. You know, I think that as we're moving through this pandemia and during this climate change era, we're starting to see like how, you know, the, the actions of humans, um, on the planet haven't really been, um, in harmony, you know, and it's like, it's like, you know, it would be nice to have more of that harmony. And, and I think that we're, we start to see the effects of what that lack of harmony, you know, does to people, like in terms of like depression, anxiety, you know, just unhappiness. And, um, you know, again, I, I hope that as humans, we start to realize even with this pandemic, like the interconnectedness of everything, like the more that we realize like, Hey, when we do certain things to the earth, it has this kind of impact on us. Like I feel this interconnectedness, like we're all kind of part of the earth and the things that we do to the earth we're actually doing to ourselves. And so I, I just am always hoping that we start to get more awareness where we're like, Hey, everything we're doing to another living being on the planet or to the planet itself is something that we're actually, you know, perpetrating against ourselves. And so we, you know, are hopefully starting to make better, you know, choices as a, as a whole, you know, cause again, individually, we only have so much, so much power. We do have a lot of power over our own personal, like how much peace of mind, you know, we can maintain, but, um, you know, when it comes to stemming the tide of chaos that I kind of tend to see brewing, like, I think it's going to take a concert, a lot of concerted actions, you know, of the community as a whole. So speaking of that, like what's been your primary struggle would you say during the pandemic? Uh, I think like everyone sort of the loneliness, isolation. Um, I do have a, you know, I have a few close friends that they, you know, I see once in a while. Um, but it's definitely, you know, it can be a challenge to spend so much time alone. And I'm actually someone who I'm used to being, I like being alone. I'm used to it. Um, but there comes a point where you're like, okay, like I need some humans. Um, so I think thankfully when things were a little bit better, you know, I had a couple of friends that I was seeing and I think even though it's cold now, dark early, um, I think I'll still, you know, try to have some social distance hangouts. Um, but yeah, I think the, the just isolation, um, and then also, you know, I, I'm someone who's kind of a hypochondriac and kind of a germ germaphobe. So that has been a struggle to like really trying to not get overwhelmed by the anxiety and the, the fear of like disease, because that's sort of what's like, it's everywhere. Everyone's like, be careful. Just breathing is bad. And so you're kind of like, you know, it can cause a lot of anxiety for sure. So that's, that's been a bit of a struggle. I feel like I'm, I'm feeling better about it now. Like, I feel like I know that, you know, grocery shopping is kind of a necessary risk and, um, I, I feel good about going on walks and things like that. Um, so yeah. Right. You know, when we stepped into this experience as like, you know, collective, there was like, you know, so many unknowns, you know, and so, so many, um, yeah, unknowns, you know, and like the more unknowns and the more variables you have, the more that's going to create, you know, the path for anxiety and uncertainty in the mind. And especially when we're dealing with a scary pandemic that, you know, sure you can be like, oh, well, you know, a lot of people have gotten it and they've been fine, but then it's also like, well, a lot of people have gotten it. And there's some weird long-term, you know, side effects that, you know, even as youngish, I'm going to call myself youngish. I'll call you young, you know, like healthy people, you know, there, there is fear wrapped up in all those unknowns. And, um, as a person who's not a germaphobe, you know, and like generally not super concerned about that kind of stuff. Like I've had to shift in the other direction of being like, well, you know, I always buy that trader Joe's like spray hand sanitizer. As much as I hate disposable plastic, you know, like I keep a few of those on hand and I, you know, I'm not like a gloves person. Cause I don't think so much. It's, you know, it's, it's going to come from my hands to me is more going to come from, from the air. Um, you know, at least people are hopefully in San Francisco, we have a lot of mask compliance. We were on the early side of, um, you know, kind of locking things down, which obviously a lot of humans are, um, you know, there's a lot of pushback against that approach, you know, but as a person who's not an expert in the field, like, I don't know what the best way, you know, to deal with it is. And I just know that, um, you know, I have empathy for those people who are frightened, you know? Yeah. Um, yeah. Going out to get groceries, you know, it's kind of a necessary evil or you can have Instacart, but you can't have Instacart go to the farmer's market for you. Exactly. And also I love going to the farmer's market, right? Like it's, it's also, I mean, and that's outdoors. So I feel good about the farmer's market, but yeah, I, I think it's, it's kind of like the risk you have to balance the risk with your mental health. I think as much as you can, like, you know, seeing one friend, like that might be a risk, but it's like, you know, it's, if you are both willing and you're both being really careful, it's something that sometimes you have to make that decision to just go ahead and do, because I have some friends who, you know, they live alone or, um, you know, I know I just have the one roommate right now. So, you know, it's not super, we're both being very careful. So I think it's sort of a balance of how long can I go being alone and like, which people I'm going to choose to see. Right. Right. And, you know, again, like you said that the choice against mental health versus, you know, wellbeing and, and, you know, not being like, you know, like overly, you know, anxious in your mind, you know, versus like, you know, not being reckless, you know, obviously we don't want to be, um, I think the worst thing that any of us could probably think of is like unwittingly, you know, being a carrier, you know, of a virus and then, you know, maybe you didn't get sick, but then you get someone else sick. And again, that's part of that interconnectedness is that we're, we're starting to learn in a more, um, evident and like in your face way, like, Hey, the things that we do, you know, affect other people, how can we be less selfish? I feel like we're kind of grown in the Western civilizations to, to be kind of like individualistically focused and self -focused and focus on our own success and our own survival. And, um, you know, this pandemic is, is a chance for us to, you know, like check out from that thinking and start to check more into that, like collective thinking, like, how are we, um, you know, how are we affecting each other? How are we working together? And obviously we've been through, uh, an era of a lot of divisiveness, you know, especially in the political realms and, and, um, you know, hopefully we can have more of a spirit of cooperation or, you know, working together. I have some optimism around our, um, you know, incoming, you know, executive leadership that, you know, maybe it will be a shift. I hope so. I really hope so. Yeah. Yeah. No, I've been trying to like, that's actually one of the other things I'm trying to build habit-wise and staying off the social media as much, because I think around the election, I just was like going in a spiral of just, you know, consuming everything I could read basically all the time. And I was like, you know, this isn't good for me because I'm just sort of, it's all I can think about and obsessive. And so, um, yeah, I just tried to take a break from that and do more like I've really, well, I've always been a knitter. Um, so I love knitting. Um, and I think in the beginning of the pandemic, I was like super knitting all the time. And I, I sort of like lost interest in it. Okay. It was the same with, in the beginning of this pandemic, I was probably actually one of the best times like ever for me, because I was super, I was like, I was knitting, I was cooking all of these crazy recipes, really like experimenting. I was going on walks every day. And then I feel like it's been a little bit more of like, there was a downturn and then now I'm coming back up into like, okay, like I'm building those hobbies again. Right, right, right. That makes sense. Um, I, I kind of was going through my painting phase and then I kind of got out of that. Like I, I literally for a while, like I wasn't going outside at all or seeing anyone like during like the height of the summer. And it was, it was starting to feel weird. Like, like I felt weird, like it would feel weird to even like see a person. Yeah. I kind of had to get out of that mentality. Cause that's really not like, no, I don't think that's like a healthy way of like being long-term, you know, in our, in our culture. It's definitely, um, you know, um, it's, it's up and down. Like you said, it's a roller coaster. I think that's a good way to describe it. Have you started any new things? So you start, you've been knitting, you've been doing the more vegan vegetarian thing. That's kind of new and, and better plant care habits. Um, new, new, uh, I started cross-stitching. So that's a little bit new. Um, it's kind of, it's related. I mean, it's similar to knitting, but it's not knitting. Um, so basically my first project that I'm working on is, um, I think I cross -stitched like a long time ago with my grandma. Oh, sorry. So, um, yeah. So anyway, cross-stitch and, um, cross -stitch. I thought of your grandma. Yeah. It's yeah. It's definitely brings that to mind. I mean, this could be like the time where like, you know, like merging like the past and the present, you know, cause there's a, there's a lot of good wisdom there that, um, you know, that like, I think we can integrate into our current reality. So with that, I just want to say, thank you so much. It was really good to see you. I miss seeing you at the office. Yeah, you too. Thanks so much for, for bringing me on and it's been great to see you coming on the show and I hope to see you soon and have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks. You too. Bye. Bye.