Originally aired on January 25 @ 4:30 PM - 5:00 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: Jay Henderson
Hello, good morning and or afternoon or evening, whenever you might be watching this. I'm Amy Bibeau and welcome to Home Office TV. And we are very lucky today to have the wonderful Jay Henderson. Jay, hi. Hey, how's everything going? Living the dream, living the dream. Dream, nightmare, you know, who can say? Maybe we'll wake up from it someday. So how's it been going? Welcome to Home Office TV, of course. And do you want to talk a little bit about your role at Cloudflare and then talk about how you're doing? Yeah, I'll do a quick intro. So my name is Jay Henderson. I'm one of the co-leads here at San Francisco at Afroflare. I've been at Cloudflare for two years now. So pretty exciting times. And yeah, I'm doing okay. I mean, you know, it's been an interesting kind of change of events from being in the office and watching San Francisco go from a whole bunch of people being on the streets to counting the little people in the streets to not coming back into seeing the streets. So, yeah, it's been an interesting kind of turn of events. So, yeah. And so, yeah, we were in the same class, actually. So, you know, we both have been at Cloudflare for two years. And as you started out to say, you're one of the co-leads of Afroflare. And so Afroflare is one of our employee resource groups. And happy Black History Month to you. Hey, thank you. Thank you. And happy Black History Month to everyone else out listening. But yeah, it's been great. You know, last year we had so two years ago. Yeah, it was like the first year I was here, I think, is when we had the drums. And I think I saw you there. And that was that was probably my introduction to it and feeling like, wow, this is great. This is a great place to be, to have, you know, this much culture across all the different ERGs. Everyone is very not only inviting, but they bring them their true selves to the meetings and conversations. So that's that's really cool to have. But yeah, it's Black History Month this month. We have a whole bunch of things happening on Cloudflare TV. I think today, later on, we'll have a conversation with Cornell Woodson, who's one of the directors of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Headspacing. And then throughout the rest of the month, we have different chats and fireside chats, conversations, Joe Hurd's coming back to talk to the team. We'll have quite a few different folks on there. So it'll be fun. But I mean, the biggest thing is just understanding, you know, what why we're why we matter, not only just as Black people, but overall, just it's been a trying year, I would say, seeing a lot of different things happen and good, bad and different, horrible and everybody being able to kind of see things in light that that we as Black folks have seen frequently. So it's been interesting turn of events. But I'd say that I think we're coming around the corner. I think things are changing for the better than the worst. And, you know, just got to keep moving forward and make this year even better than last. Yeah, I mean, obviously, in the last, you know, 12 months, eight to 12 months, like in the US, the light has been shined on a lot of things that maybe the default population or the majority or, or the, you know, I don't wanna say the majority of the population, but the way that like the media, you know, and, and, you know, the narrative gets manipulated to show a certain, like part of the community as a majority, whether it is a majority. So like, there's been a lot of awakening and awareness happening across more diverse communities as to a lot of the issues that have been facing, you know, the African American and people of color communities for a really long time. And so hopefully, at least now with the new administration, there's a lot more acknowledgement, you know, from, at least from that level, you know, so hopefully we're moving in a better direction. Yeah, I mean, that's positive. Plus, we have the first, you know, Black and Asian American vice president. That's amazing, too, from the Bay Area. So I mean, yeah, there's a lot of there's a lot of things. I mean, that's, that's a great, you know, transition, because I'm lucky I get to raise three little Black queens. So I have three girls live here with four women at my house all day long. So it's pretty exciting. Like I like to say I live in the hen house, I get to hear all the good trip, trip, tripping. And, you know, it's it's fun. But yeah, it's an it's an exciting time. I made my daughters watch the inauguration and just see the the fanfare, you know, just it's different, right? I remember growing up seeing everybody being in Washington and being able to see that on television, right? Because no way were we able to fly out to see Obama or any of those things and all those other aspects. But But yeah, I think it's a really exciting time, big change. And I think that not only are the winds of change coming, but I think that we're going to see a lot of more diversity across the nation, I think, especially in leadership. So I think that those are the good positive things that, as you mentioned, this administration brings to the country. Yeah, were the girls really excited? Like, I mean, what are their ages? Sure. Yeah, my youngest is 11. My middle daughter is 15. And my oldest is 17. She's about to go to college. So it's like scary. It's like this weird, scary time, right? Because I go back to remembering being their ages. And having, you know, that, that real freedom of having a car and being able to drive and go everywhere. Unfortunately, there's nowhere for you to go anymore. Because if all you can do is drive around, right? It's kind of like, that's really, and then you think back, like, that's what we used to do is just drive around. That was our bike, right? Like, for me, it was the bike that turned into the car, right? Because just to ride your bike all around out here in the peninsula where I grew up. And, you know, we would ride our bikes as far as we could everywhere we want to go. Whether that was in Foster City to go play video games, or if that was down to, you know, watching Oracle get built. I mean, it was crazy. But beyond that, yeah, I think it's a really exciting time for them. My daughter's been accepted into a couple of different schools, or she's gotten offer letters, should I say. And we're just waiting out until some other ones. She really wants to go to UCLA or USC. She wants to be down south. But USF is knocking on the door. So University of San Francisco here in the Bay Area, keeping her at home. You know, so those are all the interesting things that are kind of really occurring right now in my day to day. Beyond that, I would say my middle daughter and her, you know, they're in competitive cheer. Actually, all three of my daughters are in competitive cheer. And usually around this time of the year, we're traveling crazy, going to different places like Dallas and Florida for the different championships and doing cheerleading. So cheer is life for my girls over here. So it's exciting. It's a good time. And yeah, we love it. What has been like, how has that been for them? Like, okay, they can't go and do their normal, cheer stuff. You're at home, working at home. Do you have like basically five people in the house all day? And then you're doing all of your sales calls and all your work from home? Is that what's happening? Yeah, that is exactly what's happening. I think the funniest thing is when like my 11 year old does PE. So I think we're blessed and lucky. My daughters do cheer. So they have a tumble track. And I'm lucky to have a house where I can put that tumble track out in the PE and different things. So me and my wife actually switch off between, you know, the more quiet location to work than the louder location to work during the week. So, you know, it's taken some time to get used to, but I mean, working in this industry, I've worked from home a few different times, right? It wasn't the, what I would say, quote unquote norm, but we would work from home here and there. My wife actually was working from home all the time. So that was pretty cool. So it wasn't a big transition for us to work from home. I think the thing that has been the biggest challenge is that, that PE time or everybody being on a call and the Internet feeling like it's going to die. Those kinds of things are kind of funny to me. But beyond that, it's actually been a good blessing in disguise. I think that there's some very positives that have come out, especially because, well, I'm lucky, right? I have a family, so I'm here with my family and I'm able to spend more time and be closer to them than I think that I've ever been. So I am a girl dad and we're always together, but I think that I bring in a different layer when I'm able to be with them so many hours during the day and really see them. So that's really cool. So yeah, that's kind of what our biggest thing has been. Yeah, that's awesome to have that, that extra time with your family. Cause it's like, I think one of the things we've talked about in my show is kind of like, okay, well, what are the challenges? What are the struggles? And like, how, how is this pandemic like shaping people's values and like giving that understanding of like, what, you know, what do we value the most, you know? And so it's like, you're a person, like you really value, and we obviously, we value our jobs, but we value our families more. Now you get to have that more, like more time with your family and that increases family, you know? So like having that understanding of like how important and how good it's been to like have that more time, like even moving forward beyond the pandemic, you have that realization now, you know, within. And so hopefully that means, you know, more time, you know, in the future, like structuring to have that more time, you know? Yeah. And I think that that's been, again, that, that, that positive in, in, in this dire time is this has brought that family unit closer together. Being able to spend that time, exercise together, play together, you know all those different things. So it's been, it's been a growing, it's been a, it's, it's been a good season in that sense. That's awesome. What would you say has been your biggest, you know, like challenge? Has there been anything that you've like been pushing up again? That's been, you know, like. I think the biggest challenge for everybody right now is going to be time management, right? How do you manage your time? How do you slot out the time for, for work, family, et cetera, because for where I'm in sales, right? So I'm looking at working all the time. Like now I don't have an excuse to not get on my computer, right? There's nothing that's holding me back. I don't have to do a commute. I don't have, right? I can wake up, fall out of bed and start making emails, calls, et cetera. So I think that that is, again, that, that thing that in sales, because we're con, we have this constantly going engine, is the hard part, right? The hard part is the turnoff. So I, I find myself, you know, trying to get other activities going, whether that's, you know, riding my bike or, you know, trying just not to work past a certain times, put a time schedule on myself. But then again, sometimes it's relieving to just walk through emails and prospect customers and find new accounts where there may be some gold mines there. So that's the other part of it, right? So being a, being a constant farmer in that sense, I think for different people might mean different things, but for me, it's, you know, time management is the challenge because I'm, I'm eager to go after the new businesses that potentially could leverage Cloudflare. Right. So it's like, that's a lot of the times the question I ask people is like, how do you know when to turn on? How do you know when to turn off? Because it's like, normally it's kind of that commute, you know, it's like, okay, like I, I commute to work, I get there, I do my job and then I turn off, you know, on the way home. I mean, obviously we can bring our laptops home and, and work from home, you know, if you're really working on a project, but like, so is your morning routine, you wake up and you go straight to the computer and then. Well, actually my morning routine is interesting. So depending upon the day, my wife actually gets up a little earlier than me because she works for East coast company. So they're doing, you know, business meetings at six 37 o'clock in the morning. So that rust or rustling of the, of the feathers means that I'm going to get up at that time, which is again, another blessing in disguise. So, you know, I'll get up at that same time and, you know set my stage of emails that I might be sending out earlier. So I think that that day to day kind of early morning thing that's changed, I think is not only that, but being able to get in a ride on, on my, on my bike or have an opportunity to, when it's not raining outside, because it happens to be horribly wet out here in Northern California, be outside or just get out in the, in the, in the natural air. Those are the things that I, I tend to push myself towards and bring them with me. Like, Hey, let's go walk around Lake Chabot as an example, right. Or let's go on a hike out in Orinda. These are things that, you know, allow you to be outside and get exercise and be out in the world instead of being trapped in this, what feels like, you know, never ending story of containment. Screen time containment too. You know what I mean? It's, it's like, you know, the never, the never ending screens. Yeah. Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting. Right, right. Exactly. That's, you know, that's, that's intense. Like having like back-to-back, you know, back-to-back meetings, like back-to-back screen time. I think it is really important to, to get outside. I, I'm going to change the adjective. I would say it's beautifully wet here in Northern California. I love the rain. Like I'm from Minnesota. So it was a big transition for me to move to a place that was like, like had an entire season of dryness, you know, like I can't it's just weird for me. Like I didn't grow up around like forest fires and like dryness. And so like to have a whole dry summer with no like thunderstorms or anything like that is not super excited for me, but when it's raining like this, I actually, I was getting all my steps in even, even last week when it was raining, I was like, whenever it would stop, I would go outside and go for like a quick walk and then, and then come back. But yeah, it's I think that's a really good thing to have a handle on is like, how do we, you know, still continue to interact in some way with the outside world? Because I think at the beginning of the pandemic, many of us were really like inside and at home and like not going out at all. And that I think takes a toll, especially like if you have like a family all under one roof. You gotta get out. Oh yeah. My, my kids get cabin fever. So they're like, ah, we need to go do something. So we're frequently trying to find things to do. I think the coolest thing in the pandemic that we did was we all went to San Francisco and got on scooters and rode around the city. And it was, it felt like there was nobody, I don't know. I remember the city being bustling all the time. And now it feels like there was an actual time where I could ride up and down different streets with no cars with very few people get up to, you know, over there by Columbus and look at all these different sites and, and, and ride on a scooter. And we do that with the kids. That was a really good outing for us to be able to do. So now they want to constantly do it. That's the only bad part. They want to go do it again. Let's go do it again. Now there's more traffic. Yeah. So in the peninsula now? No, no, no. I live in, I live in Castro Valley here in the East Bay. Oh, okay. Yeah. But I grew up in the peninsula. So I grew up in Belmont. So South City, Belmont. So I'm going back to circling back to some of the Afroflare TV events that are happening. So you said that one is half on South Side TV. We have one today and it's at 1130 Pacific time. And that one is, do you want to tell us a little bit about that one quick? And then we can, we can, we want to just give a little plug to, I just lost all my information. Sorry. So the one today is why we matter with Cornell Woodson. And yeah, that's at 1130. I'm having technical difficulties to pull up my exact agenda. I'm sorry. No worries. No worries. And then I know that we have one with Devin Davis. Yeah. Devin's later in the, in the, in the, in the closer on the 24th, I believe. Yep. At 11 a.m. Pacific time. So we have that happening. Those are the only two I have in my inbox that I can easily find. Yeah. I'll pull up mine. I, I got booted out of my agenda items here. Just give me half a second. I'm sorry. No worries. No worries. Technical difficulties. We just want to do a little plug, you know, for, for the Afroflare Cloudflare TV events that are happening. Cause obviously, and I'll, while you're doing that, I'll let people know. So I just learned this about Cloudflare TV. When you're looking at the Cloudflare TV schedule and you want to watch a past episode, as long as you're looking at it, and it's like, so like if I was looking at the schedule and I saw that there was a segment that I wanted to watch and it was on yesterday, I can just click on that and play that on demand. So I don't know when we started doing that on Cloudflare TV. I just learned about it last week. So, you know, for those of you who really are missing like the previous home office TV segments and you really want to go back, you can just look in the previous week schedules and click on any, any segment and just click on those. And so that'll happen. We're, we'll be able to replay some of the Afroflare events also, but yes, what else do we have coming up? So we have the plug, which is an interesting term that we're going to have, as you had mentioned, Devin talking about the different things that he's doing. It's more or less an informal kind of session where we're going to showcase the Afroflareans around the company, sharing, you know, the subject matter experts and things that they're doing, stories about their lives and the challenges that they faced. So that's one. And then we're going to do a screening between Afroflare and ProudFlare of a Kenyan film that's called Rafiki. And that date, I don't have the date in front of me. I'm sorry about that, but let me pull it up. The date I have on that one will be on the 12th, the movie screening. And that's from 10 to 11. Cool. And that's on Cloudflare TV also, right? Correct. I think most of our events will be on Cloudflare TV. And then that same day, we'll have Alisa on the 11th. Alisa will be, who's one of the heads of legal, Alisa Durrett. She'll be actually doing a fireside chat along with Francis Jordan earlier in the day, who's a board chair for the Austin Justice Coalition. So pretty interesting day there in relation to some of the legal things that not only we know about, but other things that people are dealing with. And Alisa will chime in, in relation to some of the things that she takes care of here at Cloudflare. So yeah, a couple of things there. And then on the 25th, we have the Silicon Valley Squares takeover. So that'll be fun. And then we have some other interesting speakers, whether it's Julian Waits, or it's Kyra Mira-Claude. There's quite a few number of speakers. That'll be the third week. So the 16th, 17th, and so on. Yeah. So basically, if you're watching Cloudflare TV, check the schedule. All of our Black History Month and Afroflare events should have a little tag on them. And so people who are watching the show, or people watching it later, please tune in, because everybody's got a lot of amazing information to share. And it's just a way that we can showcase, again, important work that's being done by people in Afroflare and at Cloudflare. So thank you so much for that. Yeah. And learning about other things that people are doing that are outside of that, that are really giving you a reason behind why we matter as a people, and where we stand, and how we can better the entirety of the US and everyone. That's really what we're trying to do, is just help everyone understand what we're seeing, and how we can all be allies together, and unify. Yes. This is important, for sure. Definitely. So what other questions do you have, Amy? What else do I got for you? Well, so what snacks do you miss the most from being in the U.S.? Snacks. All right. So I would say the ones on the basement, any of the snacks that were in the basement, those were all good. But I think if one bad treat or habit I had was the animal cookies downstairs, those were good. And then what were the other ones? Now I'm drawing a blank. The M&Ms, just in the downstairs. And I used to always love to get a little Red Bull, and drink it on the way upstairs, and get to make a call. And get going. Get your wings in. Get my wings and fly. Yeah. So those would be the ones I miss. I miss lunch. I really liked having lunch with the team. I actually had an opportunity to sit down with Matthew at lunch early, and working at Cloudflare. So that was really cool. So yeah, I think that just being able to see all the people, and say hi. And I think that's the one thing that I think we're all looking forward to getting back to, as kind of like a family unit. Talking to one another, saying, hey, hi, how you doing? What's going on? What are you doing? How have you been? And you don't realize how many people you talk to in the day, when you're not at work, right? Like now you're kind of, you know, I talk to my wife, my kids here, and my team on Zoom. But that live interaction, I think, is probably the thing I miss the most. Is live interaction with all the different, you know, great minds of Cloudflare. Yeah, me too. I miss it a lot. I would describe myself as an extrovert. So, you know, being a person that lives alone during a pandemic, getting my daily charge of human interaction has been a bit of a challenge. Because I don't have a role that has necessarily so many meetings. Like, I don't have the same kind of Zoom fatigue that you probably have with all of your calls. And so it's like, I'll just join like random meetings. I'm like, oh, can I come to that meeting? Or like, if there's like a happy hour, I'm like, please invite me to your happy hour. Because I'm a little bit like, I mean, I feel like I'm at a better balance now than during like the darkest like points of the pandemic. Just so many different like platforms have emerged. Like, hey, we're doing music here. Or some of my people created a weekly music workshop, you know, so that I can connect with like my kind of spiritual music, spiritual community from around the world every week. And so that's been like nourishing. Because it's like, how do we like, as an extrovert, you know, I guess you get, you know, energy from your family, because you have those people, you know. I do. Yeah. I mean, not only that, but I mean, I'm lucky, like you said, I have a team of folks that are in sales. So we may call each other, work with each other in relation to deals that we're working on, or the best way to, you know, communicate with this customer based on what they're looking at, or maybe a up and coming thing, like one of the things they just released about our DDoS litigation, some of the capabilities that we have and talk about that amongst the team, and how that can differentiate us from other, you know, vendors that are in the market. Those are the things that I think on the sales side, you gain for that human interaction. On the flip side of that, yeah, I do get some of the energy from my wife and my kids and being able to be around them and their excitement, their ups and downs of teenage years. It's exciting. But I also, you know, one of the things that we've done is like trivia. So people will do a Zoom meeting and have trivia and they'll be like, I don't know, a ton of people, and you're playing trivia and having some drinks with folks, you know, to answer some questions. It's pretty fun sometimes. And then the other thing will be like game night, like we've had friends that are close, that are in our inner circle that we're seeing, you know, every other day. So we'll have game night with them at the most. So I mean, at the end of the day, though, I think the thing that we miss the most is having the opportunity to have, you know, that interaction in person with folks as much as you can, as much as we used to, right? I mean, it's significantly limited, like, at this point where you're not having the opportunity to have, you know, for me, it used to be, I'd see my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law and my nephews and nieces, probably every weekend, right? That's gone away, where I might see them, you know, in a month, probably two or three times. I used to see them every weekend. Now I'm seeing them maybe, yeah, two times, maybe three times, if I'm lucky in that month, you know, and we'll meet outside, walk around Lake Merritt or something like that. So I mean, that's kind of been the new normal is, you know, meeting and hanging out outside. And I think that that's just how you keep it safe. Or if, like I was saying, family night, you know, you have a couple of folks over, like two people, have them be all outside. And that's one of the things that we've all done is wear masks and be outside. It's a new, it's a new paradigm. It's pretty crazy. I mean, but I think that hopefully as we all get vaccinated eventually, and things die down, we get better, we get healthier, we get stronger, and we get back to what normal looks like. I don't think normal will ever be the same. I mean, the thing that I see now is like, for me, I'm, you know, dealing with high school athletes. So for athletes, certain things they can't do for like high school, like cheer, they can't do cheer for high school. So what are some other things? So I'm trying to get my daughters into doing track and field, which gives them the opportunity to, you know, be out with, you know, like minded people, and be able to do some exercise and be outside. It's the safest way to do it. So, you know, because they're in competitive cheer outside of just, you know, high school cheer. Not to talk down on high school cheer. I mean, it's, it's cool. It's a little different. We're talking about like, these girls are in the type of cheer that you see in movies about, you know, the girls from the movies. These are the girls from your local high school. Yeah, they're doing, they're doing back touch flips and all these things. They're flying out the gym, right? So, you know, they're, people are amazed what they're doing at the high school level. They're like, oh my God, your daughter does all that? Yeah, that's just normal. That's just like every day. So, so yeah. So those are the things that I think that as a father I'm challenged with, that I'm always looking to help my children find ways to get out to. So I think that that would be the overall arching thing that I'm looking forward to is getting outside more and, and guiding them in the right direction as we get through this pandemic and stay safe and sane. Right. I mean, you know, I'm sure as a parent, you know, there's just a whole different set of challenges that me just being me, I don't really have to deal with, you know, although my Internet connection is constantly telling me it's unstable too. You know, like I get that, like, you know, it's like, there's nobody else using it, but, you know, well, I'm on a shared Internet network, right? Yeah. I'm so glad that you were able to join today and it's really great to see you. I'm looking forward to getting us all back in the office and yeah, just if anybody, again, you know, wants to see what's going on, check our Clubflare TV schedule and check out some of the awesome content that we're going to have this month for Afroflare. It's going to be really awesome. And with that, we are pretty much out of time. So Jay, thank you so much. Thanks. Have a good one, everyone.