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!
This week's guest: Wanda Lee
Good morning and welcome to Home Office TV where I am being joined by the lovely Wanda Lee.
And Wanda, thank you so much for being on my show. How are you doing? I'm doing great, Amy.
Thank you for having me. I'm really excited, kind of nervous, but really excited to be on your segment.
Yeah, it's super fun. So do you want to just give us a quick background of like what it is you do at Cloudflare and how long you've been with us?
Yes. So I first joined Cloudflare around three and a half years ago and I was customer success manager and I managed some of our mid -market customers and then grew to manage some of our bigger customers that were more complicated.
I recently in the last year moved into our expansion team, still working with our current customers and understanding what their needs are and seeing I can help them, help support them and being, you know, doing their job better.
Okay, awesome. Do you like it? Is it going well? You know, I was really hesitant to take the jump.
I think I was a little scared at first, but I really love it because I think, you know, at the heart of it, I really like to serve my customers and, you know, Cloudflare customers are really one of the best people because they're really knowledgeable.
They understand what we provide them, but also the greater Internet.
And so it's always a pleasure to talk to them and understand what their needs are.
Cool. And how's it been going during the pandemic, like working from home and, you know, like how are you doing?
In terms of like working with customers, I think one of the things that was really difficult is like there was an increased need for the Internet.
And so it was really busy at first. And I think for myself, trying to just meet their needs, I was definitely working a lot of long hours and just checking my email wherever I am in my house and even on weekends.
But I think now I'm trying to keep more of a normal schedule, you know, have lunch, um, potentially away from my desk.
And, um, I think it's been really good.
I've, um, exercised a little bit more, I think without the commute, it's, um, I'm spent trying to spend that time to do a little bit of, uh, journal reflection or reading, um, in, in kind of like the beginning or the end of the day.
So, um, I like to think that I am a survivor of whatever, um, the, the world throws me in terms of scheduling.
And so I've tried to find some pockets of spaces or things that really bring joy.
That's awesome. Yeah. We've talked a lot on my segment about like how to like start and end your day when suddenly you're at home and you don't have that commute to be like, okay, this is when I'm starting my day and this is when it's over, you know, and like people finding that work life balance.
And, um, that's good that you found like ways to carve out time for yourself and do things that you enjoy more.
And, um, is there anything that you miss about the office? Well, I miss chatting with you.
I miss like hanging out and catching up on, you know, your weekend.
And I think that's really, um, something that, you know, I've started scheduling time to do.
And, um, I know we were able to catch up a little bit, uh, another time.
Um, and I think that that's really the most important thing is I, I really miss, you know, interacting with my colleagues.
And I think that there's some magic that happens when you, um, are able to catch someone in the hall and say, Hey, you know, I did have that question.
Like, you know, this is really silly, but I'm curious how these things would work out.
And I think then people are like, Oh, I never thought about it that way.
Like, let's talk about it. Like, I'm going to get a cup of coffee.
You want to come? And I'm like, yeah, let's do it.
I think that part is, is really the magic that I'm missing. And, and I'm, I'm maybe because I'm also an extrovert.
I like to talk with my coworkers, like say, hello, how was your day?
Um, sometimes my, uh, significant other will be working also from, from my home and then I'll actually have to be like, Oh, have a good day.
And he's like, yeah, right. You're like, we're going to be here all day.
There's no, right. You don't have to, you don't have to give me a sendoff, you know, for like me to go sit at the, in the kitchen, in the kitchen.
How about you, Amy? Like what, what have you missed about being in the office? I miss the people like this.
It's the same. I'm an extrovert also. That's the number one response, you know, is that people miss their colleagues and they miss those organic opportunities to share things and connect and just have that normal people experience.
I miss it a lot. Like it was really hard for me to go through this.
I mean, I was living in a studio, you know, in San Francisco in like one of the densest pockets, you know, of the insoma.
And, um, I didn't want to go out for a walk, you know, cause it's like, what am I going to walk around some buildings?
That's not exciting for me. Like I wasn't getting outside. Um, and I, I realized I had to make some, some change, you know, some changes to like some really like hard thinking, like I need to shift, you know?
So I moved, I found a new spot.
Um, so I'm, I'm, you know, in the East Bay now in Lafayette, I have a yard.
Um, what's that? I said, sunshine. More sunshine. I just, just like to be able to stretch out.
Like I'm still unpacking stuff. Last night I was getting like my bedroom all organized and I was like, Ooh, a bedroom, you know?
And it's like being like at this age that I am and like looking at the, where my path has brought me.
Cause I have this really like non-traditional journey into like the tech world and, and just kind of as a hippie, like running around the earth, doing whatever I wanted for like a lot years.
And it was really great, but I didn't like focus on those things that so many Americans and so many people like want like a family or a home or, you know, and so it's now I'm like, okay, like what's, how do I build my own stability?
Like, you know, I always kind of thought maybe that's going to come via a relationship.
Well, I'm just going to meet someone and then we're gonna, you know, do that.
So now I'm, I'm starting to take those like, okay, you know, how am I structuring my life?
So that's the other thing, like, how do you structure your day?
Like you said, you, you know, like for me getting into a schedule and a routine was hard.
And, and then we started doing a morning practice with friends back home.
So we do like a singing practice every morning. And, and that has gotten me a lot more motivation just like for the day.
And it's like a reason that I have to like, like, I'm not just laying in my bed working from my, from my lap.
That can be very easy. Yes. Very easy to do. I'm worried that I might become too lazy.
You know what I mean? I was really worried that I might become too lazy to go back to work, but, but our team has been getting the office ready for like, for like reopening.
And it's actually been really fun. So fingers crossed that I'll be able to do it.
My, my last thing of getting back into the office is fitting and fitting my normal hands.
Sure. But you're exercising more. I am. So I would say, I guess to your question, I am a avid scheduler.
Like if you and I were going to have coffee on the weekend, I'd put it on the calendar.
And so when I schedule something, then it happens.
I end my day. Well, I bookmarked my day at five o'clock when I joined a virtual class in another room.
I had gone to the gym right before office, like a block away at 4th and King, and they started online classes and they now started doing more in-person, but it's really hard to, to lift really heavy weights with like a mask on.
And I've tried it a couple times and it's okay just to, you know, be out there to just have a different atmosphere, but I think for safety and for, you know, cause I sometimes don't see my parents.
I just want to be super safe.
So I try to do the workout every day at five. Wow. I need to come back at work.
I will. But then I'm available, like giving myself some flexibility to come back if I need to, which, which I think you probably would see me before when I'd go for a workout and I come back and then, you know, you'd be there and I'd be like, yeah, I'm going to work a little bit more.
And I think in the morning it's harder because I'll wake up and then the first thing I do is make coffee and then sit at my desk.
So I'm still learning of like, how do I insert maybe some reading or some, you know, podcasts listening to, or go for a walk.
And, but I would say I have gotten a lot more productive because of my days, like, you know, starts at seven 30 or eight o 'clock instead of, you know, eight 30 or nine o'clock because my commute, since I live pretty far from the office, it was before like an hour commute.
And now it's well, like 30 seconds. Right. That's it's interesting.
Cause some people miss their commute. Like I have, um, people on the show, especially when they have families.
Okay. I'm sorry. People with families, they want to get away from their kids and their spouse and just be by themselves for like an hour, you know?
And they're just like, I just loved my, I loved that drive, you know, where I would listen to my podcast or listen to my book or whatever.
Like, and there's not somebody like, you know, pulling at you or something like that, you know?
Um, but you can't be on your phone either. What's that? You can't be on your phone.
That's true. You can't just be like do this for a minute. Actually, that's one recent, um, vacation I took.
I went, I drove down to LA and I drove by myself all the whole way.
And then I even drove up on, uh, well, I drove out with my boyfriend, but like I drove the whole way because it was just time that I would listen to an audible book or a podcast or sing to, uh, you know, 2000 boy band music, Blackstreet Boys.
I have to say I wasn't in sync person. And then now I'm looking back and singing the songs and I'm more on the Blackstreet Boys camp, which is like unfortunate, but I'm like, Oh, why didn't I like this earlier?
But I, it was actually really great.
Just one, not be in front of my computer to not be in front of my phone and, um, just like be, be part of the, I guess, physical world.
Right. That's the thing. Like, um, also it's like how we interact with the external world now versus how it used to be before, you know, it's like you used to just go to the store, smile at strangers, talk to random people, you know, whatever.
And like that, I feel like that happens less now.
Um, we did a garage sale this past weekend that my friends, um, my friend, my best friend, very sad is moving back to, um, the Midwest because the, you know, the, with the collapse of the restaurant industry in San Francisco, that was her work.
And, um, but she's also a voiceover actor.
So she wants to be able to, you know, focus on her work. So she is moving.
So I was, I went to go help and I was like, let's, let's have a garage sale. She has a garage and on Bay and Octavia.
And I was like, I'll bring my jewelry, you know, cause I have this jewelry to sell.
So we were out on the street, you know, in the sidewalk and like, everybody was walking by with their dogs and everybody was stopping and we're talking to everybody.
And it almost, if you didn't have to think while she was packing up to like move away because of a pandemic, it almost felt normal, you know, like to, you know, like people let me pet their dog, you know, and like people weren't as like, they didn't seem as scared.
I mean, we were all wearing masks, but it was so fun to have that like interaction with like external, you know, people cause it's just, this has been an internal process.
I think for a lot of people, have you gone through any internal processes or like, you know, like have you struggled with anything during the pandemic?
I think, uh, the interaction is really important.
And so I, I think I struggled with just like grieving.
Um, I definitely, uh, like we're going to get over this or like, we're gonna, we're going to get through this.
And one thing that I've learned is, and that I kind of was very upset about that.
I didn't really think about was I, you know, I would travel for work and meet, meet our customers.
And, um, you know, I haven't really taken a vacation outside of driving to LA, you know, for the weekend.
And so one of the things that I have to grieve over and kind of understand this sucks and this is going to continue to suck.
And it's okay that I feel like that sucks.
Right. Um, and you know, I, I do this really silly thing. I'm going to admit to this, uh, Koffler audience here.
It's like, so this is my desk set up. I'm in my living room and I have a window and outside that window, I don't have a screen for this one, but I basically stick my head out the window.
And sometimes people are walking by and I just say hello to random people walking by my street.
And I live in a more suburban area.
So there's not always people, but the idea of just being my, my head physically being outside and feeling like, Oh, things are going on.
Like there's cars moving by or, um, you know, if there's usually a, uh, I have a neighbor who has, who's babysitting their grandchildren and they like ride their tricycle and I'll just like interact a little bit.
I think that has helped me cope a little bit with the interaction piece.
Like you're saying, I'm like, Hey, or like, I'll actually go a lot more to farmer's markets rather than the grocery store, because I think the farmer's market, you have, you also interact with the vendor.
Totally. Right. And so those, the combination of all of those things has then helped me with the interaction piece, the grieving through piece.
Um, and, um, this other thing that I do without the traveling is we'll do a certain date nights.
Like we went, we did a, uh, a visit to Japan night. And so what does that mean?
Right. That means, um, we will, uh, put on David, uh, or sorry, Anthony Bourdain's like visiting to Japan.
We will, uh, we ordered some origami and did origami and we ordered Japanese food and we had sake and Japanese beer that night.
And we played some, you know, Japanese, Japanese music, uh, J-pop and also like other more traditional music in the background.
And it's funny because it's not, we're not in But I think it just reminds us of like how, um, in how big our world is today, um, and how we get to interact with it.
And I think even though we don't get to go to Japan, I think there's a lot of elements that we can pull into, um, experience and re-experience with other people.
Um, I would do like with, with one of my really good friends, we'll go over and we'll have dinner and we'll have we each will pick, um, well, we'll pick one type of food.
So like Thai food and she will bring two things and I will bring two things and we'll kind of surprise each other around what Thai food looks like to each of us.
And I think that that's just like the things that we do now, the nuances.
And what I realized also is it's really the interactions with other people that we value.
And at the end of the day, we really crave and creating those opportunities is important, um, rather than, you know, jet setting to some other place.
Sure. That's cool that you've come up with like creative ways to fill that gap, you know, of that need, that desire that we have to, you know, especially if you're used to traveling.
I, I was a big traveler as well.
Um, you know, so to find a way, I actually did one trip back to Minnesota, um, during this, um, experience in September.
Um, my mom had been really sick in the spring and I wanted to see her and there was like moving stuff happening.
I just, you know, I wear my mask, I flew, it was fine. Um, my people weren't that scared.
I got a COVID test before I left, but people weren't that scared, you know, to have me, you know, cause it's, it's all, you know, you, another thing I think we learn about other people during this and that engagement is where people are at.
You know, we, we have to really summon, I think a lot of compassion and understanding and empathy and gives us that practice.
Cause not everybody, like so many different people have different levels of comfort when it comes to where it's at with, with COVID, you know, like for me, when I was seeing that the numbers in San Francisco weren't really growing, like I wasn't super terrified.
I was like, you know what? Like, I feel like we kind of have this under control.
Like I was wearing my mask at the store back in March.
I had my N95 leftover from the fires, you know? So I was, I was protecting myself, but it's like, we really learn about our community.
We learn about our family and our friends and, and how to have, you know, empathy and compassion for where people are at.
Cause some people are really scared, you know, do you ask?
And I think that's what I'm, I'm also like feeling out is how I don't, I don't try to make the assumption that they're okay with me doing this or not okay with me doing this.
What, what questions do you ask in order to understand how do you meet them?
Or like, you know, how, how does your needs meet their needs in terms of the interaction?
Well, you know, for me, like one, my best friend, for example, the one who was just moving at the beginning of this, you know, she has asthma.
She had gotten really sick with a thing, but you know, it supposedly wasn't COVID at the beginning.
And I mean, she was really scared. Like we didn't have any in, you know, inner space together.
I mean, so I guess it was more like people tell me what their comfort level is.
So, you know, she'd be like, I was like, okay, well, I went for a walk with my friend outside, but we weren't wearing masks.
And she was like, no, that's too close of contact, you know?
And I remember at first I was, I would kind of push back, you know, be like, you know, what are you talking about?
Like you're outside, you know? Because like my understanding of the science, you know what I mean?
Like draws or, you know, the science available so far, you know, would draw me to one conclusion, but like someone else's understanding is going to draw them to another conclusion.
So it's kind of like getting comfortable.
It's like, okay, well, how, how long after I have a test, you know what I mean?
Do you still want me to also still quarantine before you feel like it's safe before I come into your space, you know, without wearing a mask and, and you know, it feels like she's done some traveling and relaxed just a little bit.
She was over with some friends for my birthday, you know, where we were like gathering in the back backyard, but we did come in.
Cause I was like, listen, I haven't been around people without a mask, you know, every, I think now that people are wearing masks, some people are a little more comfortable, but I don't know.
What about you? Like, how do you guys determine what feels safe? I try to just be like, Hey, I don't, I don't know what, what your rules are, but you know, here's, here's like, you know, an invitation if you'd like to come and do this, and here are the like, like rules or non-rules.
Right. And so I want to say, let me think about what's a bigger event.
So, Oh, so I had, I had a hosted a, a birthday for my boyfriend and it was, the rules were, we were all outside.
Okay. And we, we all normally wear masks, interacting with other people.
And when we're sitting at this table that I will make all of the food for, then like, you can decide that you could sit at the table or you can have a, like a little picnic blanket and we'll have that available.
And so just providing a little bit of flexibility.
If somebody doesn't want to come into contact with you directly, cause they don't know, and you don't know their, their reasons why the bathroom is safe to use.
If you'd want to use it, we will like clean it. And once if you want to, for us to like do a quick clean before you go in, that's fine.
Just like, you know, there isn't a lot of people.
It was maybe like a total of six of us, including myself and my boyfriend.
So it was like just four other people. And I think people were just more aware, obviously we're not feeding each other.
Just sharing drinks anymore. No, there's no sharing of drinks and we were all outside.
And I think that's where, you know, just trying to figure out, you know, how, how comfortable people feel and, and, you know, people can decline to have come.
And I, I was open to, you know, going then to picking them up if they didn't want to Uber or anything like that, or some people ended up, you know, writing their product over, which is awesome.
And so I think we're also finding more creative ways to travel, to meet each other.
This other time I met these other people at the park and we just bought our own food.
We camped out, you know, more than six feet apart and we just had a little nice picnic apart together, you know, that was kind of nice too.
Yeah. It's a really interesting journey that we're going through as a collective right now.
You know, there's been a lot of stuff coming up for different people and, you know, it's, it's like humans are so creative.
We really are creative. So there's a lot of different solutions, you know what I mean?
That people can come up with and, and, you know, hopefully through this pandemic, we'll find some solutions to some other things.
For me, one of the bright spots of the whole thing has just been like, even though there's a lot of like mask garbage and plastic hand sanitizer bottles, you know what I mean?
And like, you know, that type of garbage or gloves, I think about all the sports stadiums being shut down, like across the whole country.
And I'm like, wow, think about all like the garbage that didn't get created, you know what I mean?
Like in the last six months, it's like a little bit of a win for the earth.
It's like a little bit of a win for the whales, maybe, you know, my dream is everything reopens and it's all compostable, but I know that like the plastic monster, you know what I mean, is still coming for us.
For me, also going back to that, like point of like grief and grieving, I think that that's come up a lot for people, you know, in this.
And I think as a culture, we don't, as an American culture, American, we don't, US, United States, we don't really have like a very collective mourning, like understanding, you know, or like acknowledgement of what grief is.
People tend to go towards anger or fear. You know, people don't always want to dive into like what grief, you know, really feels like.
And when you take away everybody's coping mechanisms that they've had, like going to the bar, going to sports games, you know, going out to dinner, packing their schedule with so much external event, you know what I mean?
Like suddenly people have a lot more time with themselves, a lot more time with their family, you know what I mean?
And, you know, stuff can come up and it's been intense, but I think like grief is like a part of it and people can just acknowledge like, hey, this is a huge, I almost dropped the F bomb, but this is like a huge bummer, you know what I mean?
Just like a bummer, you know? And so it's like, it's okay to be sad because it's a bummer.
And, and like to, like, how can we collectively support each other, like through our grief?
Cause maybe one day somebody is going to be more bummed out and somebody else is going to like feel, you know, happier.
It's like, it's like, how do we, you know, how do we, you know, how do we, you know, how do we, you know, how do we, you know, how do we be more comfortable to reach out, you know, to let people know that they're struggling, you know?
And, and I think we've had a bigger focus, you know, maybe on mental health, you know, coming to the surface.
Cause like, you know, this is triggering, you know, people are concerned, they don't have money, you know, there's like, there's a lot of, you know, fear and angst and, and grief, you know?
And so I've, I've had to go through my portals of that and, and witness and try to help others going through those portals.
It's been an interesting, crazy time. It is. And I think because of it, it magnifies like the, the intensity that we're feeling because we're just by ourselves in our phones.
And, you know, if you're scrolling through the doom of Instagram or Facebook and you see like other people are doing well, then it's like hard, I think even harder than normal, I think, for people to be like, Oh, why, why don't I have that?
Yeah. I think it's important to grieve that.
And it's important to be like, this sucks. And, and, and I sometimes will have a moment of like, I hate this, this sucks.
And I like, just like lie on the ground and just like have a moment.
I've actually, I mean, for myself, I've downloaded Headspace, the app, and I actually am, I would say I am a very anxious person.
And so meditating is not an easy thing or a likable thing, but I think it's been helping me think through why that is, and then hopefully relieve some of the anxiety and the, the, the magnification of the anxiety because I'm just at home in front of my computer or on my phone, or, you know, watching Netflix and not having the coping mechanisms of like, Hey, Amy, this sucks.
Like my day sucked or this, this thing that happened sucks.
Like, let's talk about it. Let's go out to lunch and things like that. So yeah, it is there, you know, that disconnect, you know, we need to figure out how we can all remedy that within our own.
Cause I, I've definitely struggled, you know, with, with feeling disconnected and, you know, like just having people over my birthday last week, I was like, Oh yeah, this is, this feels so good, you know, to just, and, or even like being able to go help my girl, like with her stuff last weekend, it was like, Oh yeah, being useful, being helpful, you know, cause even doing my job from home, it's not my normal job.
Like I'm a, well now I'm an office coordinator because I got a, I had a role change recently, but I, you know, I was the front coordinator.
I was like, I ain't got a desk here. You know, like I, you know, I'm not, nobody's coming to like visit anybody from my bed right now.
You know my home office setup is like totally cushions on my couch where like I lean back against cushions.
I put my like, like knees up over like a cushion to support my back.
And then I put like my laptop on a pillow. But I don't worry. I take it off the pillow sometimes cause it makes the laptop really hot.
Um, so I'll put like a book under there.
Um, and it's like a total, like it was very kicked back.
I think my core muscles have completely disappeared cause I'm just like, I just like super chilled, chilled out like all day.
Um, you know, It's ergonomic Amy.
It's somewhat ergonomic. I need to raise it up cause I'm kind of still looking down.
Um, I started doing chiropractic a little bit cause my back kind of went out.
Um, self, you know, self care, you know, cause like, you know, that's the thing too with this, like no one's going to do it for you, but then you also have like, like you're saying, like you look on Facebook and it seems like, Oh, this person has these things that I don't have, but you know, it's kind of a time where like married people with kids wish they were single, single people, you know what I mean?
Like they had a partner, you know, you're always, I mean, we have that tendency as humans to compare anyway, you know?
And so again, this, this is giving us that insight to be like, okay, well, you know, we might not have the same things as everyone, but how can we make it work, you know, for ourselves, you know, and all the, like anyone who's watching this, especially if you're a Cloudflare, if you ever like want to reach out and say hi and have a chat, or if you want to be on the show, you know what I mean?
Just send me a chat. Um, cause it's a fun, it's a fun little segment.
I think, are you, are you enjoying? I am. And I feel like, you know, I, I used to always like come by and say hello and we would chat and, you know, I definitely miss that.
I feel like this is part of that. And it's like, um, you know, I, I'll have to say it used to be part of my mechanism for, you know, a stressful day.
And so hopefully, you know, more people join. Yeah. It's like, you know, anytime reach out to your people and luckily at Cloudflare too, we have the MindFlare group, you know, so if people need, you know, need that connection or looking for, you know, support, that's cool that we have so many cool ERGs, you know, to, to keep people engaged, even though I know, you know, we could also be doing, we can always do more and do better, but I think we're learning and growing.
And I've been super grateful to have Cloudflare as like a, a stability, you know, for me, cause you know, again, as a little hippie, like running around doing my hustles, I'm so glad I'm not doing my hustle.
You know what I mean? Right now during the pandemic, I think I would, you know, I'd also be back in Minnesota.
So we have about 20 seconds left. So I just want to say, thank you so much.
And I always hate the end of the show because I feel like I have a friend. And then I feel like when I like, cause I'm going to end the meeting and then like my friend is gone, but I know, I know you're not gone.
You're just, you're just on the other side of San Francisco from me, but you know, it's so great to see you and have a wonderful, wonderful day.
Thank you, Wanda. Thanks for having me. Thank you.
We'll see you soon. I hope.