Cloudflare TV

Home Office TV

Presented by Amy Bibeau, Daniella Vallurupalli
Originally aired on 

Join Amy as she provides you with a sneak peek into how the Cloudflare Team has been doing with the transition from daily office life to working from home. How is the team adapting to the shift? What do they miss and not miss about office life? What snacks are they eating? How has it been sharing a workspace with family or housemates? Tune in to find out!

This week's guest: Daniella Vallurupalli (Head of Communications @ Cloudflare)


Transcript (Beta)

Well, hello. Welcome once again to Home Office TV. I'm Amy Bibeau and today we have Daniella Vallurupalli.

I'm looking at how to say your name. Sorry, it took me a long time.

Vallurupalli. Right, right. Vallurupalli. I always just call you DV when I get all your packages at the office, you know, back in the days of yours.

So welcome, welcome to my little segment where we just talk about how it's going to transition from like a very busy everyday we go to the office type of lifestyle to working at home in the middle of a global pandemic.

So thank you so much for coming on to share with me today.

Yeah, like I said, you know, you were destined to have a talk show.

So I'm so honored to be to be a guest on it. Well, thank you so much.

So my first question is, okay, well, where are you right now? Where are we, where is your home at this moment?

My home at this moment is San Francisco.

However, with the fires and everything else that has been happening and having a young son, we are spending some time with family in Texas right now.

So I'm currently in Texas and beating the smoky air and letting my little guy play on a playground, which is kind of nice.

He has not done that for a long time. So I'm in Texas and going to be heading back to San Francisco soon.

Okay, so you're spending time with your in-laws, you said?

Yeah, so we're staying with them. It's been fun.

We haven't seen them in a really long time. We're just at home. I mean, nothing really changes, but nice weather and extra help is always awesome.

Right. I mean, we live in a culture, you know, I mean, I think humanity evolved from having like lots of help, like more community, you know, nobody was having like children alone in boxes.

You know, there was like more extended family to kind of help out. And I really think that's the more natural way, you know, for families to succeed, you know, and like really an uphill battle, you know, I think to parent on your own, you know, in the city.

So I'm glad you're getting some family time there.

And totally always helpful. And I feel like it's great for all of us. It's great for us to see them.

It's great for our son to, you know, see his grandparents and, you know, change up scenery and six months in a small place in San Francisco.

I, we all are going through it.

So everyone's got their own, you know, challenges, but it has been, it has been, it has definitely been an interesting time.

Right. So basically you're full-time mom, full-time working. And then is your hubby working from home too?

He's working from home. So we're sharing, we have had some really creative, we've had some creative moments in terms of being able to get it all done and be all under one roof.

I've taken many a call in my closet, hiding from the little one and staying out of the way.

But, you know, it's, it is, it has been, it's not easy, but it's actually looking back on it.

Like how awesome, how, I mean, how often are we ever going to have this again when we're all together and not traveling and, you know, able to eat dinner tonight, dinner together every night.

It's nice. Right. So that's kind of a silver lining of like family togetherness in a very, you know, a really challenging time, you know, for some people like spending that much time, you know, with their family, like, you know, that's a lot, you know, cause normally it's like, we have these lives where we, we live our separate day life and then we come back, you know, and have evening life together, but you guys are 24 seven life.

So, and how long have you been married? We've been married for seven years, uh, but together for a long time, like, um, uh, 13 years.

Oh, wow. Yeah. So that's, you know, you guys have already probably been through many layers of, you know, getting to know each other in the relationship and here's an even deeper layer of like, and then how old is your little guy?

He's almost three. So we celebrating a third birthday soon. Um, so this is, this is the, you know, uh, right now it's like, wow, everything is why everything is, uh, you're very curious, very curious and, uh, has joined me on many a video call.

Love seeing Cloudflare team members on, on zoom and hangouts and all the other stuff.

So it's, it's been fun, but you know, everyone's been super, um, everyone's just trying to get by.

So everybody's been super, uh, welcoming to see a fresh new face, even if he's interrupting.

Um, and I think everyone's, you know, had a fun time kind of seeing all of the different backgrounds that we all work in, uh, and get things done in at home.

But I mean, that's challenging, right?

A three-year-old needs constant engagement, you know, right. It's like, even if they're trying to do the electronic babysitter and they can only stare at a screen so long, cause they're just not designed for that.

So that must be really challenging to have two parents working full time and, you know, a very curious, active little being who, you know, needs a lot of attention.

Totally. It, you know, but it's, uh, it is, it is parents are, I bow down to the parents.

They're doing such a great job.

They're just, you know, especially the ones that Cloudflare, but I mean, all over, they're just doing everything they can to make it work.

And, uh, and I just, I'm really proud of, of all the ones, at least at Cloudflare and the Cloudflarence group and, uh, and the people that I get to work with, uh, we're all exchanging tips and trying to figure it out together.

And, um, it's really, I think brought the parents community, uh, even closer together.

Amy, did we, did we lose you?

You're, I think you're frozen. It could be my Internet though.

Who knows? Can you hear me?

Oh, well, this is very dangerous folks now on live Cloudflare TV.

I am the show host. So, um, cup of coffee with Daniella is the new segment.

I think we'll see if Amy joins back on.

Amy, I'm not as good of a host.

Hold on. I guess we're back. We are back. I'm not a good solo host.

So, so I'm so glad because Yeah, I'm really glad I'm back. I was kind of freaking out.

Um, but I'm back. I blame my Internet service provider. And, um, so anyway, it does say we're still live.

So that's great. What are your tips for sanity at this time right now?

Um, my tips for sanity. Um, that's a great question. I think what I've been doing is trying to I mean, I moved.

I had to move, you know, so like I think like looking at our external environment and making sure that it supports us as much as we can, because There's such a transition of people's lifestyle.

So don't be afraid to make a major move. If you need to do something different.

And you know what I mean, if you see something's not working like don't be afraid to change.

I know so many people who have moved and I actually think that like people have more clarity on like what they want.

Do you want a garden. Is that something you really care about, like, then they're going to go do it.

Or do you Do you need a home office and that's something that's important to you.

I honestly feel like everyone that's moved has been super happy with the transition and it's a good change of scenery too.

And I think another tip for sanity is like be willing to go through like I've said on the show before, like, it's almost like we're going through this kind of collective shadow experience.

And so all kinds of stuff is coming up in the external but people are Going through stuff that's coming up in the in the internal and like, don't be afraid to go through You know the parts of yourself that maybe seem difficult or don't be afraid to like look at the things that are hard because we're missing a lot of our normal external distractions.

It's like, well, we can't just go out to eat and we were not going shopping and maybe we're still doing like online shopping and stuff but like You know, sport ball stadiums don't exist.

And so like everything. Everybody is like coping mechanisms are being challenged.

So it's like, okay, well, if you had a coping mechanism and that's not working for you anymore.

What are your, you know, what are your options and then don't be afraid to ask for help.

You know, like if you're if you're struggling with something.

If you're not You know, like, who can you reach out to and then be be willing to offer help for others.

I know part of this pandemic has been for me like I have a close friend that has been struggling You know, with some depression stuff.

And so we were checking in like every day like just making sure like that.

You know, so if you have the bandwidth reach out to your other people and make sure they're doing, you know, doing well because I think we all kind of go back and forth, like maybe some days.

We're doing good and we're feeling, you know, good about things that maybe other days were were being more challenge, you know, and In Cloudflare we have the MindFlare group, you know, that is meeting where we're trying to talk about mental health and, you know, we have these ERGs, you know, that people can like at least at Cloudflare, but it's like look in your community.

You know, get outside. I think is is good.

Like now that we're done with smoke, but like connect to nature, if you can, because like that's You know, Mother Nature is always there for us and gives us everything that we have like everything that comes from the earth and maybe like, you know, spending more time like reconnecting to source in whatever way like we feel called, you know, is a good tip for sanity.

What is it that you miss the most about the office?

Honestly, you know, it's funny. I think to myself, gosh, I'm so busy right now.

But then, you know, there are a lot of distractions that come up through the day where you're where you're, you know, You're like, oh, gosh, I ran into this person.

I started chatting with them and I was supposed to spend that time working on something else and But I miss those distractions.

It's kind of the, you know, running into people saying hello to you in the morning and catching up for a few minutes.

It goes a long way. It's just fun to see all the folks that You know, when working in a company is so It could be a great experience or a terrible experience all at the same company, just depending on who you surround yourself with right like it's so much about like the people that That are like in your direct community.

And so I love all the folks I get to work with and see all the time.

And so it, you know, we do get to chat on on zoom and see each other and calls, but You know, catching up on some of the like Totally like, you know, what are you doing this weekend.

How's your wife doing, you know, how like those types of conversations.

I just think are I miss them and I miss catching up with with them so So I miss you, Amy.

That's why I invited you to be on my show. Basically, like everybody like that anyone sees on my show.

It's like just people that I miss from the office that I want to be able to have a half hour conversation with and It's funny because like whenever I hang up from these like zoom calls like I feel like it's like it's like I live alone, but it's like, I feel like I have a friend for like a half hour.

And then, then when I like log off. I'm like sad. I'm like, Oh, where's my friend and then it's like I wait till the next week, not that I don't have other friends outside the office.

For me, when I joined Cloudflare like that was the coolest thing was like, oh, there's all these great people in this like great space and we can have these organic natural conversations where maybe I learned You know, running into Matthew and hearing his story of like when he took a cooking class in Italy, you know, and how it led him to, you know, maybe like In a certain direction, you know, like, it's just like that organic feeling of like community and camaraderie and like it is harder to find it.

You know, when, when we're just doing zoom like sometimes I'll just look on chat.

I like looked at my chat history and I'll be like, well, who haven't I said hi to You know, in a while.

Like, who are the people that I used to, you know, have a lunch with when I had a moment to get away from my desk and I really miss.

I miss that as well because for me, um, That created a lot of structure in my life, you know, and it created a lot of connection.

And then I didn't have to like necessarily Because I'm not from California, like I moved here, you know, five years ago.

So it's like, I don't have all of my community isn't here, you know, so it's like it was really nice to have that at work.

And now it's like I have to work harder. You know what I mean, to feel like I'm connected to other humans, which and I think for for other people, you know that that's like a can be a really big Challenge for seeing positive and and for their mental health.

I think like as we're deeper, you know, six months into this pandemic, you know, those kind of cracks are showing where it's like, like, Our culture in general is very disconnected and I'm hoping that we can come out of this like with a different perspective, you know, some sort Yeah, I mean, look, I feel like we're in a good spot because because I wouldn't want to, you know, there is I genuinely miss all the folks that you know we work with.

And so you're saying the same thing.

I don't know, but I think a lot of people miss the office.

They probably miss going somewhere and getting out of the house and doing something.

But the fact that we really just genuinely miss our team members like says a lot about the company and I can't say, you know, I can imagine that that's not the same at every org.

So we're just really lucky to have all the we are lucky to have, you know, Cloudflare TV and all these other avenues to connect with folks in a more kind of organic way as well.

So So there is a glass half full on that one. But, but, you know, I think that these are the right avenues where you can get it done.

And, you know, our team. We've done a lot of like virtual happy hours and we do like daily check ins, kind of like they're literally called chitchats just to check in on like priorities and of course like yes it's work.

And then there's like fun stuff that we're talking about, too.

But you're really just pushing ourselves to To like make the connection versus just even if it could be a chat just because everyone's going through something different.

Some folks are alone at home and you know they really are craving like more human interaction on a daily basis.

And and so like we're just trying to be as available and as natural as we would be in a work setting.

Truly. And so speaking of like this work from home versus work in the office.

How do you decide when to turn off for the day and when to turn on for the day.

Well, that's a, that's a great question. I don't know that I ever decide. No, I, you know, in the nature like for what we do communications.

It's like it doesn't end and we're in all the time zone so So it doesn't, you're not really turning off.

I think that I think that a lot for a lot of my career. I thought about things is like at work and outside of work.

And Maybe it's because I really like being at cloud player.

I really enjoy my team members and all the people that I get to work with.

A lot of where I've kind of shifted and I think I've felt more comfortable about it is it's kind of like all It's all one thing.

It's all your life and and if you start to think about it as in the office out of the office.

Then you're just going to be like, well, how much longer till I'm out of the office or, you know, what time do I have to be in the office.

And if you think more about like here are all the things I have to get done.

And it's just gonna happen at some point.

That's kind of been a different mindset for me, especially now, you know, it's trickier because you're, you're, you're not compartmentalizing your day as much because it's kind of all in the same environment.

Most, most times. But I think that like that has been a healthier mindset for me because then I don't think about it as I have to get something done.

It's more of like, all right, here are the things I have to get done today and, you know, Let's see how the day unfolds.

Going from an environment where it was completely in the office to like this model that we're in today.

Usually is, you know, it's a it's culturally people have to like learn how to adapt to that a lot.

But I think that given the way that it happened.

People are also really more flexible about like, hey, I can't get to this right now, but I'm just gonna eat dinner and I'm gonna get back on and finish it, you know, when it works for me because I've got all these other things happening at home.

I'm going to put my son to bed and and like it's never been a question or it's never been a thing.

So, so I think we're lucky because you don't have to worry about how much of getting stuff in from eight to five or whatever, whatever your hours are.

True, true. So you don't have a clear delineation anymore between work life and home life.

I'm trying to say this in the healthiest way, I promise.

And I mean, I hear what you're saying, because it's like, you know, if you take an hour off during your daytime, you know what I mean, because you're playing, you know, you're being present with your Child and then you're getting to that other thing later, you know, after they're in bed or whatever.

I mean, as long as you really You know what I mean, love what you're doing.

But, you know, I do suggest to people on my show, you know, to like think about like bookending, you know, some people have like a way that they bookend or, you know, certain people have like a You know, like they're doing their date night once a week or something and making sure nothing is interfering with that so they can still because it's like, how do you navigate What is like your intimate or closer, you know, connection time with your partner anymore when it's just like, you know, a series of mundane tasks.

You don't even that always like You don't even have to happen. And then like, you know, childcare and all the things.

And so it's like, like you said, we didn't have Nobody was prepared for this.

We didn't know we were going to go into a change.

We didn't know that it was going to drag on seemingly unendingly You know, like, I think we're like, okay, well, we're all going to not be at the office for a couple weeks.

And then it was like, okay, we're not going to be at the office for like a month.

And then it was suddenly, you know, we were getting It was a flight delay.

It was basically like, okay, your flight's delayed by 30 minutes. Okay, now it's delayed an hour, but it's like It was going to be like delayed for like a half day at 8am when you were first trying to board like you would have lost your mind.

So like to just keep Or it just canceled completely like actually there is no flight flights are canceled forever.

Just go home, you know, you better rent a car because you're not getting there.

You know what I mean with this airplane anymore.

And I know For me, like I'm the office team. At first I was kind of like, okay, well, this is kind of like Nice.

I don't have to go to work. And then it was kind of like, okay, well, wait a minute.

My job title is this and this isn't a thing anymore.

Like, is my job still secure You know, so then there was like, you know, that question for me because it's kind of like, well, what is our You know, how am I managing a remote office, you know what I mean that that doesn't have any people in it anymore.

Well, right now it's like I'm moving people out like right now we're, you know, we're, we're dismantling, you know, our Kirkland area office.

I've been, you know, like helping with, you know, transitions and that, but it's kind of like Your job is important now than ever, because there's so many uncertainties and no one has a clear answer.

And so we really just need people that are experts at how to manage these These teams and offices to come in and come with, you know, advice and guidance in this way.

So there is no playbook for what you're doing.

No, we're in a More challenging, but like, you know, very important.

Yeah, it's a it's a really, um, it's an end, you know, on the earth loving side.

You know, for me, the best day was kind of when the gas prices bottomed out and I was just like, wow, like we're not driving as much like we're because I've always really questioned this model of like, wait a minute.

Why is everybody driving in at the same time and driving back and like driving from here.

Why is it as humans that we've created the system that we've created like this has been a question on my mind.

You know, for 30 something years, you know, like, literally, I've just been like, wait a minute.

This doesn't seem optimal. And so for me to just kind of see like, okay, well, we're having a little bit of a break.

You know, from driving like maybe like a reset, like maybe there's a way we can come back differently.

Maybe there's You know, and obviously not everybody can work from home.

My heart goes out to the, the parents right now who are struggling with like distance learning for their kids or sending their kids to school.

You know what I mean, where they're getting sick or, you know, like working to, you know, still having to work to service industry jobs.

You know, to make enough money, you know, it's like because we don't have much of a safety net here.

So like we are so blessed You know, to have like stability in a great company that treats us well.


No, amen. And so I think it's like we just need to be like you said we need to be as As helpful to others because not everyone is like that is one fundamental issue that a lot of people are dealing with right now that like we don't have to Focus on as much and and that's so we just have to be so mindful of, you know, there was a Starbucks sign at local Starbucks and it said You know, be good to the person next to you today could be a really hard day for them.

And it was just like, you know, glass half full right and And it's true.

It's like you just never know what anyone is going through in no matter where you are, and especially now we have to be so mindful of that.

And it could be even if even if it is that cloud flare and in, you know, we're, you know, we're not The team members are working with are not are not having some of the same issues of like I don't have a job currently and there's so much stress that's Attached to that.

But like, we should be thinking that, you know, a lot of stuff in their daily life has changed and we just have to be super, super mindful.

One thing that my team specifically, you know, we've been like really talking about is Don't forget, like we say this all the time.

Don't forget to take some time off. Like, don't forget to take You know, whether it's like a long weekend or, you know, if you you need a few days off like whatever the case may be like you should do it.

And our team really is good about making sure that when people are off that they are like really off like we don't doubt If there's something that comes up like if we can't handle it, then we had a bigger issue.

I mean, there's always emergencies, but like we really are sparing about ever, you know, those things happening.

And I think that it's really important because we're all we all carry our stuff stress different ways.

You have to find the time to unwind and not be in front of your computer.

And so I think that like the team has been doing a good job of it and and it just goes such a long way, especially now.

Yeah, I took some time off at the beginning of the month. And it was really wonderful and I might I might be taking some more time off in November, because there was an opportunity for me to travel.

When was your last time off.

When was your last vacation. I took a few days off. It was really nice. My husband and I took a few days off to go to Sonoma and it was Well, we went with my son, but we also took a few days off just the two of us.

It was like the first time in forever that that we did.

And a lot of people are like, what do you like, what are you really going to, you know, there's not much to do.

Where are you really going to go.

Honestly, it's amazing like Sleep in. Don't be in front of a monitor, go outside, go for a walk, like do all the things that you know you just Just, just decompress.

I think is the best thing you can do and and we had a great time. And honestly, it was only a few days, but just go so it's go such a long way.

When was the last time you had like two weeks off.

Oh God, I don't even know. But that's a, you know, it's with never since being a parent, it's, it's harder to make that happen.

I did have a longer vacation in January, actually, to go to Poland, which is where I have a lot of family and I went to go visit the office there, which was cool and the team there.

And I don't count that as work because I wanted to go see them and they literally live right by right by our little apartment there so So it was, it was cool.

It was my son's first time going And so it was a big deal for me that to introduce him to my grandma and my family there.

So, you know, that that was a great trip.

It was It was a lot of fun. So it was that was the longest trip I'd taken in a long time, but wasn't quite two weeks, but it was right around there.

Well, that sounds wonderful.

I'm so glad that you got to get that in under the wire, you know, before I think about it.

Gosh, that it like when you asked me, how long has it been.

I'm like, January, but gosh, that feels like it's been two years. Yeah, I mean pandemic time is a whole new like type of time.

I think, you know, like it's like in some ways it's going by really fast, where you're just like, wait a minute, how How have we already been doing this for six months, but then in some days you're just like, oh my god, is it Friday, you know, and you're like, no, it's Tuesday and you're just like, why Like I'm shaking my fist at Kronos, the god of time and, you know, just like, um, you know, like, it's really hard to see our way out.

You know what I mean, of this current scenario that we're in, you know, it just, it's just like, I don't, there's so much mystery and so much uncertainty and obviously the human, the human psyche.

We love to categorize and plan and organize and we want to know what's going on.

And so being, I think, another tip for sanity is like, you know, learning to be uncomfortable in the mystery somehow, you know, like So true, so true, because I used to pack my weekends.

They used to be like, okay, we're going to go, my son's going to get a haircut and he's going to go to his Little soccer class.

And then we're going to go, you know, over here. I always felt like, you know, Saturday afternoon, you almost feel like tired because you've got like you got all the stuff done.

And I feel like this has been a wake up call.

I'm like, there's so many weekends where we're like, we have no plans.

That was never the case before, but I kind of feel like it's a good thing to do that more often than we were doing it before.

Anyway, it's a good reminder because you just feel more like recharged.

By the time you're getting back to Monday versus like docid because you haven't caught up on anything because you're so busy doing everything else.

Yeah, so it's like, um, you know, I think that we are taking that more like time for for just quietness and stillness when you know instead of again this like very external constant search to fill our lives up with the things that were kind of being marketed.

To do, you know, in some cases, it's just kind of like I feel like maybe this pandemic is giving people a little bit of a chance to determine like this is always a question I have for people.

It's like, how do you know which of your thoughts are arising from within your own being.

Or are thoughts that have been programmed into you, you know, I mean by a culture that you've lived in your whole life.

And so this is a question that I've continually, you know, asked myself as you know I've gone through this like human body experience.

You know, and I like to ask other people. It's like, how do you like is that your own thought, you know, or is that a thought that someone else put in your mind and like how do we differentiate and then which thoughts are going to make us happier.

You know, like for me it's like I'm usually happier if I'm able to have my own like know that a thought is kind of originating from my own consciousness, then like being external.

We have one minute left in case there's anything else that you want to share with anybody from Cloudflare or, you know, thank you so much for spending this time here with me.

Oh, thank you so much. It was so good to catch up.

Really, I mean like it's these conversations where it's like you're like okay it's one more it's something on the on the calendar.

Right. But then you sit and you actually have a conversation like this and it makes me miss the office even more, but it also I just feel like, you know, makes me so happy to connect with folks that I've missed.

So thank you so so much for inviting me and for doing this.

It's really important for us to continue to learn from each other and do everything we can to to be there for each other right now.

Right. I think like I wanted to say to like, you know, as empathy is one of our, you know, cultural values at Cloudflare, like empathy is what we were talking about like like the more that we can carry empathy with us in our day to day with all of our coworkers family and everyone, everyone, you know, maybe and then maybe we're going to rise out of this with a little higher vibration.

So thank you so much.

There's no loss of empathy at Cloudflare. We definitely have a lot of it.

So it's a good thing. Thank you so much, Daniela. Thank you. Have a great day.

You too. Bye bye.