Zach Bordofsky Engineers a New Office Scenario

Santa Barbara Amazon Engineer Adapts to Working from Home

Zach Bordofsky Engineers a New Office Scenario

Santa Barbara Amazon Engineer Adapts to Working from Home

By Leslie Dinaberg | June 30, 2022

Zach Bordofksky | Credit: Koss Klobucher

When the pandemic sent everyone home to work in 2020, Zach Bordofsky, a software development engineer for Amazon, was living in a solo apartment in Irvine. “I didn’t even have a desk at home,” he said. 

Missing the camaraderie of his colleagues and bored with living alone, when his lease was up in summer of 2020, he decided to move home to live in his childhood house in Santa Barbara, with his parents and his older sister, who is a teacher for Santa Barbara Unified School District.

“It’s been really nice for me, especially at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Bordofsky. “It was really nice just to live with other people at the time when, on a day where I didn’t leave my apartment to go grocery shopping, I sometimes wouldn’t see another person’s face other than for team lunches or things like that.” He gets along well with the family, and having the dogs around is also good company. 

His work team mostly communicates through Slack or on calls with larger groups. They’ve also done a number of things to facilitate remote socializing, such as team lunches. “We just kind of sit and talk about non-work stuff and whatever else is going on,” he said. “It’s just time to interact with each other.” There have also been happy hours, game nights, video gaming, and movie nights.

During the course of his full-time remote work, there’s been a lot of change in staff, and he also changed teams, moving from Amazon Personalization to Amazon Music. He said he’s found that working remotely with people he knew before the pandemic is easier than trying to get to know new colleagues virtually. At this point, the future of his physical office location is up in the air. 

Credit: Koss Klobucher

“There’s a desire from Amazon for people to be in the office a bit more, once or twice a week, or something like that, but a lot of that’s being left up to individual teams and organizations to figure out what works best for them,” said Bordofsky. His current team, for example, is split between Los Angeles and Irvine, so even if he did move back, he’s not sure which location he’d move to. 

“The general guidance has been that I think they want us to be close enough to our offices to be able to go in on a day’s notice or something like that,” he said. “But I haven’t seen too much about the actual enforcement or l the encouragement of that. We’re all still virtual, pretty much.” 

Eventually, he would like to be on a team where they are all located in roughly the same area and can go into the office once or twice a week. “I like being in the office a little bit in terms of just working with people; it makes it easier. And it’s a little bit more enjoyable to work with someone in person than with them virtually.” 

He said, “It’s challenging because everybody has different stuff going on in their life that makes the traditional office more or less appealing. I can’t imagine going back to five days in the office; that seems difficult.”

Read all of Leslie Dinaberg’s stories in our special issue, “The Way We Work,” here.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.