Watch: Three Experts on How Office Life Will Change After the Pandemic

Offices are likely to get bigger, not smaller. Major cities could hollow out. And more people will work remote.

Those are some of the takeaways from dot.LA's virtual strategy session held Tuesday on the future of commercial real estate with Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner at Fifth Wall; Justin Bedecarre, co-founder and CEO of HelloOffice and Jen Nguyen, founding partner of TEAMWERC.


We've rounded up three major points from the discussion below. Watch the full event below, and sign up for our newsletter to get notified of future events.

Smaller Cities Are Attracting More Knowledge Workers

"Cities are in a fight for knowledge workers, they definitionally are. They want that tax base. They want that revenue base. They will try to appeal probably to younger, more mobile millennial, Gen Z workers and attract them directly and say, 'well once there's a core base in Salt Lake City, or in Wichita, or in Tampa well, that company will have to open an office there.'

It's more of a government to consumer marketing strategy than a government to corporation marketing strategy, and we're in the very early innings of that. And so, that literally would not have been possible. I think if two things hadn't happened, one, the forward progress of cloud-based collaboration tools didn't exist...And the second thing is (if) COVID hadn't happened because COVID was this unplanned forced test of the integrity of those tools and the integrity of a workforce that's working remote."

— Brendan Wallace, Fifth Wall

More Employees Will Work Hybrid

"The vast percentage of employees will be flexible.. And so they'll be close to a workplace. Maybe they'll work five days a week, maybe they'll work in the office one to two days a week, and go to the office to make plans to collaborate with their team to jam on the whiteboard.

"I think, at least you know 70 to 75% of all employees will be adopting the hybrid model."

— Justin Bedecarre, HelloOffice

At the Office, There's More Space

"We've seen the loss of 40% of real estate...because of the six-feet social distance.

"In some cases where we're talking about the knowledge-based tech workers, typically in San Francisco, you're seeing an average of 100 to 250 square foot per person. Now, after layering the social distance guidelines of the minimum six foot — which we don't even know today, if that is enough — you're needing at least 300 to 350 square feet more per person."

— Jen Nguyen

Copy of dot.LA Strategy Session: Office 2021, in Partnership with HelloOffice www.youtube.com


Jen Nguyen, Founding Partner of TEAMWERC

​Jen Nguyen, Founding Partner of TEAMWERC

Jen Nguyen is a founding partner of TEAMWERC, delivering best in class turnkey workplace as a service. She has a back to back track record building hyper growth inclusive award winning workplaces from the ground up. Founding workplace leader at Pinterest, Zynga, Tesla Motors and SAP Successfactors from their infancy through IPOs.

TEAMWERC will create a mindshift in how you approach your workplace bridging the gap between people and places, offering a plug and play expert team embedded into your organization.

Brendan Wallace, co-founder & managing partner at Fifth Wall

Brendan Wallace, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Fifth Wall

Brendan Wallace is a co-founder and managing partner at Fifth Wall, where he guides the firm's strategic vision.

Prior to starting Fifth Wall, Brendan co-founded Identified, a workforce optimization data and analytics company that raised $33 million of venture funding and was acquired by Workday (NYSE: WKDY) in 2014. He also co-founded Cabify, the largest ridesharing service in Latin America, and has been an active investor, leading more than 60 angel investments including Bonobos, Dollar Shave Club, Lyft, SpaceX, Clutter, and Philz Coffee.

Brendan started his career at Goldman Sachs in the real estate, hospitality, and gaming group before joining The Blackstone Group's real estate private equity practice.

Brendan is from New York City and currently lives in Venice. He graduated from Princeton University, where he received his BA in political science and economics. He received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Justin Bedecarre, Co-Founder & CEO of HelloOffice

Justin is Co-Founder and CEO of HelloOffice. a modern commercial real estate brokerage on a mission to help everyone find a workplace they love. By empowering experienced brokers with innovative technology, HelloOffice turns the painful traditional process of searching for office space into a faster and more collaborative experience.

From headquarters to hybrid workplaces, HelloOffice works with companies like Palantir, Y Combinator, Afterpay, Brex and many others around the world.

Justin started HelloOffice in 2016 in San Francisco, and before that co-founded 42Floors which was acquired by Knotel.

Ben Bergman, Senior Reporter

Ben Bergman, Senior Reporter at dot.LA

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior reporter/host at KPCC, a producer at Gimlet Media and NPR and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times. Bergman was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. He enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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On this week's episode of LA Venture, hear from Marcos Gonzalez, the managing partner at Vamos Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund which invests in Latino and diverse founders. Over half of L.A. County is Latino. A relatively new fund, investments are in the range of $100,000 to $500,000. Seems like a great time to be investing in this community! And, Vamos is hiring...

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El Segundo-based telemedicine technology provider Cloudbreak Health and Florida-based UpHealth Holdings, a digital healthcare provider, announced they will combine and go public via a SPAC in a deal that values the combined companies at $1.35 billion.

Named UpHealth, Inc., the new company aims to streamline online health care by becoming a single provider of four different services: telehealth, teletherapy, a health care appointment and management system and an online pharmacy.

UpHealth runs healthcare platform Thrasys Inc. and MedQuest Pharmacy, along with two other behavioral health companies. The merger with Cloudbreak, which under the pandemic expanded their interpretation services to remote medicine, will give the new company a foothold in almost 2,000 hospitals.

"What we wanted to do was form a business that could really be a digital infrastructure for health care across the continuum of care, right from home to hospital," said Jamey Edwards, the co-founder and CEO of Cloudbreak. Under the agreement, he will become the company's chief operating officer.

GigCapital2 expects the merger transaction to close at the start of Q1 2021. UpHealth will be publicly traded under the ticker "UPH" on the New York Stock Exchange. UpHealth's integrated care management platform serves over 5 million people, and is expected to reach 40 million over the next three years, according to the company.

Jamey Edwards, Cloudbreak

Jamey Edwards, co-founder and executive director of Cloudbreak

COVID-19 caused a meteoric growth in the use of telehealth services. In February, 0.1% of Medicare primary visits were provided through telehealth. In April, that number was nearly 44%, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Key stakeholders have seen and responded well to the benefits that telemedicine can bring, but they need a more comprehensive, integrated solution," said Al Gatmaitan, who has been named the co-chief executive officer of UpHealth. "This is what UpHealth focuses on, the adoption of digital health solutions well beyond the pandemic crisis."

The deal with the blank check company GigCapital2 gives the two digital health companies access to a wider network. UpHealth and its family of companies operate in 10 countries and their pharmacy has 13,000 e-prescribers in the U.S.


UpHealth will use the Cloudbreak platform as part of their global telehealth services to provide patients with round-the-clock care under a variety of specialties, including telepsychiatry and tele-urology. UpHealth also has contracts internationally, to provide country-wide care in India, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Edwards joined Cloudbreak in 2008 when it went from public to private. It has raised $35 million in venture funds, most recently in the first quarter of this year scoring $10 million from Columbia Partners Private Capital.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story identified Jamey Edwards as executive director of Cloudbreak, he is its CEO.

Ryan Edwards, the co-founder of Happier Camper, said he's asked all the time if his company leans on influencer marketing to promote their vintage-style trailers beloved by millennials.

With a waitlist six months out and demand growing from hotel-weary travelers, he said it isn't a priority yet.

"We almost don't need to," said Edwards.

That's because the $25,000 to $50,000 custom trailers have been a hit with a loyal fan base, and rising demand during the pandemic has only helped. Orders for compact trailers at the lower price end, including Happier Camper's 75-square-foot camper, are growing as newbie road trippers look for COVID-safe travels.

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