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

Annie Burford

Annie Burford is dot.LA's director of events. She's an event marketing pro with over ten years of experience producing innovative corporate events, activations and summits for tech startups to Fortune 500 companies. Annie has produced over 200 programs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City working most recently for a China-based investment bank heading the CEC Capital Tech & Media Summit, formally the Siemer Summit.

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 HelloOfficewww.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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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Inflation Reduction Act Officially Passes the Senate, Revamping Electric Vehicle Pricing

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

The Capitol at Sunset
Courtesy of Mike Stoll via Unsplash

Over the weekend Senate Democrats officially passed the Inflation Reduction Act in what amounts to President Biden’s biggest legislative win so far. The bill includes a host of broad-spectrum economic policy changes and completely reworks the subsidies for electric vehicle purchases. The law still has to get through the House, but this should be a much smaller hurdle.

dot.LA covered the bill in depth as it neared the goal line at the end of July, and the final iteration doesn’t change much. To recap:

1. The rebate total stays $7,500 but is broken into two $3,750 chunks tied to how much of the car and its battery are made in the US.

2. The manufacturer caps are eliminated, meaning even EV companies that have sold more than 20,000 vehicles are once again eligible.

3. Rebates will now only apply to cars priced below $55,000 and trucks/SUVs below $80,000

With the new system placing a renewed emphasis on American manufacturing and assembly, the calculus of which vehicles cost how much is still being worked out. The most comprehensive (but unofficial!) list I’ve seen has come from Reddit user u/Mad691.

In addition to the EV rebate program, the bill also includes a number of economic incentives aimed at curbing emissions and accelerating the country’s transition to electric vehicles.

There’s $20 billion earmarked for the construction of new clean vehicle manufacturing facilities and $3 billion will go help electrify the USPS delivery fleet. Another $3 billion will go to electrifying the nation’s ports. Then there’s $1 billion for zero-emission trucks and buses.

Now that the bill is about to be codified into law, VC investment in the sector might heat up in response to the new money flowing in.

“I do anticipate more climate funds standing up to invest in EV infrastructure,” says Taj Ahmad Eldridge, a partner at Include Ventures and the director at CREST an ARES Foundation initiative with JFF/WRI that aims to provide training for people in the new green economy. “However, we do see funds being a little more thoughtful on diligence and taking their time to fund the right investment.”

The sentiment seems to be shared across Southern California. ChargeNet CEO and Co-Founder Tosh Dutt says the Inflation Reduction Act “super charges” the company’s effort to build infrastructure across the country.

“This investment accelerates the transition to renewable energy and gives companies like ChargeNet Stations the confidence to expand more rapidly, especially in underserved communities,” says Dutt.

For Rivian, the bill’s passage has left would-be customers in a sort of limbo. Because many of their models will exceed the $80,000 cap for trucks and SUVs after options, customers who’ve preordered are scrambling to sign buyers’ agreements to take advantage of the current EV rebate scheme which doesn’t include price caps. As I noted in the previous article, if you buy an EV before the bill is signed, you’re eligible for the current rebate system even if the vehicle isn’t delivered until 2023. Any existing contracts under the current system will remain valid.

With the legislation seemingly on the fast track to become law, it’s unclear whether or not Rivian will expedite the purchasing process to allow customers to sign the buyers’ agreement before the new rebate program becomes the law of the land. Tick tock!

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