Guest Column: This Month Marks the Start of the Greatest Workplace Experiment in History

Owen Fileti
Owen Fileti is Managing Director of HelloOffice, a technology-powered commercial real estate brokerage.
Guest Column: This Month Marks the Start of the Greatest Workplace Experiment in History

The impact of coronavirus on every business across the world is enormous and undeniable. Companies everywhere are re-evaluating their workload and workforce – at potentially extreme costs. Working remotely works right now because everyone has been forced to do it, but is it here to stay and is it for everyone?


The pace of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is accelerating at an alarming rate. With no vaccine or cure anticipated for many months, the immediate reality for every company should be to re-evaluate their workplace strategy right now, not just for the short-term but also for the medium and long-term.

This month marks the start to the greatest workplace experiment in history.

While we will all come out stronger, workplace strategies are being tested, changed and reimagined right now. What was our day-to-day is no longer the norm. Most companies haven't had time to establish a normal workflow yet. Corporate leaders are rapidly adopting new protocols and procedures for basic tasks as well as re-working the paths to completing critical projects that were previously accomplished with a full, on-site workforce. How do you protect your staff and mitigate health risks while operating your business effectively under these circumstances? Most companies are working from home right now, but is it sustainable?

Owen Fileti is Managing Director of HelloOffice, a technology-powered commercial real estate brokerage.

There is no clear one-size-fits-all strategy for every company managing the current chaos. From startups to Fortune 100 companies, immediate adjustments to workplace strategies will depend upon multiple factors: leadership, type of industry, geographic location, employee size, current office layout, work style, workflow, client service practices, transportation patterns of employees, HR policies, health status of the team and the number of COVID-19 cases in the local area. One certainty is that the companies that can adapt the fastest will increase their likelihood of surviving, thriving and emerging stronger when all the craziness subsides.

Communication, technology, and connectivity are crucial to productive remote work as well as the ability to service clients and engage employees. When you remove everything from inner office collaborations, face-to-face spontaneous interactions, random distractions, and long distance commutes, will performance increase? How will companies measure productivity in this new environment? One lesson companies are quickly learning is that they must leverage technology more effectively to optimize remote work.

At some point, business will go back to usual.

After 9/11, companies eventually resumed work though our lives changed in significant and permanent ways. Some industries, such as travel and airlines, were forever changed. But they did bounce back, just like they will do after the 'curve flattens.' The harsh reality is that some businesses might not be able to weather the economic impact of this unexpected turbulence. Businesses must leverage technology more effectively and become smarter on new workforce ideation and strategy quickly.

The good news is that many companies are investing in the technology needed, but even those best suited for remote work face challenges implementing so much change so quickly.

Owen Fileti is Managing Director of HelloOffice, a technology-powered commercial real estate brokerage.

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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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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.

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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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AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually
Photo courtesy of AmazeVR

Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.

The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.

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