As industry leaders within the technology sector, Netflix is set to be in a good position for what's ahead.
With the technology sector ranking second overall in our Resilience and Rebound Ranking radar report, Netflix is considered a swimmer as compared to other sectors.
Colliers Review had a chance to speak with Phillip Dunn, APAC Director for Workplace at Netflix, on how his organisation is pivoting amid current times and his learnings on the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Phillip Dunn, APAC Director for Workplace, Netflix
From an office and workplace perspective, how is Netflix equipping to continue this momentum – what are your key learnings from these turbulent times?
Firstly, looking at the Singapore environment, we have more office space than we actually need in relation to our current head count. We have essentially banked a lot of our space; we knew we were going to grow exponentially over the next five years and we banked that very early. In Singapore, when we come back to the office, social distancing won't be an issue in that environment.
On the flip side – as we build a new environments in our Tokyo and India offices, we're going to be struggling with social distancing like everybody else, and leverage on serviced office space in the very short-term and in a very powerful way.
Moving forward, our corporate environments very much support our production environments and production is very important for us to get back to as quickly as possible. This is the same with our competitors, such as Disney Plus (Disney+) and Amazon. They'll be paying to do exactly the same as what we are, which will increase our capacity to compete and be productive in this time, and essentially create our content!
"In our offices, everybody is equipped and they can all work – and have been successfully been working from home for up to 10 weeks or so. We will have the slow, gradual and measured return to the office environments moving forward, based on how we are allowed and regulated to do so."
Our office environments are second to our production. In our offices, everybody is equipped and they can all work – and have been successfully been working from home for up to 10 weeks or so. We will have the slow, gradual and measured return to the office environments moving forward, based on how we are allowed and regulated to do so.
Our primary focus will be getting our production up and running. We're currently producing in Korea, starting production in Japan and have small productions happening in Australia at the moment. When we look at the space moving forward and how we set up our studios, those environments are going to be completely different.
A lot of our animation is currently being done out of people's homes, so this change to the environment is significant and how we produce and create that content as well.
We are lucky; we're not struggling and we're not suffering in anywhere environments, although we can see that other technology companies, especially small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are struggling in relation to their exposure to the markets. We're doing as much as we can to essentially support a lot of our providers to ensure that they're going to be there this recovery as well.
What do you know now that you wish you knew before COVID-19?
I wish I hadn't found out about and downloaded the Tik-Tok app – it’s become a small addiction that I can’t seem to get away from!
Other than that, knowing now that no disaster recovery plan could have foreseen what we are dealing with. No matter how much testing was done, nothing would have foreseen that social distancing would have stretched as far as it has.
Secondly, online platforms – we’ve seen a lot of companies push a lot of last-minute things, to essentially be able to pivot. I've seen a lot of mistakes made in that sort of space. At the same time, I've seen a lot of wins; there are going to be quite a few lessons learned to come out this and technology is going to be large piece of it.
As a society, we're all going to look at our personal space in a different way now, particularly people who've been restricted to the environment they are now in. People will look at the space in which work and live and consider that if this ever happens again, how they would change it.
Editor’s note: If you’re looking for Phil while in lockdown, you can either find him uploading his latest dance and lip-synch routine on Tik-Tok (his new favourite app), or bingeing on his go-to Netflix series, Money Heist. The multi-talented APAC Workplace Director is also an ex-horse jockey – what a combination!
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