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Empty offices throughout San Diego as workers asked to stay home

One Carlsbad company moved into new space right before COVID-19 pandemic.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Companies all over the world and in San Diego are asking employees to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We sent the staff home a few days ago," said Chad Lakin, the Vice President of Shootsta, a video production company that creates content and trains other companies on how to make their own videos.

"It's kind of sad, to be honest. We just moved into this space a couple weeks ago," he said via Skype from their new space in Carlsbad.

The company also has offices in Sydney, Singapore, London and Malaysia. All of them closed due to coronavirus.

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"We all came together Tuesday and had a discussion about the changes happening, every hour really, and what people felt comfortable with," said Lakin. "The majority of staff felt like they wanted to work from home."

Across the state, thousands of other workers are doing the same. The outbreak has sent a shock wave through Silicon Valley. Offices and corporate headquarters are deserted as people have been ordered to shelter-in-place at home.

"In times like this, entrepreneurs are going to rise up," said Lakin. "If their businesses are struggling they're going to need to pivot."

On the positive side, he said it will force people to change how they work. He said that can be a good thing.

Video conference calls have now become important to his staff.  

"Just so people can interact, see each others faces know they're not isolated," he said.

But for now, Lakin said the office will remain remain quiet.

"Yeah, it's a little too quiet," he admits. 

He hopes the larger companies think of the smaller ones, as well as the freelancers, during these uncertain times.