UTA Instructs Employees to Work From Home to Test Coronavirus Plan

United Talent Agency Building - Getty - H 2020
KYLE GRILLOT/AFP via Getty Images

“At a time when good news is in demand, we have some,” said UTA in a letter to writer clients on July 15 of its deal with the guild. 

The mandate extends to all locations worldwide as the agency tests its systems amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All UTA employees around the world will work remotely on Friday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, so that the agency can conduct a stress test of its telecommuting systems amid concerns over the new coronavirus.

The mandate extends to all six locations in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, Miami, London and Malmo, Sweden. The announcement was made internally Wednesday evening and included a policy that, starting end of day Thursday, visitors and meetings with non-UTA employees would no longer be allowed on agency grounds as the spread of the new virus was upgraded earlier today to pandemic.

"The goal is to thoroughly test all IT systems to ensure that we're fully prepared," said a spokesperson from the agency, working late in the office. They emphasized that it is a precautionary measure and that all business operations will continue to function at full strength.

UTA is so far the only agency to announce a full simulation of its remote systems, with all physical office locations closed for a day. Other firms in Hollywood are giving their employees the option to work from home, restricting travel to business-essential purposes and encouraging virtual meetings as much as possible.