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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were resistant to implementing remote work for a variety of reasons such as concerns about technology and infrastructure, a lack of trust that employees would get their jobs done, the longstanding (and understandable) bias in favor of face-to-face interactions, or some combination of these factors. However, not only has the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to switch to remote work despite their reservations, it's clear at this point that it's going to be very hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Remote work is here to stay, at least partially. By analyzing the pros and cons of remote work we've witnessed over the past few months, we can apply various insights towards maximizing its benefits while minimizing the downsides.

Under any circumstances, managing a remote team requires an over-emphasis on communication, a deep understanding of flexibility, and a variety of ways to maintain touch points with your teammates. Now, with so much uncertainty, fear, and sickness, we need to have even more compassion so that people have time to heal, adjust, and find their anchor within this "new normal."

I feel I'm at my most productive when I am free to travel, learn, and create without the constraints of geography, an office, or a time card. So, when I founded Final Straw just over two years ago, I sought to develop a company culture that inspired people to approach everyday problems with ingenuity, and was determined to create a team that was 100% remote. Initially, there were people who pointed out all of the reasons that a company operating remotely couldn't be successful; however, I knew that I could make the model work.

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