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Does working remotely work for everyone?

A Q&A with business mogul Sarayu Srinivasan. 

Does working remotely work for everyone?

New York-based Sarayu Srinivasan is not your typical CEO.


Her career portfolio includes accomplishments that top-tier business students dream of.

Prior to founding Kaargo, a new online consumer shipping company, Sarayu was a venture capitalist, most recently at Intel Capital.

She invested in global businesses—even relocating to India to launch a $250M emerging markets fund.

With a background in tech, she’s held operating, strategy and growth acceleration roles at successful startups, while also impacting the consumer and retail worlds.

Basically, Sarayu’s career rocks.

PowerToFly spoke to the powerhouse about Kaargo’s experience with remote work, and how traditional business owners should think about it, as it rapidly becomes the norm.

As a venture capitalist, who has worked with various entrepreneurs, and as the CEO of Kaargo, why is remote work something that you stand behind?

We live in an increasingly compact and connected world. We work across offices, time zones and cultures. In many senses, the world is contracting. Sometimes the talent or configuration desired is not local, and seeking that—wherever it can be found—is an increasingly common practice. There is room for the best in any field. And for the best, they can work from anywhere.


What are some projects that you’ve been able to develop as a remote company, that you wouldn’t have been able to do if you were working from a brick and mortar location?

We have been opportunistic and value being fast and effective. That has sometimes decentralized our work locations, allowing various modules, at various times, to operate in geographically disparate locations.


Based on current trends and your own vision, how do you see the business landscape changing as a result of increased remote work?

If companies manage the challenges of building and growing via a remote workforce, then it paves the way for more proliferation of this business model. We seem to be moving into an economy characterized by a lot of flexibility; with the rise of the on-demand economy, employees opting for flexibility over security, companies looking to gain advantage through optimizing their workforces and the convenience/productivity gains that come through flexible work forces (on both sides). Remote work could very well become more commonplace. 


You’ve written about risk. How much risk is involved in setting up a remote business? What should traditional owners be aware of when setting up a remote business?

On the domestic side, remote workers can face the challenges of not having a group to connect, dialogue and get feedback from, which as we all know, is something that is incredibly important. They can suffer from a isolation, a lack of motivation, distractions and lack of reinforcement. On the other hand, there have been numerous studies underscoring the benefits and raised productivity from engaging a remote workforce. I think it really depends on the culture of the company. Some roles lend themselves well to more remote work set-ups while others demand on-site presence. As a cross-border investor, I’ve seen disasters as well as success stories with remote workforces. There’s risk and in part, due to that risk, investors generally prefer to back companies close to home. The most common challenges I’ve seen in a cross-border (international) situation have to do with cultural issues (attitudes to time, bureaucracy toleration, orientation towards innovation, ability to pivot rapidly, communication styles, differing work ethics). You also have currency, political and other country specific/geographical driven risks. If setting up shop outside a home culture, I think it’s important to really know what that means and the implications, so it requires some deep understanding followed by deep thought.

In addition to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, what type of employees and employers thrive in remote environments?

As a venture capitalist you are out in the field, meeting companies, participating in events, attending meetings, so you spend a good chunk of your time outside or working away from your actual desk at odd hours. As an entrepreneur, you do whatever it takes to make things happen so you are always working remotely, even when you have an actual office! Many IT and back-office functions work well (and) roles that require lots of travel, customer or in-person engagement. You need to be disciplined and motivated, as well as have the ability to tap into the group as needed.


What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs that are considering hiring remote workers or working on remote projects?

There are many secondary and tertiary type of roles that may lend themselves better to remote work situations that can provide much needed flexibility for a young, resource-strapped company. Dipping into remote work forces may also be a way to have access to quality professionals on a just-in-time and as-needed basis, maximizing a lean company’s resources.

PowerToFly’s mission is to link accomplished professional women, globally, with work opportunities that fit their lifestyle. This includes remote and in-office work. What type of skills do women and/or working moms offer, that are valuable to both types of work environments?

I think working mothers have to be incredibly efficient, productive and versatile given their responsibilities and time constraints. They are great organizers and time managers. They couldn’t be working mothers sustainably if they weren’t. In addition to being valuable employees, I think they can be really great role models for everyone. I also think, generally of course, women tend to be very detail oriented, strong communicators and organized. These benefits all accrue to the companies they work for.


Power to Fly is a company connecting accomplished women with remote-work jobs that actually lead to work-life balance.



14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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