Asynchronous work is when employees aren’t expected to be online or answering messages simultaneously. This model can be largely beneficial for remote or distributed teams, who may have employees logging on from different time zones.
Opening your office to asynch work can help you hire globally and shift to remote work — which has been rising in popularity over the past few years. However, it takes transparency, communication, and organization to make an asynchronous model function properly.
Let’s go over some ways that asynchronous teams can succeed.
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Work
Synchronous work is the more common working model for in-office or local remote teams. However, asynchronous work is gaining popularity as many companies are starting to go remote and many business leaders are looking to the global talent pool to find good employees.
- Synchronous work: Employees are expected to be online at the same time, attend meetings, and answer messages quickly.
- Asynchronous work: Employees are not expected to be online at the same time, do not usually attend meetings, and have at least one day to answer any messages.
Benefits of Asynchronous Work
Many employees today are looking for flexibility and trust from their boss — two things that asynch work provides. Allowing employees to work asynchronously means letting them be more in charge of their own workflows and processes.
A few benefits of asynchronous work include:
- Allows you to hire globally
- Increases flexibility for your employees
- Enhances productivity among dispersed teams
- Increases employee happiness
- Builds trust among the team
- Allows employees to work when they’re at their best
- Facilitates meaningful interaction between team members
- Reduces employee burnout or turnover
Asynchronous Communication Tips
When you aren’t meeting face-to-face, you’ll need to make sure that all communication is effective and streamlined. Good internal communication is a must for asynchronous businesses.
Only Schedule Necessary Meetings
If someone has to log on to a meeting outside of work hours, you need to make sure it’s a necessary meeting. Otherwise, those who work asynchronously will most likely expect not to be required to attend Zoom or in-person office meetings.
A few times when a meeting may be necessary include:
- Hirings or firings
- Emotional conversations
- 1v1 check-ins
- Performance reviews
Use Email and Project Management Platforms
To make sure communication doesn’t fall through the cracks, you should look to more permanent solutions that have a paper trail, like email or project management platforms. This way, employees know exactly where to look to get the information they need.
Be Clear and Succinct
Employees shouldn’t have any questions when engaging with your emails, messages, or notes. Good, clear communication is important for any office, but especially so for an office that isn’t online at the same time. Proofread your messages to make sure they included all information necessary to help your employees succeed.
Respect Time Zones
Remember: it’s 5:30 p.m. in London, England, when it’s 9:30 a.m. in San Francisco, California. If you have a team dispersed throughout the globe (or even just the country), be mindful of time zones. Don’t expect people to frequently attend meetings or answer urgent messages outside of their normal working hours.
For more information on asynchronous work, check out the following infographic.