After COVID-19 forced people to work remotely, communication became one of the most in-demand skills for employees everywhere. That is when people realized the potential of asynchronous work.
Even though meetings and instant messages are synchronous – that is, they occur in real-time and instantly – many of us prefer to work on our own schedules, particularly since we’re juggling other responsibilities. This makes it nearly impossible to work on the same clock as the rest of the team.
While business leaders had their qualms about async work, it’s proven to be quite handy in the digital workplace.
Let’s explore what it means to work asynchronously, the key benefits of doing this, and how to manage async work to the best of your abilities.
What does it mean to work asynchronously?
Asynchronous work is the process of working in a group where all members are not required to be online simultaneously. Members can boost their productivity when working asynchronously because they don’t have to wait for someone else to complete tasks. The secret to asynchronous work is constructing processes that enable employees to work independently and granting them the necessary trust.
An even, swift, and nimble pipeline generates the exact quantity of output required. And all its phases are balanced in terms of performance and speed, resulting in no time or resource waste.
- What does it mean to work asynchronously?
- Key benefits of working asynchronously
- How to nail asynchronous work
- Final thoughts on asynchronous work
Key benefits of working asynchronously
In the past, the majority of remote employers relied on synchronous communication. However, in the current business climate, they’ve had to restructure their collaborations and adapt to asynchronous communication. Several organizations use this work model allowing workers to choose their work hours and be more independent.
Let’s take a deeper look into some critical benefits of async work.
Flexibility is the most lauded advantage of remote or hybrid work. As the ability to complete work is not contingent on the accessibility of other employees, async companies can offer their employees greater flexibility. But employees who spend all their time in back-to-back staff conferences or going through Microsoft teams looking at their task requests does not benefit from a great deal of flexibility.
When you define your own time and work schedule, you can plan as per your needs without external systemic pressures. This gives employees a more centered approach to their work and better planning. Without the constant interruptions of synchronous communication methods such as chats and video calls, one can devote sufficient time during the workday to uninterrupted deep work, allowing them to focus on the quality of their work.
Ownership and responsibility
Asynchronous, remote work enables you to assume a more prominent role in your jobs and make more independent decisions. This means that you have the power to accept responsibility for your work, relieving pressure from your bosses and supervisors and allowing you to own your work.
This is a vital feature of working at any company in any area. It helps you feel like an integral part of the organization. It also enables you to invest in your work, gives you a sense of recognition, contributing to job satisfaction.
Better decision making
When working asynchronously, you will not necessarily overlap with every team member, including your line managers. This implies that occasionally you might have to decide based on your best talents without any outside assistance.
This can sometimes be intimidating but teaches you how and when to make better decisions because it allows you to utilize your vision and reasoning for every action you take. This implies that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions and strive to find the best choices in your work.
Before you get the hang of something, it is okay to make mistakes, but those errors can teach you far more than they cost. A corporation that entrusts its staff with asynchronous work has a great deal of growth potential since async work requires continual learning and improvement.
You can create trust with your organization if you demonstrate that you are credible in your abilities, dependable enough to execute tasks, and vulnerable enough to admit when you need assistance.
All three facets of this trust are made possible through async communication. Other than submitting your work on time, you have nothing else to worry about. You can concentrate on your task and skills without extraneous pressure.
It also enables you to think thoroughly about the problems you are encountering and to bring them up when you do connect with your team, or even better, to publish a message about them so anybody can read and assist you. If you use your async communication tools correctly to develop these three attributes of trustworthiness, your faith in yourself and the team inevitably increases.
Encourages longer periods of concentrated work
Constant interruptions caused by synchronous communication make it challenging to attain the concentration and critical thought required for writing, coding, planning, and problem-solving jobs. As a result of not being expected to respond instantly to communications in asynchronous firms, employees have more time to focus on the task at hand and develop better alternatives and more innovative work.
How to nail asynchronous work
Asking yourself this question can help you adopt an asynchronous mindset in the simplest way possible. “How might I convey this message/ present this work/ move this task forward right now if nobody in my team were awake?” is a great way to get started.
This culls the urge to take shortcuts or call a meeting for the sole purpose of collecting input.
Focus on iteration
Asynchronous work can feel challenging and inefficient if you’re only working on a project and are stuck waiting for someone else’s contribution. You can reduce this downtime by scheduling your work. In this way, you can pick up other tasks while having to wait for others.
Assume you have five active projects. It’s much easier to make gradual gains on one, tag team members within the chat, issue or merge requests for desired input or action, and then switch to another ongoing project while you wait.
Assume you go through your assigned tasks, iteratively improving each one before handing them off. In that case, you can ensure the minimum acceptable transformation for many more projects without concerning yourself with the immediate response to any of them.
When managing multiple projects, asynchronous mode works well, but it does require discipline and the ability to switch contexts.
Create mental space
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is closing all mental tabs, shutting out all external stimuli, and concentrating only on work once you’ve timed in. However, since it’s more of a quasi-workday, it can be hard to determine where the first meeting starts and the other ends.
There is frequently no reason or excuse other than “it’s time”. Dedicated remote workers may have difficulty disconnecting from this feeling. Sometime they fail to prioritize their well-being, and fall into the trap of “just one more reply.”
Chat-style communication tools are best used for informal communication. If you use them to communicate with your coworkers, it’s totally fine. In fact, it can be very beneficial. Although, when it comes to task completion, you will need to break your reliance on it to ensure timely delivery.
A prerequisite for perfecting the art of asynchronous communication is documentation. Asynchronous communication is, at its core, documentation. It is the delivery of a message in a way that the recipient(s) don’t need to be available simultaneously. Establish a standardized approach to documentation for your organization first.
Approvals apps are an indispensable tool for facilitating async work. Instead of beeping coworkers, IT, HR, or your manager, your teammates can send a detailed approval request.
This should help organize all requests and ensure that no vital information is lost to random communications. You can request clearance for almost anything, including time off, contracts, the budget, and IT-related problems.
Templates are an excellent solution that facilitates asynchronous work, enhances collaboration and coordination, and promotes operational excellence. You get access to different features based on your selected tool. If you’re using Microsoft Teams for collaboration, that can be native template capabilities. Or if you need more advanced capabilities, you may choose a third-party tool such as nBold.
Head over to this blog post to learn how to embrace asynchronous work with Microsoft Teams.
Thanks to Collaboration Templates by nBold, users can customize their workspaces for effective collaboration via native and 3rd party app integrations, enabling them to perform efficiently and produce consistent operational excellence. By supplying your staff with pre-built, organized workplaces, you enable them to concentrate on critical operations and improve their effectiveness.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams templates.
Final thoughts on asynchronous work
Asynchronous work can help you boost team productivity. And with the use of proper tools, you can achieve great results. The nBold technology offers the resources you need to simplify your path to asynchronous working. Your teams will get pre-built workspaces with all the necessary tools and data already in place. Team members can get right to work and understand precisely what to do as shortly as their projects begin. This way, you’re eliminating the need to worry about updates from others.
Contact our team to learn more about how Collaboration templates may assist your firm in achieving operational excellence across all activities.