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Asynchronous Work: The Future of Workplace

Maria Petit

Haven’t you wondered how for years we have been establishing successful synchronous communication through social media, but when it comes to working, even though agendas are tightly scheduled sometimes we struggle? Asynchronous work seems to be Willie Wonka’s golden ticket for the future of communication, and we are telling you everything about it!

The concept of async work is becoming more and more popular in the business world. But what is it, and why should you care? 

Synchronous Work: The Old Trusty

Surely you must be more familiar with the concept of synchronous work. From electrical plants to legal offices to ad agencies, work was mostly completed in a systematic and orderly way and there is communication happening at the same moment.

It’s because of this custom that a job has a recognizable pattern and structure — going to the same office from 9-to-5 every day so you can have synchronous communication with your coworkers and managers. But with the pandemic, a lot of businesses have been forced to go remote work, and this is when asynchronous communication comes into play. 

If you follow the graph below, you will realize most people want to keep their remote work conditions, which settles asynchronous working and async messages as a mainstream feature in the workplace.

Let’s break down the basics!

What is Asynchronous Work?

Async work is a way of working that doesn’t require people to be in person, in the same place at the same time. It’s perfect for projects that have a lot of steps, for when people are working on different parts of the project, or when remote workers have different time zones.

Working asynchronously is the opposite of synchronous work, which requires employees to be present at the same time and place to complete a task

With this work method, employees can complete their tasks whenever and wherever they want — as long as they meet deadlines. To work asynchronously is no longer the last resort! 

What Is An Async Organization?

An async organization is a company that encourages and facilitates asynchronous communication. Async organizations don’t have set work hours or locations, and they don’t expect employees to be available at specific times. 

Instead, they allow employees to work whenever and wherever they want, as long as they get their work done.

There are a few key characteristics of async organizations:

  • They embrace asynchronous communication.
  • They have no set work hours or locations.
  • They trust their employees to get their work done.
  • They focus on results, not face time.

The Benefits of Asynchronous Work

Let’s bring again the question of why you should care about async working. As we mentioned before, in the past, synchronous communication was considered essential in highly collaborative workplaces.

But, today’s stats are showing this type of communication is not precisely productive. A study by Adobe back in 2018, found that it was not uncommon for workers to spend a full 80% of their workdays communicating with colleagues in the form of email, meetings, or instant messaging apps, like a Slack channel. 

In short, your employees can be spending more time hopping from one meeting to another or replying to messages than focusing on their tasks.

To avoid such loss in productivity, you can apply the principles of async working to enhance good communication and meaningful work, while taking advantage of peak productivity hours.

Some of the benefits of async work include:

  • Increased productivity: Fully async work allows employees to take breaks when they need them, without feeling guilty. And since people can complete tasks on their own time, they’re less likely to feel overwhelmed.
  • Better communication: Async communication allows for better communication because employees can communicate in their own timetable, and in their own way, especially in a remote team. This makes it easier for people to understand each other and eliminates the need for long periods of time to pass in meetings.
  • More flexibility: Communicating asynchronously gives employees more flexibility to work from home, or from wherever they want. This makes it easier for people with kids or other commitments to balance their work and life.
  • Less stress: Async work can lead to less stress because employees don’t have to worry about being in the same office at the same time, or about impressing their boss.

It seems an async workplace is the future of work, and the benefits are clear. If you’re looking for a way to be more productive, have a better work-life balance, and take on more responsibility, then async work is for you!

What Are Some Examples of Asynchronous Work?

With remote work on the rise, async communication methods help you stay connected with your remote team and make sure that everything is running smoothly, regardless of location, time zone, or at-home distractions.  

Take a look at these examples of async communication in the workplace:

Asynchronous Video Conferencing

This is when people record themselves talking, and then share the video with their colleagues. Asynchronous video conferencing is perfect for people who can’t be in the same place at the same time, or for when people want to communicate without interruption.

Asynchronous Messaging

Asynchronous messaging apps, like Microsoft Teams, allow employees to send messages to each other without being in the same place at the same time. 

This type of communication is perfect for remote teams who need to stay in touch, but can’t always be online at the same time.

Asynchronous Email

Asynchronous email allows employees to send and receive messages without being in the same place at the same time. 

Asynchronous email is perfect for when people need to send or receive a large number of messages, or for when people need to communicate with people who aren’t online at the same time.

Asynchronous Documents

Asynchronous documents allow employees to share and work on documents without being in the same place at the same time. 

Asynchronous documents are perfect for when employees need to collaborate on a document, but can’t be in the same space at the same time. Google Drive is a great tool for these tasks!

Asynchronous Project Management Tool

Asynchronous task management apps, like Monitask, allow employees to manage their tasks without being in the same place at the same time. 

Asynchronous task management apps are perfect for when employees need to collaborate on a task, but can’t be in the same place at the same time.

Now, we keep praising async communication, but if you happen to need a meeting. How can you hold one while also following the async guidelines? Let’s find out!

What  Is An Asynchronous Meeting? 

Asynchronous meetings work by having employees send their thoughts and ideas about the meeting beforehand. This way, everyone is on the same page and there’s no need for a long discussion in the meeting itself. 

Async meetings also work by having employees communicate with each other through a messaging app during the meeting. This allows everyone to stay up-to-date on what’s happening, without taking up too much time.

Asynchronous meetings are the perfect way to hold a meeting without interrupting people’s work. Asynchronous meetings allow people to join the meeting at their own convenience, and they can participate in the meeting at their own time.

Asynchronous meetings are perfect for

  • Remote Workers: Asynchronous meetings are the best way to connect with remote employees since everyone can join the meeting at their own convenience.
  • People who are busy: Asynchronous meetings allow people to participate in the meeting when they can, which is perfect for people who are busy and can’t give an immediate response.
  • People who need more time to think: Asynchronous meetings give participants more time to think about their responses, which is perfect for people who need more time to think about their responses.

How Are Asynchronous Meetings Run?

To successfully host an asynchronous meeting, you’ll need to use a meeting platform that allows for async communication. Some popular async meeting platforms include:

  • Monitask: Monitask is a task management app that allows for asynchronous communication. You can use Monitask to communicate with your team before and during the meeting.
  • Slack: Slack is a messaging app that allows for asynchronous communication. You can use Slack to communicate with your team before and during the meeting.

In the meeting invitation, you’ll need to include:

  • The date and time of the meeting
  • The agenda of the meeting
  • A link to the async meeting you’ll be using

NOTE: Figure out the best ways to apply asynchronous communication!

The first step is to create a video conference. Then, you’ll need to invite your team members to the conference. You can do this by sending them an invitation through your preferred chat tool. 

Once everyone is at the conference, you can start the meeting. As with any other meeting, you’ll want to have an agenda. But, since this is an asynchronous meeting, you’ll also want to have a plan for how people can take notes and stay on track. 

To do this, you can use a task management tool. Also, you can create a board for each topic that you want to discuss. Then, assign each team member to one of the boards. 

This will help everyone to check the boards to see what tasks they need to complete, and when the meeting is over, they can update the board with the results.

How to Join an Asynchronous Meeting?

To join an asynchronous meeting, you’ll need to have access to the meeting platform where the meeting is being hosted. Once you have access, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the meeting platform.
  2. Find the agenda for the meeting. 
  3. Read through the agenda and find the topic that you want to participate in. 
  4. Click on the link for the topic, and enter your thoughts in the chat box. 
  5. Repeat when you’re done participating in the meeting, you can log out of the meeting platform. Asynchronous meetings are flexible, so you can participate in the meeting at your own convenience.

When to Use Asynchronous Work?

The best way to understand asynchronous work is to see it in action. Here are a few examples of projects that would be perfect for async work:

A Large Project With Many Steps

Asynchronous work is perfect for large projects with many steps because employees can work on different parts of the project at their own timetable. This prevents bottlenecking and ensures the project moves forward smoothly.

A Project with a Tight Deadline

Asynchronous communication work is also perfect for projects with tight deadlines because employees can complete tasks as quickly or slowly as they want as long as they meet the deadline.

A Project with Team Members in Different Time Zones 

An asynchronous workplace is perfect for remote workers with team members in different time zones because everyone can work when they’re the most productive.

A Project that Requires Creative Thinking

Asynchronous working is perfect for projects that require creative thinking because employees can take their time to come up with the best solution. This prevents rushed decisions and allows for better collaboration.

Asynchronous Workflows: The Key to Success

When it comes to asynchronous work, workflows are key! Workflows are a set of steps that need to be completed in a specific order for a project to be successful.

In today’s fast-paced world, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of async workflows, as async workflows also prevent bottlenecks and ensure projects are completed on time.

Async workflows allow employees to work when they’re the most productive, which leads to better results

When you’re working on a project, it’s important to have a clear and concise workflow so everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it. 

Without a workflow, employees can get confused about what they’re supposed to be doing, and the project will likely not be completed on time.

How to Manage Asynchronous Workflows?

When it comes to async workflows, the FIFO method is vital. The FIFO method (First In, First Out) means that the first task that’s added to the workflow is the first one that’s completed. 

This ensures that tasks are completed in the order they were added to the workflow, and prevents confusion about what needs to be done next. 

Another way is the asynchronous workflow board where employees can add tasks and track their progress. 

To create an Asynchronous Workflow Board, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your favorite tasks management tool
  2. Click on “Add Task” 
  3. Enter the task name, description, due date, and any other relevant information. 
  4. Assign the task to an employee or team member. 
  5. Repeat these steps for each task you need to complete. 
  6. As employees complete tasks, they can check them off the list. 
  7. When all tasks are complete, the project is finished!

The Future of Working Asynchronously

It seems working asynchronously is the future of work. It’s more efficient, it saves time and money, and it makes teams more productive.  

As more businesses switch to asynchronous work, we’ll see a decrease in the need for office space, and an increase in the number of people working from home. 

We’ll also see a decrease in the number of hours worked, as people will be able to take breaks when they need to, and they won’t have to waste time commuting. 

Asynchronous work is good for businesses, and it’s good for workers!

One of the great things about async activities is that their principles can be applied to other aspects of life such as education. Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic put asynchronous learning in the spotlight!

Asynchronous Learning 

Asynchronous learning is a type of learning where students learn at their own rhythm. Asynchronous learning is perfect for students who are struggling in traditional classroom settings, students who want to take their time, and students who need more flexibility. 

Asynchronous learning allows students to learn from anywhere in the world, at any time of day. This type of learning is perfect for 21st-century students. 

The Benefits of Asynchronous Learning 

As we move into the future, asynchronous learning will become more and more popular. This is what it got to offer:

Flexibility: Asynchronous learning is flexible. Students can learn at their own pace and from anywhere in the world. 

Affordability: Asynchronous learning is often more affordable than traditional classroom learning. 

Accessibility: Asynchronous learning is accessible to everyone. No matter where you are in the world, you can access asynchronous learning materials. 

Asynchronous work and learning are the future of the workplace and the classroom. These methods allow employees and students to work and learn at their own pace, which leads to better results. 

Look at some async learning activities to improve your education journey!

As more businesses and schools switch to async methods, we’ll see a decrease in the need for office space and an increase in the number of people working and studying from home. 

Examples of Asynchronous Learning to Uplift Your Employees 

Open Online Courses 

Online courses and eLearning give students the option to access digital training at their leisure in an asynchronous format. Employees like it because they can improve and advance in their careers without needing to return to school for a degree.

Company Wikis

A company wiki is a collection of web pages or a website where you may save, share, and update your course content on a regular basis. Wikis are an excellent tool for asynchronous learning since they allow you to access information about company processes and regulations with a simple search.

Videos and pre-recorded webinars

Learners prefer to refer to information when they need it rather than study material over a week, which is why they prefer to access it while doing a specific activity. A limitless number of students may access online courses and training videos, as well as pre-recorded webinars. 

Your employees may be able to complete tasks with greater speed if they can see and follow a video, regardless of time zones. Videos are cost-effective and useful since they may be rewatched as many times as is necessary.

Gamification

Gamifying training materials make self-paced learning more engaging and enjoyable. Gamification has been shown to have a positive influence on learning in both training and education. It improves engagement and motivation, as well as results in improved learning outcomes.

Final Considerations

Nowadays, asynchronous work seems to be the perfect solution for businesses that need to be more efficient and productive. With the inclusion of async workflows employees can take their time to come up with the best solution. 

This prevents rushed decisions and allows for better collaboration. Asynchronous working can be considered an inclusive approach as it opens the opportunity for team members in different time zones to provide good work when they’re the most productive.

So, what are you waiting for? Start using async methods in your workplace today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why You Should Work Asynchronously In 2022?

In the next few years, we will see a continued rise in the popularity of asynchronous work. As more and more people adopt this way of working, it will only become more popular. Asynchronous work is perfect for the modern workplace, which is becoming increasingly decentralized and globalized. 

It allows people to work where and when they want, which leads to increased productivity and creativity. Asynchronous work is the future of work – so start using it today!

What Are the Differences Between Asynchronous and Synchronous Work? 

Asynchronous work is when employees work on their own schedule, and synchronous work is when employees work at the same time. 

Asynchronous work is more efficient because workers can complete tasks whenever they have time. Synchronous work requires everyone to be available at the same time, which can lead to confusion and missed deadlines. 

When to Prioritize Asynchronous Over Real-Time Communication?

Asynchronous workflows can be very effective when you need to complete a task that does not require immediate feedback. If real-time communication would interrupt the worker’s flow, it is best to asynchronous communication instead. Asynchronous communication is also ideal for time-sensitive tasks that can be completed independently. 

For example, if you are working on a project that needs to be submitted at the end of the day, it is best to use asynchronous communication so that you can focus on your work without interruption. 

Asynchronous communication should also be used when multiple people are working on a project. This way, everyone can work at their own pace and avoid confusion. Asynchronous meetings should also be used when possible. This will allow participants to review the meeting materials beforehand and provide better feedback.

How Can I Start Working Asynchronously?

If you’re interested in asynchronous working, there are a few things you can do to get started. First, try out some async tools and services like Monitask or Slack. Monitask is a great tool for managing asynchronous projects, and Slack can be used for async communication.

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