The Ultimate Guide to Asynchronous Remote Work
Remote work may not be for everyone, but there are numerous benefits of working outside of the office.
Tips for Asynchronous Remote Work
- Asynchronous workers should have the freedom to work at their own pace
- Having a clear and comprehensive communication plan is key
- Reduce meetings for better productivity
- Implement a strong company culture
Asynchronous remote work is one way to conduct business without being chained to a desk all day. Working from home or another remote location isn’t something that can be turned on and off like a switch.
It takes time for managers to build trust and confidence in remote employees so they can function together as a high performing remote team.
Moreover, switching between remote work and regular office hours requires planning and restructuring in order to ensure remote team members are always operating at peak performance and efficiency.
How To Make Remote Work Asynchronous
Working remotely comes with a long of challenges, especially if an employee is transitioning from an office environment to a home setup.
However, with the right tools, techniques, and routines in place, remote employees and employers will find it much easier. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about asynchronous remote work – so read on!
Sync vs Async Communication
Asynchronous communication is a form of collaboration that doesn’t require team members to be working at the same time.
Instead of having a dedicated office hours schedule, asynchronous workers can choose when to work and complete tasks within a specified time frame.
In simple words, communication and collaboration happen during the same set hours in sync work, while everyone works at their convenience in async work.
Working in sync blocks the progress at work, while async communication increases productivity and helps to get work done even in the absence of managers or colleagues.
The benefits of working this way include flexibility, reduced costs, improved productivity, and even reduced risks of remote work burn out.
Some companies may have a hybrid or partially remote workforce that works on some projects asynchronously outside the office. However, for the most part, companies that heavily rely on asynchronous work usually have a fully remote workforce.
Why Businesses Need Asynchronous Work
The benefits of asynchronous remote work are numerous:
Improved employee satisfaction
Gone are the days where people work in offices because they have to. Working remotely provides employees with a greater sense of control over their lives because they can choose when and where they work.
For group meetings, the cost of bringing everyone together at the same time is not worth it for companies considering there’s a better way to do it with asynchronous work.
Similarly, when an employee is spontaneously asked to join a 1:1 meeting, it disrupts their focus if they’re at work. This is particularly impactful for roles that demand deep focus like engineering or design.
Keeping these caveats of sync work in mind, managers can reduce meetings by easily documenting them.
Most meetings should be documented
If meetings are unidirectional, come up with a documented format of the meeting that you’re trying to schedule. Documentation can not only help employers reduce meetings, but it also helps employees to always come back for reference in case they need it in the future.
For the best result, the document may include:
- A few questions or input requirements
- Clear assignees for each input requirement
- Clear deadline for that input.
When employees don’t have to commute to the office, they can save hours each week. This allows them to focus on more important tasks, or spend time on other ventures outside of work.
With fewer employees operating from a central office, employers can significantly reduce overhead costs.
Similarly, the opportunity to avoid commutes also helps the employees to bring down their expenses.
Without being confined to a desk, employees can work at their own pace. When employees are able to work remotely and on their own time, workers can more easily maintain focus, avoid distractions, and produce higher-quality work.
Better team performance
Working remotely also gives managers the ability to create a more diverse team. This helps at the time of hiring remote employees by allowing employers to tap into a wider talent pool and hire people who might not be able to work in offices for various reasons.
Additionally, employers can easily hire and onboard remote employees across different time zones, which is especially beneficial for globally distributed teams.
How to run an effective remote team
There are many ways that employers can use to run a high performing remote team, but these are 4 key elements that must be focused on:
Create a clear and comprehensive communication plan
Communication is crucial for remote teams because there’s no physical interaction between team members.
Without face-to-face communication, written communication is the most effective way to share ideas and feedback.
Employers should consider investing in a communication app or software that allows remote employees to communicate effectively with each other. This will assist with message scheduling, tracking, and collaboration.
Use task management software
Many companies use project management software to track their work. But what about project management tools for remote teams?
When managing a remote team, you need to keep track of team member progress, milestones, and tasks. There are several project management tools that are designed specifically for remote teams. Utilize them.
Some of the most popular tools include:
- Trello: A visual tool that allows users to organize projects and manage tasks by creating digital boards with cards.
- Asana: A task management tool that enables managers or bosses to create team projects, share files, and assign tasks.
- Hubstaff: This is a time-tracking tool that helps to track time spent on projects and log remotely.
- Slack: Remote teams rely heavily on asynchronous communication. Slack is a great way to create channels, share files, and send messages with remote team members.
Build a strong company culture
Building a strong company culture is essential to manage remote teams. A strong culture and core values for the company will help employers retain employees and improve collaboration.
As a business, consider the type of team that you want to build, then use the following suggestions to help define your company culture:
- Create a value statement: Value statements are important because they help team members understand what’s important to the company. Employers can also use this to create a code of conduct that team members and employees are held accountable to.
- Craft a mission statement: This is something that guides the company and gives it a direction. A mission statement can also be used to communicate to customers and team members about what the company does, or what it intends to do.
Implement a routine
Remote work is challenging because remote employees have to create a structure where they manage to stay productive without being in an office.
If not done right, this can be difficult. This is why managers should develop and implement a clear routines that remote employees can effortlessly follow.
One way of doing this is to replicate the concept of message queues for remote teams. With a distributed team, managers should make sure no one gets blocked due to the absence of a team member.
The concept of message queue is that messages are stored in the server until they get processed. Replicating this concept for async work means that each remote employee will be working productively, without an absent remote employee impacting the workflow.
When managed efficiently, asynchronous remote work has the potential to drastically improve a remote team’s productivity, efficiency and overall happiness of individual team members.
However, it takes time to build trust, establish routines, and find new ways to collaborate remotely.
When employees and employers able to level up remote work, the benefits of working remotely are endless.
It can be difficult to transition to a remote work environment, but it’s important to remember that it takes time to adjust to a new work routine. It’s important to invest in remote setup before employers start hiring team members.
Once a remote setup is in place, employers and employees will be more prepared to transition to asynchronous work.
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