Asynchronous work: The new normal?

Juan SalasJuan Salas

Juan Salas

round Timex analog clock at 2:33
Async work is a type of work that doesn't require real-time communication or coordination.

As the workforce continues to evolve, so does how we work. One of the latest emerging trends is asynchronous work – working without the need for real-time communication or coordination.

This way of working has benefits and challenges and is unsuitable for every team or company. In this blog post, we'll explore what asynchronous work is, its benefits and challenges, and whether or not it's suitable for your team.

What is Async Work?

Async work is a type of work that doesn't require real-time communication or coordination.

It can be done at any time without coordinating with others. For example, you could send an email to a colleague asking for their input on a project without needing to arrange a time to meet or chat.

Email, chat, and project management software often does async work.

Benefits of Asynchronous Work

There are several benefits of incorporating async strategies in your team:

1. It can improve work/life balance

Async work doesn't require employees to be available at set times, giving them more flexible schedules. This can improve work/life balance, as they can better manage their time and take care of personal commitments outside work.

2. It can improve productivity

With async strategies, your team can improve productivity by allowing them to work when they're most productive – early in the morning, late at night, or during their lunch break. This can lead to better work quality and fewer errors.

3. It can reduce stress levels

Async work can reduce stress levels, as employees don't need to worry about being available or coordinating with others at all times. This can result in a more relaxed and enjoyable workplace.

One of the most significant advantages of asynchronous work is that it allows people to adapt the work to their times. Photographer: Donald Wu | Source: Unsplash

How to get over the challenges of Asynchronous Work

Of course, there are some challenges associated with this way of work, but each one has its solution:

1. Introduce Deep Work and other strategies to stay on top of things

Async work can be challenging to keep on top of, as there is often no set schedule or deadlines. As a result, it is easy to fall behind on tasks or overlook important information.

A solution to this difficulty may be establishing deep work strategies and scheduling apps to organize meetings and work tasks.

Teaching Deep Work techniques and working in blocks of time, avoiding distractions, will allow you and your teams to overcome this difficulty easily.

2. Combat the feeling of isolation with cooperative strategies and social benefits

Isolation can be one of the hardest things to deal with in asynchronous work. Your team can feel cut off from each other and like they are not a part of the company.

But that feeling can be overcome by ensuring regular check-ins with your team or taking advantage of video conferencing, online games or parties, and other forms of communication in real-time.

Also, you can seek out opportunities to socialize outside of work, whether joining a sports team or just getting together with friends for drinks.

Some companies even offer their employees benefits for carrying out social, cultural, or sports activities.

3. Create intentional spaces to build relationships

Async work can make it challenging to build relationships, as there is no face-to-face interaction. This can make it harder to get to know colleagues and build trust.

However, there are still ways to create strong bonds with your team members. For example, you can always take time to learn about your colleagues, their interests, and what makes them tick. This will help you build a stronger connection with them.

Also, you can find out what motivates your team members; what makes them feel good about their work. You can better support and encourage them if you understand what drives them.

Is Asynchronous Work Right for Your Team?

Asynchronous work isn't suitable for every team or company. Considering the benefits and challenges is essential before deciding if this way of working is right for you.

Async work could be a good option if you're looking for a way to improve work/life balance, increase productivity, or reduce stress levels.

However, this may not be the right choice if you're looking for an opportunity to build relationships and interact with colleagues in real-time.

Only you can decide what's best for your team.

Do you think asynchronous work is the new normal?