13 min read.
As more and more companies realize the benefits of working remotely, the debate now falls on which models of communication to use. Although most remote companies have traditionally opted for synchronous communication in the past, a lot of the companies are reevaluating their structure and shifting to asynchronous communication in the modern climate. Integry follows an asynchronous, remote working pattern which allows employees to choose their own time and be more independent at work.
So let’s take a brief look at the many benefits of working remotely and asynchronously.
The amount of independence and flexibility you get to experience as a team and at an individual level while communicating asynchronously is tremendous. It takes out the stress and monotony of following a rigid routine. It lets you do your best work at a time of your own choice when you can be most productive.
When you set your own time and work routine, you can plan according to your needs without any external systemic stresses. This allows an individual to have a more focused approach towards their work and plan it better. Without the constant distractions of synchronous communication channels like chats or video calls, one can have enough time in their workday to do uninterrupted deep work which allows you to concentrate on the quality of the work you are producing.
Asynchronous, remote work gives you the opportunity to take responsibility for your work and make more decisions independently. This means that you get to take ownership of your work which means that you are responsibly taking a load off from your managers and supervisors, and have the ability to own your work. This is an important aspect of working at any company in any field, it makes you feel like an important part of the company, allows you to invest in your work, and feel like you are being heard and trusted which is great for feeling satisfaction at work.
When you’re working asynchronously, you are not necessarily going to overlap with all the other team members, especially your line managers. This means that sometimes you will have to make a decision according to the best of your capabilities without any outside help which can seem pretty daunting at first but teaches you how to make better decisions. As it lets you exercise your own vision and rationale for every decision you make. This means you take responsibility for your decisions and try to make the best possible decision for your work because you know you will be held accountable for it. It’s okay to make some mistakes before you get the hang of it, but those mistakes can teach you a lot more than they cost. You learn as you go along, and you become better at it every day which means there is a lot of room for growth at a company that trusts its employees with asynchronous work.
An asynchronous work environment instills the values of independence, trust, responsibility, and true flexibility at work. This allows you to grow both individually and as a team. While communicating async, you have the chance to think about your responses, think about your work, think about the impacts of your decisions at work and make sure you are all working towards a collective objective, which can largely add up to the benefit of the entire company. It creates a sense of self-confidence in employees and has the overall effect of improving your work ethic. When no one is monitoring every minute of the time you spend on work, and the only measure of your productivity is your performance and ability to get a task done, it gets rid of the unnecessary drama of office politics and lets a team focus completely on the work.
If you’re doing asynchronous communication right, you are definitely going to build a lot of trust in yourself as an employee, or manager, or even as CEO. According to Ryan Caldbeck, CEO and Cofounder of CircleUp, If you’re able to show that you are credible in your skillset, reliable in your ability to deliver work, and vulnerable enough to show weakness where you need help, you are able to build trust with your company.
Asynchronous communication facilitates all three aspects of this trust. You get to focus on your work and skill set without any external stress. You have nothing to worry about other than delivering your work at the appropriate time. It also allows you to think deeply about the issues you are facing, and empowers you to bring it up when you do link up with your team or better yet, post a note about it, so anyone can read and help you out. If you’re using your async communication tools right to establish the three values of credibility, reliability, and vulnerability, it is bound to bring up your trust in yourself and as a part of the team.
The biggest strength of remote, asynchronous work is having the freedom to set your own time and hours. If you’re more productive during the day, you can opt for that, if you’re someone who works better at night, you can pick those hours. This allows you to take care of your daily activities within weekdays as well if you have an emergency or a doctor’s appointment, or a bill to pay. You can take time out for it and just put in more hours later. All you have to do is put in the amount of time decided by the company, when you put in that time during the day, becomes irrelevant. This means you have more control over your day and your work, in a truly flexible work climate.
It also means you can work from anywhere, so whether you’re a person who’s more productive working from home, you can opt for that. If you like working from a café or anywhere else you can opt for that, you can even take your work with you if you’re traveling. At Integry, we also let our employees choose a coworking space if they want to work from an office. You make all the decisions which means you no longer have to feel caged in a 9-5 mundane routine or adhere to a strict work schedule, you can build your ideal work environment and time according to your needs.
When you’re using synchronous communication tools like chat or calls, you have to think on the spot and answer immediately. It creates a sense of urgency in the communication and doesn’t allow you the time to process and respond. With asynchronous communication, which is usually in the form of writing, you have the opportunity to reflect on your communication, edit it and make it as clear and efficient as possible and ask exactly what you want without having to beat about the bush. Practicing this leads to a higher interaction value between employees and thoughtful communication which saves everyone’s time and adds value to all your communication at work.
One of the most important things to do while communicating asynchronously is to leave a trail and document everything. If you’re working asynchronously, then it’s most likely that you are communicating in long forms such as notes, documents, emails, etc. Modes of communication that leave a trail and that one can refer to in case of a misunderstanding. This allows for complete transparency and tracking where the problem lies, so you can fix it. This kind of transparency always works for the benefit of everyone involved. For both current and future employees as well as the upper management of the company.
For example, all employees of Integry have access to most of the documentation regarding their work, their team, people before them, leadership decisions and discussions, etc. We use Convo notes for our internal communication. Each employee has the right to create a note. As well as comment and ask questions or suggest changes on other notes. Instead of asking others for help, employees are empowered to look up most of the information they need from these recorded notes. One can add to the notes or ask questions directly on there. It is a great way to get valuable input and give a voice to each employee, no matter which level of hierarchy they are at.
Arguably the best thing about asynchronous remote work is that your team can be spread all over the world, as they can work from anywhere and at any time. You can communicate with them async so there’s no trouble for people working in different time zones. With synchronous communication, the people working in different time zones usually have to suffer because they have to make themselves available at non-work times. Asynchronous work gets rid of this problem altogether.
Now that you’ve read all the benefits, you can make an informed decision about shifting to asynchronous communication. It still isn’t the norm but most companies are adopting this change. As a team that has worked successfully on this model for a few years, we can tell you that it works! It is the requirement of the day and age we are living in. Who doesn’t want a more empowered, deep working, and a well-functioning team that doesn’t need to be monitored all the time?