Here are the top ten reasons why your charity should embrace asynchronous working
The buzzword flying around hybrid working is ‘asynchronous working’. Office trends show that staff are working at different times rather than together in real time. We round out the top ten reasons why the shift to asynchronous working can be an advantage for your work place.
The most keenly felt benefit is that staff enjoy more personal flexibility. They can plan their days around work and manage a more balanced lifestyle. Allocating time for meetings and deep working keeps staff motivated. Digital tools like email, WhatsApp, chat services, and text let staff get in touch without interrupting at that very moment.
By definition, asynchronous working means time zones and physical spaces between workers matters less. Breaking it down more simply, the work day is no longer defined by day time hours. For charities with international offices this type of working makes the most sense.
This also improves the hiring process. Asynchronous working allows your workforce to work from anywhere at any time. For recruitment, it means you can widen your talent pool by looking at candidates based outside of your time zone.
CloudApp says that teams working asynchronously encourage trust and work towards consensus decision-making. People are able to feel confident in clearly defined due dates and project notes, as they’re able to see previous communications justifying why something needs to be done.
Since work isn’t done in real time, instantaneous responses aren’t needed. Charity staff can take the time to craft considered responses to donors, audiences, and team mates.
Do away with note pads, scribbles, and missing sticky notes from meetings. Digital tools make it easy to document how decisions were taken. If you need to look back for more clarity, search for key words and dates on communication platforms. Slack and Microsoft Teams both offer chats that have search functions enabled.
Project management software like Asana, Trello, and Monday create digital spaces for collaboration. Project information is organised under tidy calendars, work flows, and messaging boards making it easy to see progress. They take the guesswork out of deadlines, decisions, and assignments for asynchronous workers.
Another benefit of asynchronous communication is clarity. Staff learn to communicate more clearly and avoid unnecessary replies. Doist says people avoid ‘knee-jerk’ responses and, over time, responses over digital channels are of higher quality.
Gone are the days where seniority matters most. With asynchronous working, digital ‘voices’ and messages are egalitarian. At Charity Digital, we’ve seen how HiPPOs can take over the conversation. It’s no longer the case where the loudest voice dominates. Everyone, with their digital voice can pitch into the conversation since text, rather than volume rules.
“More asynchronous communication opens up additional time for employees to focus on projects,” says Vimeo the online video expert. Asynchronous working actually increases productivity because workers can focus on what matters over email and chat distractions.
Forbes Magazine highlights some of the productivity and inclusivity gains. Asynchronous working allows workers to contribute when ready, and, both introverts and extroverts are equally empowered. The magazine also says that cloud-based accessibility increases productivity because everyone has access to the same documents.
Onboarding is easier because new staff can tap into resources that have already been documented in writing. When speaking with the BBC, GitHub COO Erica Brescia says:“[New hires] have access to more information relevant to their work, and can easily follow the context around decisions that have been made prior to their start.”
Remember, online learning management systems like the Learning Consortium distribute lessons to users. The benefit here is that new joiners can prepare on their own time, reducing the need for synchronous onboarding.
Burn out doesn’t just happen because of too many Zoom meetings. Krisp, the AI specialist, says that: “The overkill of sync communications can lead to burnout and time wasted as people spend more time responding to lines of communication than focusing on projects.”
Mental health is a top priority for remote and hybrid workers, particularly as management don’t have day-to-day oversight. Asynchronous working gives staff the power to manage digital fatigue and burn out. Staff can always take breaks or actively manage their own schedules.