According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, 58% of Americans report having the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week. Some workers also have the option of adjusting their hours around other obligations, meaning they might not be online at the same time as the rest of their team. As an employer with remote workers, it’s important to understand this practice, known as asynchronous work. It may sound complicated, but a well-executed asynchronous work model can offer many benefits to both your employees and your customers.
Why are companies switching to asynchronous work?
The increase in asynchronous work coincides with the rise of global employment. With companies employing individuals in various time zones, an asynchronous working model is critical to long-term success. Here are some key ways companies stand to benefit.
1. Greater flexibility for workers
Asynchronous work allows employees to choose their own hours, as opposed to having to work the same schedule as others on their team. This flexibility helps with employee morale and establishing a work-life balance. Furthermore, it improves your company’s retention rate, which saves both time and money.
2. Fewer meetings
According to one study, business professionals average 21.5 hours in meetings every week. In other words, more than half of the standard 40-hour workweek is consumed by meetings. That doesn’t leave much time for important tasks or making progress on a long-term project.
An asynchronous working model helps cut down on non-essential meetings. Instead, employees on the same team find other ways to communicate with each other, such as chats, email, and file-sharing.
3. Higher rates of productivity
In addition to fewer meetings, individuals can work at times when they’re most productive. For example, some work best during the evening hours while others prefer to rise early. Your team members can also shift their work periods to accommodate personal and family appointments instead of using PTO.
Asynchronous work allows for this since employees don’t have to be online at the same time.
4. More trusting environment
You want your employees to know that you trust them to do their job and support them as they set up a schedule that works for them. Micromanaging puts unnecessary stress on your relationship and decreases worker satisfaction.
An asynchronous environment is one that’s built on trust. Rather than forcing workers to adhere to standard office hours, focus on setting clear expectations around deadlines and communication styles and getting to know your employees as individuals. Even though people aren’t online at the same time, it’s important for everyone to feel like they belong to a healthy team.
5. Better decision making
Asynchronous work gives decision makers more time to think about conversations and solutions to challenges. By contrast, real-time work environments often force people to make decisions on the spot. With asynchronous work there’s also more chance for everybody on the team—not just managers—to voice their opinion or contribute to a solution. Better decision making leads to happier employees and a more collaborative work environment.
6. Higher levels of transparency
With everything documented and shared, asynchronous work fosters a culture of transparency. Everyone shares everything—or almost everything—with everyone else in the company. Many file-sharing platforms also show who’s working on a document at any given time and put time stamps on changes, so the rest of the team can see when there are important updates and who’s contributing to a project.
7. Easier global hiring
In today’s world, there’s no reason to limit yourself when hiring. You should search the entire globe to find the perfect fit for every open position. Asynchronous work makes global hiring much more efficient. Being able to hire across time zones allows for more coverage throughout the day, which can help minimize downtime for your services and improve customer support.
While these are among the top advantages of asynchronous work, experimentation will bring many others to the forefront. Experiment with asynchronous work for a short period and get feedback from your team. You’ll see what works, what doesn’t, and how you can customize this arrangement to suit your company and workforce.
Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.
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