Many companies are looking into the async communication style to leverage it within their culture as it helps with many of the challenges associated with distributed teams. If you haven’t, check out our last article with our thoughts on how async communication helps your teams and how to benefit from it.
As we mentioned on our last article, going async helps teams distribute communication across relevant and more contextualized channels, instead of having it all on email or taking those discussions to multiple video calls. It makes your teams more productive, especially if you’re growing and want to keep workgroups easily updated on topics that are common within the organization.
Most companies these days are already distributed even if they are working on the same building. Also if they are working from the same building, they happen not to be aware of it. Many teams struggle to find a room and a time when to run a specific meeting, to finally get to discuss how to solve a problem. The truth is that most of these discussions can be done asynchronously using different available platforms.
It is not strange to see companies that are leveraging async communication fully within their teams, and are very successful and keep growing and hiring talent from all over the world to help them continue with their mission. Some of these companies that use async communication by default are Zapier, GitLab, Buffer, to name some.
Async communication is not new, but due to globalization and software eating the world, companies are now able to leverage it for daily work.
A Guideline to Async Communication
The async communication style improves communication within companies, which boosts revenue and work effectiveness. You can incorporate it into your culture by trying to do the following:
- Keep discussions within the tools your team is already using, and not spread around email, fuzzy Slack channels. Don’t move discussions out of them to other areas or tools.
- Keep meetings to the minimum possible, as they are the culprit of synchronous communication and most of the issues it involves.
- Try to write everything into pages, and use internal documentation tools to keep the information organized, which will make it easily accessible to your team members.
- Try to keep records of meetings to be able to revisit them and also so you can reference any previously discussed ideas from a new discussion.
- Use your existing chat tool in an async way, don’t write in the style of expecting someone to reply right away. Also, do not mention people in public rooms to get their attention. Disable notifications for most of your channels will help too.
- If you make daily calls for standups or check-ins, try to also do them asynchronously with video using a tool like Standups.io that allows you to keep updates stored for future reference.
By implementing this basic guideline, you will start to see the benefits of incorporating async communication within your company. It will help improve your company culture, especially if you’re a growing company, as async discussions and over-communicating —writing a lot down— can fill many of the gaps for existing team members, and also new people coming into your growing company.