How to move to async
Now that we already know that async is the method of working and communicating that doesn’t require people to be online in real-time, in person, or even awake, let’s go deeper into how to actually transform your company’s communication into async-first.
Trust your employees
The first and most important thing you need to do is trust your employees. That is to say: to rely on their capacity to self-organize, be autonomous, and achieve the goals. This is the first step. If they don’t have your confidence, you won’t be able to set-up this kind of communication within your company.
Work by projects
Or, better said, divide up your projects by turning them into micro projects so that they are easier to deliver.
Set the rules
Let your team know the deadlines and the type of outcome that you expect from them about the items posted (feedback, finishing some tasks, a report, their opinions, or whatever you may need). There are plenty of things that require time, so you will discover that putting “right now” doesn’t produce the best outcomes.
Ask yourself these questions constantly
Do I need this now? Can I accomplish this project without calling a meeting? Does this need to interrupt others' workflow?” This will probably lead you to the next step:
Choose the right tools
Async-first is more than a communication style; it is a culture inside your company, a way of working in a team and respecting others. To do it properly, it is essential to choose the right tools. The essentials will include a collaborative document management system (like GDocs, Notion, or Slite), a project management tool (Trello, Todoist, Asana are some examples), and an async-first meeting tool like comeet.me. Comeet will help you integrate short video messages into your team’s Google calendar. That way you respect everyone's time and create thoughtful conversations with a human touch.
But why async?
At this point, you may still be asking yourself this question. And even though it may be focused on productivity, it is mainly a matter of inclusivity. The world has changed; people now work remotely and being available in real-time as the default way to communicate doesn’t make sense anymore. We have had enough of real-time Zooms during the pandemic. We now need to conciliate our lives and work the best way we can. Thus we need to self-organize asynchronously. Have no doubt that companies that offer the best async experiences will be viewed as the best companies to work for.