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When remote work becomes asynchronous work

When remote work becomes asynchronous work

The pandemic and the repeated lockdowns have shown us: remote work can work. It is necessary to provide various basics, such as technical equipment, but also to align the mindset of employees and managers to this way of working. For us, the experiences of the last 17 months have also shown how important it is to be present in the office and that there will be no full remote workplaces at basecom. Creative results and social interaction require physical proximity and cannot be replaced by video calls.

In the future we will not work exclusively in the office again. It will be a mixture of home office and office, in which we give our employees the opportunity to decide where they would like to work from based on daily requirements. Will they brainstorm for a longer period of time with the Scrum team in a secluded area where the environment, equipment and technology provide ideal support for brainstorming, or will they work quietly from home on concrete tasks in individual work steps or participate in individual virtual status meetings. The office of tomorrow must be prepared for all these requirements and desk sharing will be just one of the important building blocks for creating an ideal environment for collaborative teams.

 

What I am noticing more and more, however, is that individual ways of working are changing or need to change in order to adapt to this new collaboration. This was summed up very well in the interview between Stewart Butterfield (CEO slack) and Mike Cannon-Brookes (CEO Atlassian). Our work steps will become more and more asynchronous in the future due to different work locations and working hours. We will use tools in which we can produce results collaboratively, but above all in a time-shifted manner.

Communication will turn more into asynchronous message streams and the exchange of information, for example by telephone, will decrease significantly. This has another big advantage: when it comes to concentrated knowledge work, we at basecom often speak of working “in the tunnel”. If I, as a concentrated worker, can now complete my tasks without interruption, this will lead to significantly higher quality and efficiency. I can take deliberate breaks to look at the notifications I have received in Slack individual or group messages.

Another option to support asynchronous working methods and increase the flexibility of employees is to move away from long company-wide meetings in which almost exclusively content is presented and no dialogue takes place. The sessions of the individual speakers are recorded in advance and made available to the target group for a certain period of time. In this way, all recipients can flexibly choose the appropriate time for themselves to consume the content. At the end of the period, a significantly shortened live meeting is held in which a Q&A can take place and the team’s feedback can be addressed live.

These are just two concrete examples of how the advent of remote work will increasingly change work into an asynchronous way of working. Many more will follow and tools such as Slack, Google Workplace, Confluence, JIRA or desk.ly will support employees in their daily work.