Synchronous and Asynchronous Work

In the era of distributed work, cultures that seamlessly integrate synchronous and asynchronous work will end up with a huge competitive advantage. 

Here are a few ways to make that happen:

1. Interactions will end up falling into one of these buckets – synchronous (in-person/hybrid and remote) and asynchronous. Outline what interactions fit into each bucket. Ex: Standups can be asynchronous. Complex brainstorms can be in-person.

2. You can have the most impact on productivity by cutting down on meetings. Ask “a lot of why’s” before setting up or accepting a meeting invite. Most meetings should be emails or Teams/Slack messages. Start with an asynchronous option (I use Teams messages) and only set up meetings if that doesn’t work. I’ve been able to cut down on 50% of my meetings by using this mental model. 

3. The offices of the future will be less about getting work done and will behave more like community centers where employees build relationships and a sense of belonging. Be thoughtful and conscious about in-person conversations. Use in-person conversations for brainstorms, nuanced conversations and activities that foster a sense of community. 

4. Build a culture that rewards the ability to write well.

Most of all, try to use a first principles approach to culture in a distributed/hybrid world and resist the urge to go back to how things were. Work will never be what it was pre-Covid.