Working asynchronously isn't that crazy!

HR/learning in organisations
21/6/2024

Just imagine. Working when you are most productive, with 100% focus and where you feel most comfortable. Welcome to the world of asynchronous working!

Just a few years ago, the flipped classroom quite a revolution in the educational world. As a student, you were no longer filled with new knowledge in the classroom, and then started working with it at home in solitude.

No, the flipped student just acquired the necessary knowledge at home, at his own pace and at a time of his own choosing. After which, the class has the place to be became, where what was learned could be put into practice with other students. There, discussions could be held and questions asked along the way.

This approach not only resulted in a more efficient use of time, but also a higher level of motivation and a more inclusive way of training. Because everyone could now prepare themselves properly at their own pace, at their favorite time and at any location, and then put what they have learned into practice.

It is now flipped studying is quite established. Not only in adult education, children often don't know better either. So why is it that we haven't started en masse yet? flipped works have been slashed? In other words: why aren't we so busy working asynchronously?

Perhaps it's because working independently of time and place is only possible with knowledge work. It is of course difficult for a car mechanic, nurse, bus driver or plumber to do the job from a distance without being in direct contact with the product, customer or colleagues. But other support staff functions could well, or probably even better, be performed asynchronously.

Asynchronous work and trust

Sometimes the reluctance to work asynchronously also lies in a lack of trust from managers. After all, management must dare to believe that the employee does indeed have the discipline to open the laptop outside the normal working hours to get started. Organisations where online or hybrid working found it difficult to gain a foothold and were rapidly abolished as soon as the lockdown was resolved are likely to go a step too far. But the good news is: also organisations can change.

In many cases, it is also simply a matter of “unknown is unloved”. Has no one ever considered that today, thanks to all our technological tools, it doesn't really matter whether you're typing a policy document in Australia or in Lutjebroek. Awkward because of the time difference? It's not that bad. If you throw documents into the Cloud, you can see exactly where your colleague left off and work smoothly on the same project together. What one person changed in the evening, the other will find in Dropbox or OneDrive the next day.

The key to the switch to working asynchronously probably lies mainly in explaining things well. That is why we would like to list a few advantages.

1. Better balance

Being able to work at the time that suits you best does wonders for your balance. Not only can you arrange practical matters (informal care, picking up children or groceries) more easily, but you can also better respond to your personal biorhythm.

Early birds start fresh before dawn; the night owl just uses the silence of a house in deep peace to write beautiful policy papers.

2. More focus

Research shows that after each disruption to your flow, you need about 7 to 15 minutes to get back into concentration.

When you work out of the sight of colleagues, you are less disturbed by the spontaneous “do you have a minute?” -moments. If you work outside the usual office hours, you are also less likely to receive notifications from Teams or your mailbox.

3. Inclusiveness

Asynchronous working encourages collaboration on a particular project or document. But at your own pace. Every participant, not only the first, but also the one who would like to weigh all the pros and cons first, gets the opportunity to contribute. And that, without meeting endlessly to meet. And when there is a meeting, everyone is well involved in the process and prepared.

4. Communication

Make sure your employees really feel part of your organisation. those internal branding Even when working asynchronously, it doesn't necessarily have to be a problem. Employees who work a lot remotely can also become excellent ambassadors for the company.

If you set up your intranet and knowledge platform smartly, it will even be easier for people to communicate asynchronously than if everyone is' just 'working in the office at the same time.

After all, you're more likely to miss a comment in between, or important news when you've just left due to an appointment or vacation, than if you can read the information at a time that suits you.

5. Employer branding

Having your own control over the daily schedule does not only do wonders for your employees' happiness at work. Facilitating asynchronous work makes you also a lot more interesting as an employer. You show that you have confidence in the ownership and the professionalism of your employees.

And, also important: you offer your employees the opportunity to go to work without being bothered by traffic jams and stress.

Do you have your eye on a good applicant who is bivouacking in Thailand? This does not have to quickly lead to problems when working asynchronously.

In short: working asynchronously has quite a few advantages from both a personal and a business point of view. Does that mean that we will be able to sell our offices en masse and everyone will be working from home or the hammock?

No, so we don't believe that. The strength of an organisation also lies in social contacts and the collegial network. Inspire each other, motivate each other, feel that you are a team. Celebrating successes on your own is ultimately a bit sad. Of course, you prefer to do this together with your colleagues, so it's best to mix working asynchronously with working in sync. Flipped working so to speak!

Do you want tips and tricks about properly introducing and setting up asynchronous working smartly? We have experience with it and are happy to share our knowledge with you. So feel free to contact us!

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