On paper asynchronous work sounds like a great idea with lots of benefits. It allows employees to work individually whenever suits them best which can improve focus, give them more autonomy, reduce stress levels, and prevent burnout. But despite these benefits, adopting an asynchronous work model is not something you can do at the drop of a hat. Without planning it out carefully and knowing how to implement it, you could very well see a drop in productivity.
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Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
A big part of the reason why asynchronous work is far more feasible now than it was in the past is because of the tools that are available. As such if you want to adopt asynchronous work without affecting productivity, you need to make sure that you have the right tools to pull it off.
In general there are a few types of tools that you’ll need:
- Communication tools that include messaging tools such as Slack, or video calling tools such as Zoom.
- Digital whiteboards such as Miro or Mural to collaborate when mapping out and visualizing ideas.
- Knowledge management tools such as Confluence, Slite, Guru, or even Google Docs that can capture, store and share important information and resources.
- Project and task management tools such as Asana, Trello or Notion that can manage task distribution, track progress, and ensure everything is moving forward.
While these tools are all essential, arguably the best software to increase productivity when implementing asynchronous work is a time tracking and employee monitoring tool like WorkExaminer. It will allow you to keep tabs on what your employees are doing, the hours that they’re working, and whether or not they’re active or idle.
The data from WorkExaminer will give you in-depth insights into your employees work patterns, behavior, and productivity trends. It can also be used directly for productivity tracking as it will calculate scores you can use to see how productive they are when working – no matter when or where.
Ways to Boost Productivity
Having the right tools is a good start, but on its own it isn’t enough. Frankly speaking there are many other ways to boost the productivity of asynchronous work that you need to consider:
1. Come up with a collaboration policy
It is important to create a clear and comprehensive collaboration policy for asynchronous work. It should cover details about communication, meetings, and how to use the tools that you make available.
2. Set realistic deadlines and schedules
When employees are working asynchronously it is more important than ever to set realistic deadlines for them and make sure the scheduling estimates are as accurate as possible. To do that you need good data to work with, which is where WorkExaminer can help. Based on the reports that WorkExaminer generates, you can see exactly how long employees spend performing various tasks. That data can then be averaged so that you can improve your estimate when setting deadlines and scheduling tasks in the future.
3. Train your employees
Before you implement asynchronous work, you should train your employees and prepare them for the new workflow and new tools that they’ll be using. Other training can help too, such as providing time management advices on how they can use WorkExaminer data to make more effective use of their time. By following these steps, your employees productivity shouldn’t suffer as you adapt an asynchronous working model. In fact as they get used to it, their productivity should increase by leaps and bounds.
All in all it should be clear by this point that asynchronous work is not something that you can implement without laying a proper foundation first. If you rush into it, you’re likely to face lots of issues that will take a long time to solve.
However if you do your homework, plan it out carefully and make sure you have all the right tools – it could be just what your business needs to gain a competitive edge.