Virtual Teams

Hybrid Teams – synchronous and asynchronous working

In our last blog we looked at hybrid teams and the opportunity they offer for us to get the best of both out of extended working from home and occasional visits to the office.

Here will add another perspective for thinking about what work we should do in the office and what work we should do remotely – synchronous and asynchronous work

Asynchronous work is work that we can do individually without needing to be available at the same time and the same place as our colleagues. When someone sends us an email that we can respond to in our own time,  we have the option to edit a shared document or do our own personal work which is then sent on to someone else, these are all tasks that can be delivered asynchronously.

There is no value in doing these pieces of work collectively and we can normally achieve additional productivity by doing these individually when working from home. We should never be doing this work in the office if we have limited time there.

Synchronous work requires us to be available at the same time, if not in the same place as our colleagues. This is collaborative work and can be delivered either face to face or through virtual meetings.

  • Face to face – If we are working only partly from an office this face to face time will become scarcer and needs to be focused on things that truly require collaborative, synchronous working. People will be a lot less tolerant of investing their morning commute to attend poor quality face to face meetings on tasks they could have delivered through technology.
  • Virtual – A lot of synchronous work will continue to be carried out remotely through virtual meetings on the ability to design and run participative and engaging virtual meetings will become even more critical.

As you start to implement hybrid team working you need to have discussions with your colleagues on how you will organize and schedule work. Make sure you organise deliver the best of both through thoughtful hybrid working.

It will also be interesting to see how the role of the office changes when it’s no longer a place for people to sit and do work, but instead a place designed to encourage collaboration and relationship building

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