The Ultimate Guide To Asynchronous Standups

The Ultimate Guide To Asynchronous Standups

Have you ever experienced an asynchronous standup? 

Though not all teams will use this type of standup meeting, it’s becoming more and more common within remote and semi-remote companies. Typically, a daily standup meeting will involve all departments checking in and raising problems (or “blockers”) if needed. This setup allows the company to stay on the same page, leading to better working environments. 

While some companies still use a weekly meeting, others work in a fast-paced environment that calls for daily catch-ups. Some companies don’t even use asynchronous working, so this concept is still relatively new. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to an async standup! 

Want to know what an asynchronous standup is and how these daily standup meetings can benefit your team? Keep reading to find out more. 

What Is Asynchronous Working?

Before jumping into the nature and benefits of an async standup meeting, we’ll quickly cover asynchronous working and why companies should embrace it. 

Asynchronous work refers to companies with employees that work remotely in different locations. Unlike synchronous work, companies with asynchronous working don’t always use real-time communication due to time zone barriers. These modern methods of communication keep teams and companies in the loop without needing a conversation at the same time. 

This new way of working is more relevant than ever in 2022. Currently, 55% of businesses worldwide offer remote positions. Improving asynchronous communications is imperative to keeping companies and colleagues on the same page. 

What Is An Asynchronous Standup?

We keep using the term asynchronous standup (also referred to as an async standup), but what does this mean?

A standup meeting is a way for teams to get together daily and discuss how work is going. 

These meetings often cover questions like:

  • What are you doing today?

  • What did you complete yesterday?

  • Are you facing any blockers?

These three important questions are more efficient than weekly meetings, as employees can raise issues as and when they come up. This keeps the team up to date on any challenges, and solutions can also be created faster. 

However, it’s also important to note that a standup meeting shouldn’t last longer than 15 minutes. Information shared in this setting should be short and to the point. Otherwise, time can easily get wasted. Prepare notes before a meeting for effective communication. 

An asynchronous standup meeting differs from a typical standup meeting. Instead of being conducted simultaneously, an async standup doesn’t happen in real-time, and employees can add to the discussion at their convenience. This avoids interruptions during deep work and allows employees to work in their own time zones. 

Often, asynchronous standups happen on messaging apps, such as Teams or Slack. This creates an easy-to-use log that can be accessed at any hour of the day. Ideal for modern ways of working!

Why Do You Need A Standup Meeting?

If you’re getting used to asynchronous working, you might benefit from adding a daily standup meeting into your workday. While these meetings aren’t needed for all companies, they help most teams, especially when employees are separated by physical distance.

Before you jump in and implement daily meetings, test out weekly meetings or bi-weekly meetings so your team can get used to the format. If you need more communication, slowly work up to daily chats. You can also take the asynchronous approach and allow users to update colleagues as and when necessary. 

This communication method often takes some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches; you never know what will work best for your team!

Benefits To An Asynchronous Standup

There are endless benefits to an async meeting, but the most important ones are here! 

Easily Shared

A key aspect of remote communications is that online chats can be easily shared when it comes to remote communications. Communicating in person has its benefits, but it’s hard to note what’s been said word for word without taping the interaction.

Luckily, using apps such as Slack or Teams will leave a physical record of these meetings. This makes it easier to share news and ideas across departments, improving the company’s connections and relationships across departments. Thanks, async meetings!

Fewer Interruptions

Perhaps the key benefit of asynchronous meetings is that participants no longer need to take time out of their day to physically attend a daily standup meeting. Often, employees found that they’d have to leave a period of deep work. This interrupts their flow and lowers general productivity.

When real-time meetings are scrapped, employees can work as and when they like – leading to more efficient workdays.

Time-Saving

When there are no formal daily meetings, employees have more time to meet project deadlines. Though each meeting is approximately 15 minutes, this adds up to 75 minutes per week and a staggering 5 hours per month. With a simple chat stream, this time is saved.

Can Be Referenced Again

Similar to the first point, asynchronous meetings allow chats to be referenced again. Great ideas are no longer lost to time. They’re there in writing on the feed! This promotes better conversations and cohesive planning. Never lose sight of a goal again.

No Irrelevant Information

Finally, one key aspect employees tend to dread about daily standup meetings is listening to the work of other departments – especially when this work has no relevance to your day-to-day tasks. When working with async meetings, you can easily disregard information that you don’t need. Ideal for anyone who likes to be efficient!

The Bottom Line

Both synchronous and asynchronous work have their benefits, but as we move into remote work and work from home mandates, our communications must match our working lives. It might be time to say goodbye to in-person meetings, but the alternative of asynchronous meetings is exciting too.

What do you think of these innovative meetings? Let us know in the comments!


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