How to combine hybrid and asynchronous work to increase team productivity?

Executive Summary:

The success of a company strongly relies on the productivity of its employees. Focusing solely on tactics such as SEO and marketing won't help if workers aren't productive. To improve efficiency, companies can adopt hybrid work models that allow for both remote and in-office work, which is preferred by over 80% of employees, according to studies.

But though the hybrid work model can lead to a surge of productivity, team efficiency, and customer satisfaction, it also brings its fair share of new difficulties. Asynchronous work can help you tackle some of those challenges. 

The steps to combining both work models include the following:

  1. Establish clear goals, policies, guidelines, and rules for everyone. This includes defining remote work schedules and task management methods for working asynchronously.
  2. Set up the necessary tools, including collaboration platforms, to ensure employees can carry out their tasks effectively both at home and in the office. The Klaxoon visual platform can be used to improve team efficiency and collaboration.
  3. Offer training on digital tools and resources.
  4. Ensure open communication, as it is crucial to ensuring timely project submission in hybrid and async work models.
  5. Track results based on employees’ productivity and the quality of their work.

Everyone wants their company to succeed, and lead in all the numbers charts. But what's the key? 

Most of the time, it all comes down to your team!

You can spend eternity working on your website's SEO, your company's marketing department and advertising, and your project management. But if your employees aren't being productive, it's like multiplying fifty million tactics and strategies by zero!

So, what can you do?

Easy! Work on your team's productivity. When your employees work more efficiently there will be a sure increase in their productivity. Your company is on its way to the skies, and one thing can help you achieve all of this—a combination of hybrid work and asynchronous work.

Getting started...

Hybrid work is the dream of most employees—a chance to work from home on other days and be back at the office on some days. Studies show that over 80% of the working population mentioned that a hybrid work environment is essential, especially regarding job satisfaction.

Recall that if your employees are satisfied with their job (having a great employee experience), there's a greater chance for productive employees, team efficiency, employee collaboration and engagement, low turnover rates, and undeniable customer satisfaction.

And with the async work model, you can maximize your team's productivity, ensure every employee is on task, and guarantee your company's progress. But how? What is the asynchronous work model really about? Instead of simply defining it, let's review how it differs from the usual hybrid working model.

What are the differences between hybrid and asynchronous work?

As we dive into the three differences between the two concepts, you'll see that they are somewhat alike but also different in a few subtle ways.

Working arrangement

The hybrid working model revolves around the location of work done—in-office or out of the office. As for an async working model, it loops around the timing of work done in collaboration with other team members—simultaneously or at different times that best suit each employee's schedule.

Type of flexibility

Both models are flexible, with only one goal: fulfilling job responsibilities and meeting employee expectations. However, workers with the hybrid model have the opportunity to work in the office and remotely for a better balance. Workers in the async model don't have to be remote or hybrid because their flexibility comes from how they can organize their schedules (but they might have to go to the office all day).

Communication methods

Hybrid workers communicate through phone calls, videoconferencing calls, in-person meetings, and other similar ways. Not only does this method of communication reinforce the working environment regardless of your location, but it also requires all team members to work simultaneously and at the same pace.

When workers are working asynchronously, they don't have to be online simultaneously. Communication might be less fast paced, but it is done so that everyone can respond when they can. Platforms such as emails, chat apps, share-file collaborations, pre-recorded videos, and so on are adopted.

But as we said earlier, simply choosing to work in a hybrid environment alone will not help your company the way you want it to. Combining the two is the best option for you. But why?

Why combine hybrid and asynchronous work?

Besides boosting team productivity, which is the whole idea of this article in the first place, there are so many other things you and your team could accomplish. For instance, the async model will erase the misconception that a hybrid working environment is just a fancy word for “taking your work home”.

Only the async model can truly ascertain that your team will feel at home when they work from home, and at the same time, you'll keep them in the loop with the needed tasks at hand. But remember that it is also not as easy as it looks, and you'd still need to put some things in place, such as deadlines to prevent a slacking team, a few in-person (or online) meetings to maintain team efficiency and collaboration, and many more.

How do I combine the two?

It's about time. So now that you know what the terms are, why you need it, and what it can do for you and your team members, let's dive into how you can combine both models powerfully without any bumps.

Step I: Set clear goals, policies, guidelines, and rules so everyone is on the same page

You could ask your manager to delegate this to the other team members or pass it around yourself. Nonetheless, it must be done. You can either establish a clear schedule on when to go to the office, or you can let it be more flexible with a set number of home office days. 

You must also develop clear goals for every team member or group so that everyone knows what they are doing and when it should be submitted. Remember to factor in your team's dynamics and individual preferences so that you can optimize team efficiency.

Let everyone know what communication and task management methods and platforms will be adopted. Ensure that among these tools, there's one for team collaboration, project tracking, and communication.

Step II: Set up the tools you'll need to get everyone started

It's not enough to tell your employees about these tools and platforms; you must set them up. Also, provide your employees access to these tools—especially the ones needed for asynchronous work from home, another workplace, or the office. These platforms should be like a collaborative platform, allowing all team members to edit, customize, and make changes when necessary. An excellent example of this tool is the Klaxoon platform for team efficiency and collaboration.

Step III: Offer training and support to get everyone on board and ready to run

Only some people know how to work with digital collaboration tools; you should not assume that everyone does. The best thing is offering short but comprehensive training about using these tools to manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks, and support asynchronous work. Also, show your employees the resources and support they need to create a conducive and productive remote work environment.

Step IV: Take off with a few things in mind

Preparation is over, and you can kick-start the journey of the hybrid and async work model. However, there are a few things you must always continue to do if you want to maximize the benefits of the collaboration.

  1. Encourage your employees and team members to communicate openly at all times so that projects can be submitted on time. The communication is also so that one employee or team does not delay another unnecessarily. You can ensure everyone is aware of each other's schedules and time zones by openly communicating them on collaborative communication platforms.
  2. Set a deadline for everything, including projects, responses, etc. That way, no employee leaves a message unread for days because of 'scheduling.'
  3. Schedule team gatherings, workshops, team-building activities, or social events so that everyone is used to work and teamwork, team bonding, and overall team efficiency.
  4. There might be unforeseen circumstances that come up along the way. In such a case, be understanding and remember that you can always compromise. Yes, even prominent executives compromise while working asynchronously in a hybrid environment.

Step V: Evaluate the performance based on the outputs

How else can you know if a working model is great for you? You'd have to track and compare your results with your past results. However, your method of tracking will be different. Instead of focusing on the number of hours worked or the time spent in the office, assess your employees based on their productivity and the quality of their work. Don't give up if you’re not satisfied with the output you're getting. Take pointers from some successful case studies and try again, better informed.

Three concrete situations where hybrid working has been successfully combined with asynchronous working to reach higher team efficiency

Several company executives in leadership positions have adopted hybrid and asynchronous work models. But so that you know of this fact, we bring you three real situations from different fields where these executives adopted the combination to boost their team's efficiency and productivity.

Case study I: Valérie Desre-Follet, the Director of Medical Operations at Vifor France, used the combination in the pharmaceutical industry

Valérie Desre-Follet leads a team of medical referents at CSL Vifor and works with international healthcare professionals in cardiology, nephrology, and anesthesia. She organizes medical events to unite professionals across France, using the Klaxoon visual platform for effective team engagement. To ensure the involvement of all attendees, she incorporated the Klaxoon visual platform to promote the engagement of event participants and encourage conversations among healthcare professionals.

Case study II: Lloyd Sese, a Continuous Improvement Director at Xylem, led a 5-day continuous improvement training program with the combination

Lloyd Sese works for a prominent water technology company in agricultural and industrial settings, commercial, residential, and public utilities, operating in more than 100 countries. He is responsible for designing learning opportunities, training courses, and workshops for the employees of Xylem. By choosing the Klaxoon platform to train four times more people by facilitating the combination work environment, he spent less time traveling and more time getting productive.

Case study III: Sébastien Morin, a physical trainer, has found the future of personal training in the combo

As a physical trainer for professional basketball players and the founder of a coaching company called Band of Strivers, Sébastien Morin has extensive experience working with athletes in the NBA, Euroleague, and the Tunisian national team. Despite being in touch with over 25 athletes from afar, Morin understands the importance of giving players the personal space to invest in and benefit from training sessions. To achieve this, he has implemented a combination that has not only improved player engagement and performance but has also reduced the cost of coaching.

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