Preparing For The Future of Work with Justin Mitchell of Yac
The nature of work is changing, and the future of work is now. Over 25% of the US workforce has seen their work shift from the office to remote work. Remote work is the future of work, and this was no doubt accelerated by the pandemic and the great resignation.
While Prithwiraj Choudhury, a Harvard Business School professor and expert on remote work, predicts that in 10 years, remote work will become just work, we are tempted to ask, how about now? For the 25% of the US workforce working remotely, remote work is just "work."
Nothing could have prepared the world for 2021 when the world witnessed the Great Resignation where According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021.
The pandemic jolted everyone from their slumbers and people began reflecting on both their lives and jobs. 65% of employees say the pandemic made them rethink their priorities and; 56% say they want to contribute more to society.
When Justin Mitchell, the CEO, and Co-Founder of Yac was asked Where he sees the future of remote work in the next 5 years, he said: The biggest change is the global workforce. It’s the only reason Yac went async as a product.
As teams become more and more distributed across time zones, sync processes just fall apart. If your team has had a 9 am standing meeting every morning, that’s now 6 am for someone on the west coast. If you’ve had a mid-day catch-up every Friday, that’s now 11 pm for someone overseas. These teammates either miss out on opportunities or they are crawling out of bed and missing dinner with their families."
The disruptive change to work has forced the corporate world to grow up, learn, relearn and keep an open mind. It is imperative to do things in a new way and let the old ways go. This is what we believe is the future of remote work: Asynchronicity.
What is Asynchronous work?
Asynchronous work refers to the process of working on a team without requiring members to be online simultaneously. Individuals can maximize their productivity by working asynchronously instead of waiting for others to finish tasks. It is essential to create processes that allow employees to work autonomously, and to provide them with the trust they need to do so.
Collaborating with your teammates, deciding what to do or not do, and watching the work come alive is one of the most enjoyable parts of work.
But in hybrid and remote teams, collaboration can come with fatigue from too many meetings, or invasions of personal time with late-night Slack pings.
Most companies that work remotely are usually async. Async work, collaboration, and communication simply mean that employees work on their own time without the expectation of immediately responding to others.
Although it is understandable companies cannot be 100% asynchronous. You cannot get rid of synchronous collaborations. What you can do is prune them to a minimum. Even Yac's CEO Justin Mitchell agrees. Yac is a collaboration tool for remote teams that saves 500 startups 20 hours per week.
Mitchell when asked How often they have All hand meetings as a completely asynchronous company and advice for companies that have too many meetings and wants to give some of that time back to their employees said:
"The best advice I can give for a company with too many meetings is simply that sync meetings still have a time and place. You don’t have to get rid of all of them. We still do these all hands and there’s a ton of value in them.
It’s not an all-or-nothing type of scenario. Start weaning off meetings, replacing the pointless ones with async updates, and asking yourself before you schedule something if there’s an async component that can be done first.
A lot of times you can save 50% of a meeting’s time simply by recording an async update first that goes out to everyone ahead of the sync one."
How To Prepare For The Future Of Work
You cannot attack todays problems with yesterday's solution. Events such as the great resignation, talent shortage, the pandemic and proof of remote works efficacy have exposed work as we have it as a relic of the past.
Employees want more and are ready to hightail to where they feel valued and are treated right. 60% of all employees are ready to retrain for completely new job roles. Employers are moving not just from jobs but to new industries, Drilling Engineers are becoming Data Analysts.
How can you as an employer prepare for this new future? By embracing asynchronous work. Business leaders must reconsider how their companies are organized, how their workers work, and how they lead themselves. The good news is that they have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to start over.
Businesses can strive for work patterns that improve employee well-being and drive consumer value based on recent pandemic experiences. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the future of work:
Employers Should Adopt Asynchronous Collaboration
Preparing for the future of work means adopting an asynchronous mindset to collaborations. As opposed to requesting that employees be online, available, and responsive during set hours, companies that work asynchronously allow their employees to complete tasks and respond to colleagues when it's convenient for them and within a reasonable timeframe, such as 24 hours.
Asynchronous collaboration is when people collaborate on ideas or projects at their own pace, that is, not in real-time. By far the most popular method of asynchronous collaboration is exchanging ideas via email.
Another interesting way to collaborate asynchronously is with Yac. Mitchell was asked where he sees the future of remote work in the next five years and he had this to say; “The biggest change is the global workforce. It’s the only reason Yac went async as a product.
As teams become more and more distributed across time zones, sync processes just fall apart. If your team has had a 9 am standing meeting every morning, that’s now 6 am for someone on the west coast. If you’ve had a mid-day catch-up every Friday, that’s now 11 pm for someone overseas.
These teammates either miss out on opportunities or they are crawling out of bed and missing dinner with their families. As soon as you start hiring out of your 30-mile radius, you have to adopt a remote policy and we believe that starts with asynchronous communication.
The other side of this is how a global workforce will change pay scales, the concept of outsourcing, and HR/benefits for a global team. Holiday schedules will be different per region, pay will need to be flattened, talent will move from areas with a high cost of living. The makeup of a company will never be the same again.”
Adopt Asynchronous Communication
Asynchronous communication occurs when information can be exchanged regardless of time. The recipient does not need to respond to the message immediately, so they can do so at their convenience.
Collaborating with your teammates to launch a new product marketing campaign, collaborating on ideas, or making decisions are some of the most enjoyable parts of work.
Collaboration can be exhausting in distributed and remote teams because of too many meetings or intrusions of personal time with late-night Slack pings. Let’s not talk about the backaches from sitting through numerous meetings.
The key to solving this problem is using an asynchronous communication tool that can also aid workplace democracy like Yac for collaborations. With Yac, you can collaborate, share audios, record your screen, and ultimately cut down on synchronous communications.
Growrk asked the CEO of Yac where he got the idea for Yac and how he foresaw the audio-first messaging as an untapped area in business communication before the world went remote.
He said; "The idea stemmed from my years of experience working in remote companies. I saw managers scared their team wasn’t on the same page. The ways they were fixing this were endless meetings being scheduled.
Teammates were finding they could only get actual work done after hours and as a result, we're working 10-12 hour days. Yac started out as a simple way to just, well, talk more during the day. It wasn’t meant as a full replacement for a meeting but originally a way to communicate better throughout the day.
Audio was a very important part of this equation because of the higher bandwidth for information, the opportunity at relationship building, and the speed and efficiency of just talking. Audio wasn’t untapped, it was just scheduled.
Everyone already knew when something needed to be a call, the problem was scheduling endless meetings to get there. We wanted to build a way for you to use your voice on your time, without impacting someone else’s time.”
Mitchell believes that: “ (Companies should) start weaning off meetings, replacing the pointless ones with async updates, and asking yourself before you schedule something if there’s an async component that can be done first. A lot of times you can save 50% of a meeting’s time simply by recording an async update first that goes out to everyone ahead of the sync one.”
Now that you've learned about the future of work, you should be aware that making the switch to an asynchronous work model can be daunting. It takes time to have everything running well and to have everyone on the same page. However, the rewards which range from increased productivity to reduced wastage make it worth it.
Higher productivity and employee satisfaction benefit every firm, as they help to attract and retain top talents, get more done, and have a better time doing it. You'll need the appropriate tools and the correct mindset to succeed with asynchronous work.
You can get work from home equipment from Growrk and we can also help you with the delivery, maintenance, and retrieval of work from home equipment in over 150 countries. You can read more about how we helped Globally distributed teams in 18 countries in 2021 here. Utilizing Growrk's Laptop Management solution for distributed teams can save you over 250hrs.
Prepare for the future of work with GroWrk. We provide and manage laptops, devices, other equipment and services to remote teams in over 150 countries.