Asynchronous Collaboration Models for Remote Teams

Spike Team
By Spike Team, April 16, 2022, 7 min read
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The tools, technologies, and policies that companies use with in-person work will likely not work well for remote teams. Let’s face it, remote work is just a different world than when everyone was in the office full time. Will the world ever move away from remote work? Over time, some teams will go back to the office, but the world has figured out that we don’t have to commute an hour each way to stare at the same laptop screen that you have at home. The key for those picking the tools and technology that a remote team uses is to take a holistic look at asynchronous collaboration models for remote teams.

 

Back in the “before times,” when companies had everyone in the office, there were people in charge of employee happiness, engagement, etc. They wanted people to have fun while letting them do their best work. There were in-person meals, games, happy hours, and more. Knowledge work isn’t meant to be mundane. When people are enjoying themselves, they’ll enjoy their work more as well. The same strategies must be put into place for remote employees. Building healthy asynchronous collaboration models for remote teams requires just as much planning, effort, and execution as it did before. However, the focus will likely be less on “fun” and more on helping your team feel connected, informed, and focused.

 

 

Have Full Transparency with Information

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In a digital world with remote teams, it’s critical that information be readily available to your team wherever they work at whatever the time. Having all company policies, documentation, strategy, and more in a place where it’s easily found, searchable, and referenceable is important for your organization’s transparency.

 

When you’re transparent and open with as much information as possible, people feel engaged in the work. Instead of feeling alone and siloed in their home office, they’ll feel more a part of the organization that is working towards a single goal of driving success for their customers and their business goals.

 

Can you make every bit of information open and available to everyone? Probably not. Many internal documents related to customers, people operations, and performance reviews might need to stay private. The key is to think openly about what you can expose to the rest of the organization. Spike Notes is one of the best tools for increasing transparency with information. Managers can add rich text, documents, links, and more while managing who can edit and who can have read-only access. Once it’s been shared with the entire organization, anyone on your team can use Spike to search for whatever information they need.

 

 

Take Time to Celebrate Wins

For in-office teams, it was easy to celebrate the big wins. Teams might make an announcement over the loudspeaker of a large customer contract coming in or the word might spread during the ebb and flow of people chatting at lunch. An asynchronous model for celebrating wins needs to be developed for remote teams. Perhaps it’s a “Wins Wednesday” video check-in. Using the latest video meeting technology, connect as a large group and discuss what’s happening with your latest customer wins. Recognize when a big deal has closed, call out when a customer was about to leave but someone stepped up, or recognize key milestones on your website.

 

When people are working from home, it’s easy to focus on the things that aren’t working perfectly. The world can be hard, and it’s easy for your team to feel disconnected when alone in their home office. Taking thirty minutes a week to focus on the wins can go a long way to boost morale, increase engagement, and drive business growth.

 

 

Find Technology That Works for Your Team

A technology stack for remote teams is everything. The decisions that went into making an office work and creating happiness are irrelevant for remote teams. Did you use to worry about the plants in the office? That doesn’t matter with a remote workforce. Did you research the best office furniture to pair with windows that let in a lot of natural sunlight? It’s collecting dust when no one is at the office.

 

Everything you used to spend brainpower thinking about when it came to building a create in-office culture is unused and unneeded with remote teams. It’s a digital-first world, and your policies and models must reflect driving better collaboration models for your remote teams. The goal of your technology stack should be to allow people to work better, faster, and more efficiently. Your team should spend less time switching between apps, trying to locate information, and troubleshooting various issues with having 5+ logins.

 

Building a technology stack for the office culture is a drastically different process than building one for remote teams. Let’s dive into what technology built for a remote office world looks like:

 

 

A Single Workspace

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“One app to rule them all” is a model where you aim to collapse your various solutions into a single digital workspace. Instead of needing one app for video meetings, one for email, one for team chat, and one collaboration – look for a tool that combines all of this functionality into a single app. One of the biggest challenges that remote teams face is tool sprawl – meaning they have countless tools that overlap in some functionality while not entirely creating a cohesive ecosystem of collaboration. Driving a single digital workspace vision eliminates the confusion of wondering where files are, and how to connect with employees and removes the need to switch between apps and break your focus constantly.

 

Spike starts as just your email application, but it’s so much more. Spike is a digital workspace that creates a feed for all your work. Inside Spike’s workspace, you have:

  • Email that’s as fast as team chat with a conversational view

  • Calendar

  • Collaboration with Spike Notes

  • Video Meetings

  • Audio calls

  • Voice Message recording

  • Task Management

  • File Management

  • Group Chat

  • A super search that goes ACROSS all of your information in your organization

 

Think about the number of apps you’d need to deploy, train, and maintain to accomplish the same goal? For example, do you want to deploy an email app, a team chat app, a document management tool, video chat technology, and a search tool? It would take 5-8 apps to accomplish all the functionality that Spike brings to remote companies.

 

From an employee perspective, it creates an environment that enables them to worry about their work vs. the tools needed to get their work done. For example, instead of wondering which video app to use (Google Hangouts vs. Zoom vs Slack Video), they just one-click the video icon in their email thread and a call is started. Instead of wondering if a message should be an email or a team chat direct message, they just send it with Spike. With Spike, everything a remote employee needs to be successful is readily available.

 

 

Asynchronous Work Requires a New Way of Thinking

Remote organizations cannot think and act like in-person organizations. One of the key visions that drives success with remote organizations is an asynchronous model. We talk about asynchronous communication countless times on the Spike blog, and we’ve got a detailed guide on what drives success with asynchronous communication that we’ve made available for free.

 

If you’re just beginning your journey of creating an asynchronous culture, it might be a challenge at the beginning. In order to see success, there are three things you need to internalize in your brain as well as your entire organization.

 

One of the problems facing remote companies right now is burnout. Employees have been working hard for the past two years at home without enough balance. Employers must implement tools and promote policies that help employees work hard but then disconnect. The work will always be constant. Your to-do list is never going to be empty. You must learn how to put the laptop to sleep like you eventually left work. Even if your to-do list wasn’t empty, you had to go home sometime. Employers must encourage employees to work a maximum number of hours in a week and then stop working. This is part of an asynchronous collaboration model for a remote company. Part of the playbook must be about working asynchronously, meaning you do your work and then stop.

 

 

What’s the Best Way to Implement an Asynchronous Collaboration Program?

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As we mentioned earlier, Spike is the best tool to build an asynchronous collaboration program for your team.

If your team is struggling with:

  • Burnout

  • Inability to find company resources

  • Tool sprawl

Implementing Spike for all your asynchronous collaboration needs will streamline remote work for your entire team. You’ll have all your essential work tools inside a single application.

Ditch your:

  • Legacy email app

  • Team chat app

  • Video conferencing too

  • Document management tool

  • Clunky Calendar app

  • Task and project management app

They’re all inside of Spike. Your team will thank you. Get started for free.

Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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