Quick tip: Create a team agreement for async work

The benefits of doing work asynchronously are many. As Laïla, Head of Culture & Collaboration at MURAL, discussed in her Q and A yesterday, async work means less time on video calls and more time to think individually, and it allows people to work across time zones.

Synchronous work is the work that happens in the call when everyone are online together, the async work gets done between the calls. It can still be highly collaborative when everyone are working towards the same goal.

Teams know the benefits. Then they start to think about the reality of working in new and different ways.

As @lailavon pointed out creating agreements on when do we work async, how we work async, what tools we use, and what expectations we have is a critical first step.

Start by reviewing your meetings to decide what meetings are valuable to keep doing in person, and what meetings can be done async using the Async Meeting Calculator template from MURAL.

Next, use the Team Working Agreement Canvas from Scrum Inc. to define values and norms for how you work together.

What guidelines have you found important to make async work work? Share your favourite norms and values in the comments!


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] ✭✭✭
    edited February 2022

    @Emilia love both these templates.👀 Particularly the meeting calendar. I can see that being very useful to take stock and think about existing meetings.

    I really value establishing deep focus time. If someone is in focus time, avoid scheduling meetings, avoid pinging them, and let them work.

    On the flip side, if I am in focus time, I try not to ping people. Since we use slack, I try to use the "schedule for later" function. This way I don't get distracted if people reply. 🐟

  • @Amanda avoiding to ping people is a great norm to follow!

    Another one I would like to add is to share decisions in shared channels where everyone can see them. It's documented, or it didn't happen! This makes it easier for teams working async to stay aligned.