Sincrónico y no sincrónico: dos estilos de trabajo que todos los propietarios de pequeñas empresas deberían conocer

Como empresario, trabaja arduamente para agilizar los procesos así puede aprovechar al máximo cada minuto detrás de la computadora para seguir creciendo. Hablemos entonces de los estilos de trabajo.

Miembros del equipo de una empresa emergente trabajando en un estudio
Autor Por Equipo de Roll el June 27, 2022
Tiempo de lectura Lectura: 5 min.

Como empresario, trabaja arduamente para agilizar los procesos así puede aprovechar al máximo cada minuto detrás de la computadora para seguir creciendo. Hablemos entonces de los estilos de trabajo.

Finding a balance between asynchronous and synchronous work each day helps you manage your creative energy while checking tasks off on your to-do list.

Do you know the difference between the two?

What is asynchronous work?

Asynchronous, or 'async', work is a term used to describe a working style in which tasks, communication, and processes are not time-bound in a linear way.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, the world shifted. One major sector forced to evaluate its workflow was education. Everyone from college professors to kindergarten teachers had to figure out how to go remote and offer self-guided lessons for their students.

Discussions of asynchronous and synchronous approaches bubbled up and quickly migrated from schools to workplaces.

Asynchronous work relates to tasks completed on your own time. They aren't tied to a schedule followed by a group, class, or team. Instead, asynchronous work happens on your self-imposed schedule, generally, by yourself.

Many solopreneurs are familiar with this approach because it's what turned their entrepreneurial dream into a business.

The biggest benefit to this type of work is the flexibility, according to The Ohio State University. Adopting an asynchronous work style allows you to approach tasks when you're feeling focused and creative. This beats the must-be-at-my-desk-at-8 am-and-grind mentality. Instead, work happens when you're best able to think, focus, and produce.

The Harvard Business Review holds firm that remote workers -- which describes most start-ups and entrepreneurs with home offices -- should be mostly asynchronous. Why? It allows you to work around priorities and commitments, such as the need for a daily walk in nature, picking up a sick kid from school, or the morning daycare drop-off. Rigid working hours simply don't account for life needs.

A few examples of asynchronous work model include:

  • Updating project management boards
  • Access to shared documents (via cloud services, emails, etc.)
  • Using office hours scheduling apps
  • Brainstorming new marketing ideas
  • Processing payroll with Roll– the first chat-based payroll app for small businesses backed by ADP®
  • Reading and replying to email
  • Creating content (writing, video, audio) solo
  • Easier onboarding
  • Messaging via boards and social media (Slack, Trello, Asana, LinkedIn, etc.)

Challenges: Asynchronous working has its cons as well. Often linked to issues around human psychology or mental health. For successful implementation of Asynchronous working, emotional intelligence in leadership is essential.

For example, let's take a closer look at email. Your inbox is basically a front door to your business, but the open sign is always on, allowing folks to pop in at any hour. While email is by nature a task completed asynchronously, sometimes it falls into the synchronous category. (More on that in a moment.)

We add "check email" to our work calendars during a specific time block, but often still feel the pull to reply to a message just moments after we hear the ping of it landing in our inbox -- any time of day or night, this can contribute to blurred work/life boundaries and the pressure of constantly always being "on".

To reduce the common feelings of email overwhelm and always-on mentality, Psychology Today contributing writer Robyne Hanley-Dafoe Ed.D. says to think of email management as an asynchronous work task. Although it may feel like that colleague is standing over your shoulder waiting for an answer, they are not. It's simply our perception and conditioning that makes us feel like we need to reply immediately.

What is synchronous work?

When you schedule or plan tasks that involve real-time interactions at a specific time, they're considered synchronous. These work tasks are completed solo or with others.

Here are a few examples of synchronous work items:

  • Attending a meeting at 10:00 am (in-person or virtual)
  • Giving an in-person presentation at a luncheon
  • Meeting with a colleague at a set time to go over a project
  • Listening to a live webinar or participating in a scheduled work retreat
  • Engaging in a live Twitter chat
  • Having an employer-mandated Slack channel presence during work hours

This list could go on and on. The time element is the telltale sign that something falls into the synchronous work category. If you don't do the task at that time, you've missed it.

The magic of synchronous work is live interaction.

This type of collaboration may be exactly what your small business needs to build authority with partners, network with others businesses or build camaraderie among colleagues. There's no doubt about it, real-time discussions help improve your public speaking abilities, encourage timely problem solving and lead you to answers, rather than waiting on others to get back to you.

Challenges: It's obvious that technology has altered the way that we work. Small business owners that are able to have remote employees no longer need to have all their employees in one physical place to operate. Synchronous communication isn't the right fit in many remote work environments. It can lead to reactionary, careless responses because people don't make the best decisions when they have to answer on the spot and halt creativity. It also pressures individuals to focus on getting their share of time in group meetings, instead of listening to others on their team.

So, which option is best for entrepreneurs?

Adopt a bit of both working styles to manage creative energy and work goals. The fundamental difference is that synchronous work proceeds in a time-bound linear way, with all team members working the same hours and communicating in real-time about their projects and workstreams. Asynchronous work has a less linear approach and does not rely on constant communication.

Each small business owner is unique. Some like to start their day with all the synchronous meetings and events lined up on the calendar, while others want to bury their mind into more focused individual creative asynchronous work.

Small business owners juggle it all. Discovering how you work best is the key to staying productive and moving forward! Adding a mix of asynchronous and synchronous work to each day might just be the productivity hack your calendar needs.

Learn more about managing your small business and payroll responsibilities. Whether you're onboarding your first employee or partnering with 1099 contractors, this guide will help you discover how to run payroll, calculate taxes and file taxes -- with just a few taps on an app on your schedule.

Business Basics • Small Business • Small Business Payroll • Payroll
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