Our Top Picks


Discover the best EOR companies

TOP 10 PEO Companies

Find the best PEO

TOP 10 Payroll Providers

Compare the best payroll companies

Best Employee Relocation Services

Relocate employees globally with ease

Find your best

Our Methodology

Why you can trust our assessment

How does a PEO Work

Learn the benefits of using a PEO


What's the difference?


When to choose a PEO instead of an HRIS

Work Visas

How to apply for an employment visa

Outsource Recruitment

Why you should consider recruitment outsourcing

Hire Internationally

Attract the best international talent

Article roundup

  • In the Asynchronous working model (async work model), employees are not required to regularly engage with each other in realtime. 
  • The async work model comes with a range of proven benefits, including increased productivity and valued flexibility for employees.
  • With the pros of async work come some cons, which should be mitigated through some of the best practices we suggest, including  using async work tools and prioritizing work effectively. 

What is asynchronous work?

Asynchronous work (async work) is a working style or organizational approach, where work tasks can be completed independently of one another, without employees having to ‘synchronize’ together regularly in real-time. This working approach means that multiple tasks can be in progress at the same time, rather than workers needing to wait for one to finish before starting the next.

Before it became popular as a general work style, asynchronous work was popular in software engineering and has its origins in asynchronous programming. In the traditional model of programming – synchronous programming — the program runs through each line of code and performs each operation in a linear order. In an async program, a potentially long-running task can be initiated, but the program can still respond to other events while that task is running.

Async programming, common in javascript development, was found to have a range of benefits:

  • Reduced waiting time — multiple tasks could be in progress at once, saving time and allowing for better scalability
  • Better resource management — the system could allocate resources as needed, and release them where needed. 
  • Improved error handling — asynchronous programming allows for tasks to continue running even if one or more tasks encounter errors, which can help prevent cascading failures.
  • Simplified code structure — asynchronous programming allows for code structure that is easier to read, understand, and maintain by breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable units.

Positive experiences flowed through into the actual work style of developers, and then with the remote work revolution kickstarted by the pandemic, asynchronous work became an increasingly popular work mode across organizations generally: Many of the same benefits found in async programming were found to carry through to async working styles generally. 


What are the benefits of asynchronous work?

Async work comes with a range of benefits for employees and organizations where this approach is in force. The key reported advantages are:

  • Increased productivity — as team members can work on multiple tasks simultaneously, without waiting to touch base with team members, there is less downtime. One recent study on physicians showed just how much interruptions (e.g., phone calls) in the traditional synchronous work model hinder productivity
  • Enhanced flexibility — the flexibility in terms of when and where work is completed is beneficial on an organizational level (for example, where staff are based in multiple countries and timezones)
  • Reduced dependence on real-time communication — the asynchronous work model reduces the dependence on real-time communication, which can be challenging for businesses expanding internationally, or implementing remote work, due to potential time zone differences and other logistical issues.
  • Increased autonomy — team members can take ownership of their tasks and complete them independently, rather than relying on constant supervision
  • Better work-life balance — employees can complete tasks at their own pace and on their own schedule, rather than being tied to a set schedule or meeting times. 

What are the challenges of asynchronous work?

With the benefits come some potential downsides or disadvantages to async work:

  • Communication and coordination — as tasks are completed by team members independently of one another, and at different times, there can be delays or misunderstandings if expectations and progress are not clearly communicated
  • Lack of real-time feedback — it can be more difficult to get real-time feedback from remote team members, as they may not be available at the same time or may not be able to respond immediately
  • Difficulty in fostering a feeling of community —  The lack of face-to-face interactions can make it more difficult to foster a sense of cohesion among remote team members, meaning employee isolation and lack of motivation.

To overcome some of these challenges, businesses should consider some of the best practice tips that we set out below. 

Best Practices for Implementing an Async Work Model 

If you are looking to implement an async work model in your workplace, here are some best practices that we recommend you implement: 

  • Prioritize tasks effectively: As asynchronous work demands that multiple tasks and projects be in progress at the same time, it’s important to prioritize them to ensure that the most important tasks are completed first
  • Use appropriate tech tools: To facilitate effective communication among remote team members, it’s important to use appropriate async tools, such as Loom for video and Slack messaging: Regular Zoom/Skype/Teams calls are to be minimized (since they require synchronicity)
  • Don’t micromanage:  As autonomy is a key benefit to the async style, and has been shown to lead to greater productivity, it is important not to dampen this with over-management
  • Set async expectations — this might include all staff having set times where they need to check their messages, but otherwise no synchronous interruptions being allowed. This might be captured as part of a general workplace remote work policy. 
  • Foster team spirit — even though team members are working remotely, it’s important to foster team spirit and build trust among team members. This can be done through regular team-building activities, virtual social events, or other methods.

The async work model — a new model for the remote-first world?

The clear productivity advantages of the async work model — especially for companies onboarding remote or global workforces — means that it will increasingly become a part of the modern work environment. 

In introducing an async work model, however, it is important that organizations introduce policies to deal with some of the potential pitfalls. This means ensuring the company has the right tech in place, an operational async policy, and that active steps are being taken to foster work community. 


Asynchronous work means that a workforce in a company do not need to be working together at the same point-in-time — they can work on separate schedules, coming together at strategic points in time. This has been shown to lead to increased productivity and worker satisfaction.  


Async work is not appropriate for all companies, but often works well in remote or international settings where flexibility is prioritized. 

Charlotte Evans

Charlotte speaks with authority as RemotePad’s recruitment and HR tech maestro. With a background in marketing, Charlotte has worked for major brands in the industry, including leading HR software provider, FactorialHR. Originally from Manchester, UK, with a bachelor’s degree from the Manchester Metropolitan University, Charlotte currently resides in sunny Barcelona, Spain.