2. December 2022

4 types of work modes and their collaboration style

In this post pandemic world there are 4 different ways in which teams are set up. This article from microsoft does an amazing job at describing these 4 types of working modes of teams. Here is an infographic from the article that summarizes it:

The 4 types are:

  1. Synchronous together
  2. Synchronous apart
  3. Asynchronous together
  4. Asynchronous apart

In our post from last week, we briefly described how culture and processes in your company play a huge role in unlocking the full potential of asynchronous collaboration. This week’s post is dedicated towards the 4 modes of working for teams and what you should do (in terms of culture and processes) to make effective async collaboration a reality for your team.

Synchronous together

When teams are at the same place (in an office) and all members work at the same time, it's almost a mandate to have all discussions in person. This results in a lot of time wasted, if not for every one then for some members of the team at least. Clear guidelines for meetings involving more than 2 people are of utmost importance in this work mode. Discussions involving information gathering should be done asynchronously, and in person meetings should be encouraged for critical decision taking.

Synchronous apart (remote)

This work mode involves team members being located at different locations (working from home for example) but working at the same time. Discussions in this work mode are often done in sync over video calls, this results in unnecessary fatigue for some individuals and leads to productivity being hampered. It's important to prioritize deep work over long in sync discussions. It's very important for team members to have empathy towards each other’s work and family setup, and people should be encouraged to speak up about their preferences.

Asynchronous together

This type of work mode happens when everyone works from the same place, but are working at different times. People have to be mindful of the limited time that the team has overlapping with each other, and in sync meetings should be encouraged for team building and socializing. Individuals should set meeting times aside and teams should be encouraged to schedule meetings only when there is an overlap with every member.

Asynchronous apart (async)

This is by far the trickiest setup of teams because in sync meetings may not be possible at all with all members present. Teams should make sure that every member stays informed about the ongoings of the team, and discussions and decisions are accessible to every member without needing in sync meetings. People have to be mindful here about being inclusive towards every member of their team. If a team succeeds in implementing an async first work mode though, everyone gains huge amounts of freedom in choosing when and where to work, which is a vision worth working towards.

When it comes to implementing a culture of async collaboration together with the right processes to live this culture, teams need the right tools. Imaranda was created with the vision of making teams stronger than ever by providing a common surface for their discussions, no matter which work mode they operate in.

If you are interested in knowing more about how Imaranda can make your teams stronger, follow us on LinkedIn and just drop a mail on info@imaranda.com.