Asynchronous Work in 2023

business woman on airplane

I’ve been following Anne Helen Petersen for years, first on Facebook, then on Instagram, and now I’m a paid subscriber to her Culture Study newsletter. The prompts she poses to her readers about culture and work, and her responses to those replies, inspire me to think a bit differently about many timely topics. This conversation with Adrian Hon about our obsession with streaks felt particularly personal since I spent an inordinate amount of time in 2022 (and 2021, and…) thinking about: my Wordle streak, my consecutive days hitting 10,000 steps, the number of days in a row I read an actual book, even my Calm streak! (Isn’t this somehow antithetical to the purpose of the Calm app?)

Unsurprisingly, it was through the Culture Study newsletter that I learned of, a newsletter that serves as “a gathering place for people who believe in the power of async collaboration to make our work and our lives less reactive, more focused, and more joyful.” Anne Helen shared Peter Yang’s five-step process to making great decisions asynchronously.

As a visual learner, I love the examples Peter provides (complete with formatting tips), and I appreciate his recommendation to consider channel selection – and to keep everything in one place so discussions are easy to reference. Each of his five steps requires careful thought, from including the correct stakeholders and providing concise context all the way through to articulating the final decision.  

It’s clear how implementing these strategies would reduce the time teams spend in meetings, but I love that he also offers advice on running productive meetings since we know they can’t always be avoided. Screen-sharing the meeting doc and taking notes live so everyone can see the decisions and necessary next steps are such a pro move!

I look forward to doing a deeper dive into this newsletter packed with interesting insights so I can employ new asynchronous strategies next year. I’m curious – what are you looking forward to in the new year? I’d love to hear from you, whether you’re planning to incorporate these five steps into your work in 2023, or if you’re setting goals to keep your streaks alive.

Mylene Kerschner, Research and Consulting Manager