Asynchronous communication

In the presentation ‘Why Work Does Not Get Done At Work’, Jason mentioned that meetings are toxic. But why? Well, they’re toxic because they require all members to be present at the same time.

What this means is that people need to plan their thought zones for an entire day around a meeting schedule. But is this really necessary? The reality, we feel, is that we do not need to have that much synchronous communication - most of it can easily be asynchronous, or in other words, worked on in our own time.

For example, if Mary is working on a problem and wants John to review the code sometime in the next few hours (ie, not a pressing problem) she doesn’t need to interrupt John’s thought zone. He can review it for her in his own time, as long as it is done on schedule.

Zach Holman of GitHub describes their asynchronous workflow in this presentation. You can check out the slideshow of the presentation here.

This kind of asynchronous communication maximizes the thought zone time of every member on the team, thus maximizing the productivity of the organization as a whole.