10 companies that prioritize asynchronous communication

Remote work is the new normal. Asynchronous communication will become the next big trend in how we work.

What is asynchronous communication?

Asynchronous communication (async) happens ‘out of sync’, or not in real-time. Async lets employees communicate in their own time. Questions, conversations and projects are documented mostly in writing (or via async video tools).

Async provides a calmer work environment by eliminating the constant stream of meetings and instant messages. There is no pressure to communicate or respond immediately.

Building a culture of mostly async communication will give team members more freedom. You can work when you want. Outcomes, rather than output, is the key metric.

Benefits of async communication

  • Improved health. Choosing your own hours means you can optimize for sleep, exercise and time spent with loved ones.
  • Less stress. More time on deep work and less time on busy work. Zoom fatigue is real.
  • Greater efficiency. When you work async you have total control over your schedule. You quickly learn how impactful this is on your time and energy. You can run errands during off-peak hours. You choose to work when you have peak mental energy.

Which companies are communicating asynchronously?

1. RevenueCat

RevenueCat helps developers make a living doing what they love by making it easy to build, analyze, and grow in-app purchases and subscriptions on iOS, Android, and the web.

At RevenueCat team members can work at times where they can do their best work and they rely on asynchronous communication to get things done. They understand that remote work means better work life balance, and async communication is one of the key ways to achieve it.

2. Weet

Weet helps companies embrace new ways of working by providing an asynchronous video messaging tool.

Weet's team are all working remotely and are based between Europe, US and Asia. As maker's of an async video tool they practice what they preach and work asynchronously.

3. Panther

Panther helps remote startups hire anyone, anywhere, in just a click. They  handle global payroll, taxes, compliance, and benefits, so startups can focus on work that matters.

Panther's team members can work from anywhere. Asynchronous communication is a part of their day to day and they don't need to sit around a desk all day to prove they are getting things done. They can go to the gym or do a mid day walk or have productive breaks in the middle of the day. In other words they create work life balance by using asynchronous communication.

4. Tl;dv

Tl;dv helps companies record  remote meetings and tag important moments on the fly.

Tl;dv are big believers in remote work. They schedule work around life and not the other way around. They value trust and treat time zones and schedule with due respect. Their vision is to end meeting fatigue as “meetings with more than 4 people are a thing in the past”. In line with the tool they make, Tl;dv also practice what they preach and collaborate async-first.

5. Career Karma

Career Karma helps people that want to become software engineers by matching them with the right coding bootcamp and supporting them throughout their careers.

Carer Karma is a fully remote company that values asynchronous work, allowing you to work anywhere, any time. You’ll have the space you need to promote balance in your life.

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6. Flowrite

Flowrite is the #1 writing tool for effective communication. Designed for the most productive, powered by the latest advancements in AI.

Flowrite's office is in Helsinki but they happily support their team members with visas so they can stay and work at a desired location. Flowrite embraces async communication and therefore they are never required to work from 9-5. “Whatever schedule works best for you and gets the job done, works best for us”.

7. Prolific

Prolific has built a trusted platform for research on the internet.  As they are growing,  their vision is to build the most powerful and trusted platform for behavioural research.

Prolific is a remote-first company. They support people to do their best work in an environment that enables them to be their best self. Prolific lean on asynchronous processes and communication to facilitate remote working.

8. Slite

Slite gives teams one place to share ideas, collect knowledge and stay in tune across time and space.

Slite has been remote since they started 2017 and never looked back. They embrace it, and implement a written culture to make it work. Slite sees async as an opportunity to win time, have flexible schedules and take ownership of how and when they work.

9. Customer.io

Customer.io is a versatile marketing automation tool for sending relevant messages based on behaviour across web and mobile products.

Customer.io is a remote first company with people from all over the world. As a globally distributed company they value asynchronous communication and understand that turning off Slack notifications is a good thing. They  have flexible working hours and team members can choose a schedule that works best for their lives, their health, and their families.

10. MailerLite

MailerLite is an email marketing tool and website builder for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

As a remote team, they value written, async communication to make it work. They use tools like Slack, Notion, Github, 15Five and internal newsletters to keep everyone up to date. They encourage our team members to block out “do not disturb” time for deep work. Most communication is asynchronous and they communicate with intent to eliminate the need for too many questions and clarifications.

How are companies transitioning to async work?

Start with culture

Async-first teams create habits and rules for communicating that define their culture. Common traits of async-first teams include:

  • Remote-first: even if some people work form an office, communication happens as though everyone is remote.
  • Document everything: Systems, projects and questions are all documented in cloud-based tools where information can be easily searched.
  • Don't ask questions on Slack: ask all questions in a project management tool instead, allowing people to take action and respond asynchronously.    
  • Eliminate email: There should be no need for email internally, when all projects and questions are documented on project management tools.

Using the right tools

There is a growing number of tools for written documentation and projects plus async video messaging. Here are just a few:

  • Asana - Keep all the projects in your program organized and on track.
  • Loom - Record quick videos of your screen and cam.
  • Almanac - Real-time doc editor helps teams streamline async collaboration.
  • Discourse - Modern forum software for your community.
  • Friday - Your command center for remote work.
  • Yac - Async voice and video messages let you share designs, talk to your team, and reclaim your day.
  • Range - Share status updates, pull information from other tools, and connect with your teammates.
  • Notion - One tool for your whole team. Write, plan, and get organized.

Final thought

Async communication opens the door to happier, more productive work. We are in the earliest stages of adoption. As the world moves towards remote work, an async-first style of written communication will become better understood. Employees will gravitate towards the teams who provide them with calmer work environments built on async.