Sync the Async – How to keep global team up and running during holiday season
As we are nearing the end of the year, you might have heard people commonly referring to this period of time as “holiday season”. But do you know that the winter holiday season is commonly known and practiced mostly in North America? “Holiday season” is a North American term that refers to the period of time from Thanksgiving until the New Year. This covers many of the most important holidays in American culture, when most people in the USA and Canada are likely to travel back to their home town or take time off to spend time with their family.
However, for a global team working with colleagues coming from all over the world, the holiday season might vary depending on where your teammates are coming from. For example, in Chinese New Year-celebrating countries, the holiday season can last up to 10 working days around the start of the Lunar year. Countries that celebrate Ramadan may have reduced working hours for 30 days during Ramadan and an additional 5 days off for Eid Mubarak. Different holiday times throughout the year for your team might hinder the overall collaboration and productivity.
Practice Asynchronous work for your Global Team
With the increase of working from anywhere policy and the trend of global hiring, synchronous work might be more challenging to practice than ever. Most workplaces today no longer work at the same time zone as their colleagues. Unlike synchronous work, asynchronous work involves accessing and interacting with work on a schedule that is independent of the schedules of coworkers. In an asynchronous environment, communication mostly takes place over text. Email, direct messaging (like Slack or Teams), project management tools (like Asana, Jira, Teamwork, or Trello), or collaboration tools (like G Suite) are crucial here.
Despite working in different working hours with your colleagues, asynchronous work doesn’t mean completely relying on passive communication such as text messaging. When there’s an overlap time window between your and your colleagues’ working hours, you can use this opportunity to schedule any video call and other real-time communication forms.
Building Asynchronous Culture
Asynchronous work is perfect to implement to keep the global remote office running during the long holiday season. It surely requires some adjusting before your team can fully transition into the asynchronous working. Working asynchronously can feel alone and less supported at times because your colleagues are as accessible as working synchronously. But if you’re being honest, how often do you need to contact your colleagues for something urgent that can’t wait until tomorrow or the next overlapped working hours? When properly prepared, asynchronous work can provide a more flexible working arrangement which is a huge benefit in most workplaces today.
Here are some things you should do before leaving the office for your holidays:
1. Well-documented Your Documents
Before leaving for vacation, make sure all your jobs and duties are well documented. It is important and will be very useful for your colleagues and coworkers to navigate your documents. Make sure that all processes and related documents are easily accessible by anyone on the team. By doing this, your colleagues will be able to get any information they need from you without having to interrupt your day off.
2. Keep Everything Updated
Additional to keep your documents well-documented, make sure the latest version of all documents is shared with the entire team while you are away. Ensure that every document and workload has a current status. This includes appointing a temporary person in charge (PIC) of a project when the project is still currently ongoing while you are away. In this way, your colleagues can keep up with the pace and continue working on the project while you are away.
3. Delegate Everything
By delegating before leaving, you can take comfort in knowing that everything is being handled and keep running while you are away. Covering your bases are the next important thing aside from delegating. Be sure to check with your teams to go over your deliverables to make sure of no loose ends. Even if you find any loose ends, good thing you will be able to tie them up before your vacation starts (or assign them to the assigned coworkers)
4. Brief Everyone On The Team
To ensure everything goes smoothly before you head off on vacation, a team meeting is the last thing you should do before you leave. Although it is good to have the details in writing, it is equally important to verbally confirm the delegated tasks, document location, and some current projects’ progress while you are away.
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