Asynchronous Work

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Darryn King
May 3, 2022

By its very nature, remote, async-first work eliminates barriers.

It allows an organization to recruit talent across timezones and from all kinds of backgrounds. It enables a level of flexibility that is more accommodating of those with caregiving duties. And the less office-centric way of working is more hospitable for different personality and brain types, while also rendering things like age, race, and gender less visible (though structural inequities still exist in distributed work).

A diverse, inclusive culture leads to higher employee satisfaction, improved overall team productivity, and better decision-making. But a real, concerted effort has to be made to create an inclusive work environment, and to truly acknowledge and support the experiences and needs of the individuals on your team.

Every policy and process of your org must be devised with DEI principles firmly in mind. Additionally, async organizations should make every effort to adhere to these key DEI practices.

  • Recruit and hire a diverse workforce, specifically from historically marginalized racial, ethnic, (dis)ability-based, and gender-based groups.
  • Design programs, policies, and activities that make each employee feel heard, seen, appreciated, and supported. This might encompass everything from acknowledging religious and cultural holidays to empowering team members to visibly share their pronouns.
  • Optimize work processes for inclusivity. For example, do your regularly scheduled meetings reflect a timezone bias?
  • Create a transparent, equitable compensation plan that applies to all employees across geographies.
  • Define spaces where team members can talk freely about broader issues happening outside of work.
  • Respond swiftly to accusations of bias, harassment, and discrimination.

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