Monday, December 18, 2023

Running effective asynchronous (async) meetings

In the remote/asynchronous world we live in, running effective asynchronous (async) meetings is becoming a popular reality. Here's what you need to know to succeed.
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Hey, good news! In the remote era, running effective asynchronous (async) meetings is possible! On this post, let's understand how to succeed, run and participate in async meetings.

What is an async meeting?

What do you understand by "async meeting"? Yes, it's essentially a meeting that happens asynchronously, where participants engage without the need for same-time communication. Its biggest benefit is asynchronous collaboration, especially in remote or distributed work environments where team members work in different locations of the globe.

Best Practices for Async Meetings

So let's review some tips on how to run effective (and productive) async meetings.

Set Clear Objectives

First, you should define the purpose and goals of the meeting. What specific outcomes or decisions does the team want to achieve?

Choose the Right Tools

Next, make sure you utilize collaboration and communication tools designed for async meetings. Popular options include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or dedicated async meeting platforms.

TIP: Check our previous post on async work for more information.

Schedule in Advance

Announce the async meeting well in advance to allow participants to plan their time and contribute thoughtfully.

Provide Context

Share background information, documents, and relevant context before the meeting. Make sure participants have all the necessary information to contribute effectively.

Set a Deadline

Because async meetings don't end at the same time for everyone, it's important to specify a deadline for participants to provide their input or feedback. This creates a sense of urgency and helps keep the meeting on schedule.

Agenda and Structure

Create a clear agenda that outlines the topics, questions, or tasks to be addressed during the meeting. Organize the meeting into structured sections to make it easy for participants to follow and respond to specific points.

Use Clear Communication

Write clear and concise messages or prompts. Avoid overly lengthy or ambiguous messages that could lead to misunderstandings.

Encourage Participation

Before, during and after the event, make sure that everyone understands that their input is valuable. Encourage participants to contribute their ideas, suggestions, or feedback openly.

Set Expectations

As sync meetings, async meetings have a goal. Clearly communicate the expected level of participation and the timeline for responses. Be explicit about the desired outcome for each participant, or for the team.

Follow-Up and Reminders

Another good practice is to send reminders and follow-up messages to participants as the deadline approaches. Ensure that no one forgets to contribute.

Consolidate Responses

Once all responses are collected, consolidate and summarize them into a cohesive document or message. Highlight key points, decisions, and action items.

TIP: Use GenAI to summarize the information. Why not?

Document the Meeting

Keep a record of the meeting's outcomes, decisions, and action items. Share this documentation with all participants for reference.

Decision-Making Process

If the async meeting is intended for decision-making, clearly outline the decision-making process and criteria. Use a voting system or other method to reach a consensus.

Review and Iterate

After the async meeting, evaluate its effectiveness. Gather feedback from participants and make improvements for future async meetings.


But async meetings has its challenges too. Here are some details that organizations should consider.

Manage Overload

Be cautious about overloading participants with too many async meetings. Prioritize and schedule them judiciously to avoid burnout.

Assign Roles

Designate a facilitator or organizer responsible for managing the meeting and ensuring that participants stay on track.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Ensure that all participants have equal access to the meeting materials and can contribute comfortably. Consider time zones and different work schedules to accommodate global teams.

Respect Time Zones

Be mindful of time zone differences when setting deadlines and sending reminders. Use tools that display multiple time zones to avoid confusion.


Effective async meetings can enhance collaboration, allow for thoughtful contributions, and accommodate the diverse schedules and preferences of team members in remote or distributed work settings. It's important to establish clear processes and expectations to make async meetings a valuable and efficient part of your team's workflow.

About the Author

Bruno Hildenbrand      
Principal Architect, HildenCo Solutions.