How to work asynchronously

The term ‘asynchronous’ is confusing. And when you add in the word ‘work’ – eyes glaze over.

In many ways – ‘working async’ is jargon from the remote work world. But ironically, even when people are in the same city, it’s still best to work asynchronously.

What – why?

Asynchronous maximizes deep work

The goal of asynchronous isn’t to make ‘remote work’ better. The goal is to maximize efficiency and deep work.

Recently, a professor from Georgetown University named Cal Newport wrote a great book called Deep Work.

The key message of the book was simple but profound. To solve any cognitively difficult problem, you have to spend long stretches of uninterrupted time thinking about the problem. He outlined a ‘law of productivity’:

Law of Productivity = Time Spent x Intensity of Work 

(Where work is defined as ‘uninterrupted work’ at full concentration)

Unfortunately – many of the typical synchronous work models don’t facilitate deep work. Individuals are constantly interrupted by meetings, brainstorm sessions that are hours long but only produce 5 mins of good work, constant IMs, constant emails, etc etc.

And as a result, the typical worker is not solving cognitively difficult problems – they are simply ‘busy’.

What is asynchronous work? defines asynchronous as ‘having each operation start only after the preceding operation is complete’.

With this definition – people commonly assume that team members are on their own islands and never meet or talk to eachother. This is definitely not the case.

How async really works is collaborative and parallel. The key, however, is that the team members work independently prior to engaging others. And this engagement is often through the work deliverable instead of a live meeting or discussion.

Often times – a team member will spend dedicated time (deep work) coming up with deep insights on a problem. They then capture those insights into a sharable deliverable that is handed off to other teammates to add their insights in parallel. This sequence enables all parties to contribute to the final product.

Collaboration still occurs – but team members contribute on their own time. Then, after everyone has contributed, a normal synchronous discussion may occur to finalize or make key decisions.

It’s as simple as that.

Here are 3 quick examples:

Example 1: Defining a product feature

Product owner spends 3 hours to write the detailed product spec on a Google Doc. The product owner then sends it out to rest of global team for feedback.

Everyone comments directly on document and the product owner incorporates the feedback. Then a meeting is held to make key decisions on the product spec and final version of document is sent out to all stakeholders.

Example 2: Metrics show decrease in sales win rate of quality leads

VP of Marketing spends 2 hours analyzing all of this quarter’s lost leads and SFDC notes. The VP of Marketing writes up a Deep Dive document with analysis, root cause and proposed fix. She posts the link in Confluence.

All of the SDRs/AEs review data and comment on their lost leads and rationale. They also comment on the suggested improvements and next steps to fix. The SVP of Sales & Marketing calls a 1 hour meeting with key Sales/Marketing execs to approve key decisions/changes. The VP of Marketing sends out final document and records 3 min video with key new actions.

Example 3: Communication of monthly goals by VP of Support to team

VP of Support writes monthly goals for the org into Confluence. The VP of Support records a 3 min video and posts onto the Microsoft Teams announcement channel. Support members read and comment in Teams.

What tools should I use to work async?

There are a lot of tools claiming that their software is the key to async work. Ignore them. You don’t need anything beyond what you likely already use today.

Mastering async is less about the tools and more about how you modify your internal processes to get work done.

The biggest internal process change is getting out of the mindset of ‘let’s have a meeting to discuss.’ Never do this. These unstructured meetings lack the deep work insights needed to make good decisions. Always require deep work prior to any meeting – much like Amazon’s 6 page paper format (LINK). You’ll be surprised at how many meetings are no longer needed when you have long-form written documents that can be commented on instead.

Below are some of ways we use common productivity tools to manage our async organization.

Knowledge management & goals: Confluence

Rationale: Organizations need to continually learn & improve. To do so – institutional knowledge must be captured in 1 location and continually iterated. We’ve tried using various Google Docs, Word Docs and others – but we found these get disorganized quickly and disappear as employees leave.

Instead, we use Confluence as our ‘brain’. We have a common data structure across every team to ensure we capture and disseminate the knowledge. Teams contribute to Confluence on a daily basis.

How to use for async: Confluence is our most important tool to collaborate asynchronously. All employees have read/write access but the input is structured and consistent. It includes the following:

  1. Company Handbook – overall documentation of values, processes, horizontal trainings, etc
  2. Playbooks – Company-wide & divisional playbooks that are continually iterated as we learn
  3. Goals – Annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals by company/division/manager/individual. All goals are transparent and visible to all employees. Goals are reviewed by the manager/individual 2x a week via check-in-chats.
    • Note: Many companies use specific goal tracking software – but we use Confluence to ensure that data is in 1 spot. Some divisions may use their own task manager (JIRA,, Zendesk) – but the annual/quarterly/monthly/weekly goals themselves are in Confluence.
  4. Key insights & deep dives – key learnings from successes or failures – with appropriate long-form documentation on causes and fixes
  5. Org charts & hiring pipelines – 1 location for all org charts, contact info, structure of teams, key roles & hiring pipeline content/tests associated
  6. Onboarding & training – location for all onboarding & training information for both new hires & current team members
  7. Metrics – visible ‘scoreboard’ for all team members & divisions based on lead metrics

Cloud productivity apps: Microsoft 365 or GSuite

Rationale: Both Microsoft 365 and GSuite are our cloud productivity apps to get work done. We largely don’t care which provider – as long as the documents themselves can be worked on by various employees asynchronously and are the cloud versions (no local versions emailed).

How to use for async: All employees write long form documents (specs, strategy docs, deep dives, RCA, etc), develop online spreadsheets, online versions of presentations, etc. These documents are the core of ‘deep work’ and the outputs are then shared with various team members for review/comments. We use comments heavily – and expect our employees to offer deep insights and feedback.

The transition to writing long-form docs is a key behavior change that managers need to drive down the organization. But it’s a powerful management tool that demonstrates the quality of the employee’s insights.

Additionally – all meetings must have a detailed document that has been shared to attendees prior to the synchronous discussion.

Important docs are then captured into Confluence.

Business Messaging: Microsoft Teams or Slack

Rationale: Both Microsoft Teams and Slack have similar functionality. We prefer Teams over Slack due to the integrated cloud storage folder structure & integrated Teams video service. But more important than the tool selection is the usage of chat and channel posts. We are very intentional about our use of these tools – as well as shutting them down during deep work time.

We rely more heavily on Channel posts than IM chats. Posts enable async feedback that is nested under the post and persistent. Chats are often ‘noisy’ and quickly disappear due to the volume (and only relevant to those currently online). But in all scenarios – both posts and chat are our primary form of day-to-day communication (not email – more detail below).

How to use for async:

  1. Chat – usage should be minimized and used primarily in a 1:1 or 1:2 mode for quick questions. Due to the fact that chats do not maintain or spread knowledge well – these quick questions are intended to be day-to-day dialogue to run the business vs important insights. Any important insights should be transferred into Confluence. We also do not have the expectation that chats are immediate – since members of the team are working in various timezones.
  2. Channel posts – posts within channels are a bit more persistent and should be used for most team communications. Team members comment under posts and provide feedback. We structure our channels within the companies and the divisions into the following:
    1. General – this is the channel where most posts occur within the company/team
    2. Announcements – this channel is for company-wide or team-wide announcements
    3. Fun – this channel is for random fun facts, pictures or other cultural building posts
    4. Recognition – this channel is to recognize peers/subordinates/others
    5. Training – this channel is for links to training articles, key insights (that are also posted in Confluence), etc
    6. Project specific – when necessary – we create project specific channels for selected audiences

Email: Outlook or GMail

Rationale: Similar to the Teams vs Slack debate – Microsoft email vs Gmail have similar functionality. We largely don’t care which tool is used – but we are very intentional about our use of email – and try to minimize as much as possible.

Email is a very poor medium of internal communication. Going through emails is time consuming, non-persistent in their knowledge capture and poorly structured for collaboration (reply-all is terrible). Insights from emails are rarely captured into a location that can be referenced and iterated on later. As a result – we discourage ANY internal emails. Emails are only to be used for external communication (customers/partners/etc).

How to use for async:

  1. ONLY use email for external communication to customers/partners/others
  2. Forwarding any external communication to internal audience (but discussion occurs in chat/channels/docs)

Recorded video: Loom, CleanShot, Microsoft Stream

Rationale: If there is 1 tool that you may not use today – it’s a cloud video recording/sharing app. Quick 2-3 mins videos are essential tools for async management. Though long form written documents provide more insight – quick recorded videos can accelerate understanding. Using a recording app like Loom, CleanShot or Microsoft Steam is a simple way to record and send. These videos must never be longer than 3 mins and the recording person should never take more than 2 tries. Here is a LINK with more information on how to record 3 min async videos.

How to use for async:

  1. Check-in-chats for goals updates & blockers discussion
  2. Company announcements
  3. Misc project specific recordings to accelerate understanding
  4. Fun culture videos if traveling to customer, etc.


Working & managing asynchronously is a skill and must be practiced. It’s easy to revert back to synchronous – believing that is faster/better. But it’s not. Synchronous simply adds low value ‘shallow busy work’ that makes things appear as if they are faster. Deep insights come from the entire organization mastering deep asynchronous work.

For more articles on how to manage asynchronously:

How to use 3 min videos to better manage your remote team

Why managers hate remote work

Async communication blog by Doist

Audio quality comparison: AirPods vs embedded mic vs USB mic

Audio quality

“Sorry – John – I can’t hear you. Can you get closer to the mic? Nope – that didn’t fix it. Can you switch to a different microphone?”

Don’t be John.

Audio quality, believe it or not, is MORE important than video quality.

Think about it like this. If video quality is bad – the meeting continues. If the audio drops or is intermittent – the meeting ends.

3 common microphones used in video calls are Apple AirPods, microphones embedded in laptops (or desktops) and external USB microphones. Here is a quick video where you can hear the differences.

Quality ranking:

  1. MOVO USB Conference mic: LINK
  2. Embedded mic
  3. Apple AirPods


Audio quality is more important than video. So despite the numerous articles out there focusing on video quality – ensure your audio setup is great first.

USB microphones are a cheap and easy way to create podcast-like audio. Definitely recommend.

5 steps for great video meetings while traveling

Imagine the day. Travel has opened back up and you’re dusting off that passport. Dormant airline miles are being used. You’re now loving your company’s newly minted remote work policy. You can’t wait to work from exotic locations around the world.

You’ve also mastered a great Zoom setup at home. But can you reproduce it in a hotel?

The answer is yes.

But it takes a bit of education & planning.

Here are 5 steps for great video meetings while traveling:

Step 1: Choose a ‘video optimized’ location

It goes without saying – but most rooms are setup for activities to occur within the room. Not for people on the other end of a video conference. So determining where to setup your temporary remote office is the first major decision you have to make.

The good news is that hotel rooms often have desks in them. But having your unmade bed in the video behind you isn’t professional. And if you’re like me – a couple of screaming kids in the background doesn’t help either.

I recommend asking your hotel if they have a Board room. Many hotels will often let you use it for free if it’s not in use.

Below is a Board room at a hotel I stayed at during spring break. The room is nice – but picking the right location within the room is key.

The natural inclination is to pick a chair in the middle of the table, place your laptop down and be on your way. But that would be a poor choice and not leverage the assets of the room.

Board room at Waldorf Hotel in Park City, UT

Another common mistake is to want the ‘pretty scene outside’ as the background and sit with the window behind you. As you can see from the picture below – the light coming from the window is too bright and your face will be dark/not visible in the camera.

Window is too bright for most cameras to focus on your face. Notice how dark the chair is.

Though counterintuitive – the best decision for this room is to pull the buffet table in front of the window and use that as your workspace. The natural light then shines on your face – and you get a great view during your meetings.

Pulling the buffet table in front of window was the optimized video configuration

Step 2: Arrange the right camera orientation

Nothing makes your video image look worse than the wrong camera angle.

Look at the picture below. On the left – you have a professional video setup (newscaster) and on the right, you have a guest with an amateur video conferencing setup.

Good Video Angle vs Bad Video Angle
Left image is the professional newscaster, Right image is the amateur

Though you’re unlikely to find a newsroom setup while you travel – you can easily recreate something close. The key is to ensure the camera on your laptop is at eye level and you sit far enough back to get most of your torso in the image. Here is a blog that dives into details about setting up the right camera orientation (How a stack of books can make your video conferencing 10x better).

To get your camera at eye level, you’ll often need to put the laptop on a stack of books or something else to raise it. For my hotel Board room above – I got lucky in that the buffet table was 7 inches taller than the Board room table. This brought the camera to near eye level (and a small adjustment of the chair height did the rest).

Top image: Taller buffet table, Bottom Image: Shorter Board room table

Step 3: Add depth to the background

Many people use virtual backgrounds nowadays (most poorly – but that’s a topic for another day). If you look closely at those images – you’ll notice that they make you appear as if you’re sitting in a large room. This adds ‘depth’ to the background to make it more interesting.

In the hotel room above – I moved the chair so that I was sitting parallel to the long side of the board room table. This made the table directly behind me and created the balanced ‘depth’ in my background.

See the picture below for what it looks like on video (and my head covered the ugly door). Ironically – folks on my Zoom calls thought it was a fake background. Success.

View of background during video meeting

Step 4: Use a noise-cancelling microphone

Unlike doing video meetings at home – it’s hard to predict what random noises will come from the hotel hallway. And playing the mute/unmute game never works well.

So instead – use a noise-cancelling software like Krisp. There are a few software providers out there and they all work great to eliminate unwanted background noise while isolating your voice. I’ve even taken video meetings from noisy hotel lobbies – and participants in the video meeting couldn’t tell the difference.

Another benefit of using Krisp is that it removes the ‘large room’ echo. For big hotel rooms like the one above – this comes in handy.

Step 5: Bring a USB microphone

People often use AirPods or other bluetooth headsets with laptops. But the microphone audio quality of most of them are terrible (sorry Apple). For truly ‘podcast’ audio quality during meetings – I recommend a USB directional microphone for your laptop.

I use the Movo 1000 since it’s slim and fits into my laptop bag easily. It’s also USB powered so it doesn’t require a separate power cord to lose. And at $58 on Amazon – it’s an inexpensive way to have perfect audio.


It’s unclear exactly when travel will pickup again. But it is clear that a ton of folks will be working from random destinations when it does happen. And if you follow these simple 5 steps – you can work from any hotel room and still maintain a professional video setup.

Safe travels.

And if you’re looking for more advanced lessons – see this article.

If you have any questions – please feel free to DM me on Twitter at @andytryba.

Why managers hate remote work

It’s true – most managers hate remote work. 

Yes, they trust their employees.

Yes, they want a culture of flexibility & openness.

Yes, they believe that results matter more than hours logged.

But no – they still hate remote work.


It’s not that managers don’t like the theory of remote work.

Who doesn’t want to believe that everyone is more productive in their pajamas, banging away at home in an asynchronous manner, only being interrupted from their deep work by their Amazon delivery person? 

It’s just that it’s not a world most managers live in today. 

Most managers are not trying to solve the problem – ‘how I can get John to work more efficiently’.

They’re trying to solve the problem – ‘how I can get John, Kevin, and Sara to all collaborate together to immediately solve this urgent customer issue’.

Remote work makes this more difficult. 

Particularly if the company isn’t a remote-first culture and has always relied on ‘in-person collaboration’. Most Fortune 500 companies are this way today – and many have recently spent MILLIONS to redesign their offices to the ‘open office’ concept to promote more impromptu collaboration.

So what should these managers that were forced to quickly go remote work do?

One easy solution is for managers to set up a virtual office like Sococo.

A virtual office is basically a pseudomorphic depiction of their physical office. It looks just like their physical office – but it’s online instead. Simple as that – no more, no less.

The manager can set up the virtual floor to have individual offices, cubes, meeting rooms, kitchen areas – or whatever else they want to recreate in the space.

The most important part for managers, however, is that their entire team is there and available.

When each team member starts work in the morning – they are automatically placed into their office. The manager can ‘see’ her team, go have impromptu chats, see the various team members collaborating, call a meeting with everyone, etc, etc. 

Just like a physical office – simply online instead.

Sometimes – just simplifying and getting the team back to par is a decent first step…

If you have any questions – please feel free to contact me at @andytryba.

5 Advanced Video Conferencing Tips

When people hear you’re a ‘remote worker’ – they automatically assume you’re working in some elevator-music-filled coffee shop or sitting around the house in your pajamas taking conference calls. They also, unfortunately, think you’re less professional (which obviously isn’t true). But if we want to truly make remote work mainstream – we need to change these perceptions and up our ‘remote work’ game. We need to start with how they ‘see’ you. In a remote worker world – that is via video conferencing. Here are 5 ‘advanced’ tips on how to improve your video conferencing professionalism.

Note – I’m skipping the ‘basic’ video conferencing stuff. Yes – have enough bandwidth to do great HD video. Yes – audio quality matters. Yes – use Zoom or some other provider. No – don’t use your phone as the endpoint. No – don’t have your cats jumping on your lap. There are plenty of blogs out there with basic tips – this blog is for the advanced class.

Advanced Tip 1: Camera orientation

First – it’s important to discuss the end state of what you’re trying to accomplish – a video conference that feels super professional and feels as close to an ‘in-person’ meeting as you can. To do this – the #1 consideration is the orientation of the camera.

I do video calls with 50-300 remote workers a week – and I can tell you that it’s in the single digits on how many of them get the orientation right.

The key to a correct orientation is the camera angle is parallel to your eyes. When the camera is ‘straight on’ – you look like you would if you were meeting in-person. Angles are everything here – and if you’re off by even a little bit – you lose the feeling of in-person.

Take a look at the images below – and you can see the huge difference between the right angle (first image) and wrong angles (all others)…

The right angle
Wrong angles

Advanced Tip 2: Laptop camera

Note the middle ‘wrong’ image above – this is a typical ‘laptop’ camera angle. What often occurs (since the camera on the top of the angled screen) – is that you get the ‘up the nose’ angle. You lose professionalism – and it doesn’t matter who you are – nobody looks good from this angle.

To use your laptop effectively for video conferencing – you have to eliminate the angle of your laptop screen and have it positioned at 90% instead. But for the camera to then not point at your neck – you need to raise it by putting 5-6 books under it. This puts the camera at eye level and brings your orientation back to the right position.

The only problem now is that you’re actually too close to the camera – and you look huge on camera to the other side. So to solve that – you’ll want to move your chair about 2 feet away from the desk or table you put your laptop on. This will feel a bit weird at first – but it’s the right distance away for the correct amount of torso to be seen in the video and for you to look closer to the ‘correct’ image above.

Advanced Tip 3: Background

Another big mistake that I see remote workers make is not paying attention to what’s behind you in the video conference. It’s hard to take you seriously when I see your Luke Skywalker bedsheets in the background.

The ideal background is a blank or wallpapered wall (like you see in my image above) or a professional area such as a neat bookshelf or lamp. You should basically ask yourself – if I were closing a $1M deal – would the person believe I’m in a corporate office? If yes – you’ve got a good background.

There are also apps that have built-in background blur or green screen. I find those largely distracting and don’t often work well (particularly around the edges of people). I wouldn’t recommend using that option to hide your background.

One trick that I’ve used in the past is to ‘make’ a professional background using a photography setup. You can pick up a stand kit on Amazon for under $40 and a variety of different backdrops for only $10-$15. So for ~$50 – you can have a truly professional background – that’s super easy to put up and down – and you’ll fool everyone that you’re not in an office. So if you’re stuck with your Luke sheets and have no other options – get this setup.

Advanced Tip 4: Noise-canceling

There is nothing more annoying than tons of background noise from a participant in a video call. I’ve heard it all – from the noises of being outside to dogs barking to children crying to the flushing of toilets (this happens too often actually). I know there is a mute button – definitely use it – but also do us all a favor by getting a noise-canceling microphone.

Noise-canceling microphones are different than noise-canceling headphones. Noise-canceling headphones are to block out external noise for you (the listener). These are also great for video conferencing (such as my favorite – the Jabra Evolv 75e) – but they don’t do anything for the microphone (for us on the other side of your line).

Noise-canceling microphones, on the other hand, actively cancel out noise for the receiving side. There are many hardware mics that do this – and I highly recommend them. But the latest innovation is software microphone noise canceling. I’ve been super impressed with the software guys. For $3/m – they have an amazing product that all remote workers should use to eliminate background noise. One of my favorite products of all time.

Try Krisp

Advanced Tip 5: HD Option in Settings

I’m not sure how I discovered this option – nor why it’s not ‘on’ by default – but there is a setting in Zoom (and other video providers) to turn HD on. I’m assuming they want to either conserve your bandwidth or reduce their compute requirements – but who in their right mind wants to do SD video? Have you tried going back and watching a non-HD TV? Can’t do it.

The setting in Zoom is under Preferences -> Settings -> Video -> Enable HD. Turn it on…

Okay – enough tips for now – but I’m excited for the day that everyone follows all 5 of these. And if you have more – please let me know and happy to pass them on…

What to look for in a remote job?

The audio version of the What is an Authentic Remote job? blog post

What the heck is ‘remote work’? Is a job that lets you work from home on Fridays ‘remote work’? Is a freelancer building a website for a client as supplemental income ‘remote work’? Is your designer working in Romania doing ‘remote work’? Unfortunately – the answer is ‘yes’ to all of these. How confusing… We need a better categorization of ‘remote jobs’.

Categories of remote jobs

Not all remote jobs are created equal. To break down the generic term of ‘remote job’ – let’s define 3 classes of remote jobs to get on the same page:

  1. ‘Work from home’ remote jobs: These jobs are pretending to be ‘remote’ – but really they are perks of an onsite job. This is ‘work from home Fridays’ or ‘satellite offices’ or companies that have a policy that simply lets folks work from home on occasion – but it’s expected that they are in the office for the majority of their working career. Companies tend to be trendy and offer this type of flexibility – but in reality – it’s not truly a part of their culture and secretly the managers hate people that work from home too often (they assume you’re on the golf course). This is not the future of remote work.
  2. Freelancer remote jobs: These are 100% remote jobs – but they are freelancers and other ‘on-demand’ roles. These positions are typically considered part of the ‘gig-economy’ and suffer from the friction of a marketplace. In a marketplace, you typically have to bid on jobs, which – on a global basis – tends to depress the price/hour (yes – that person in Vietnam is willing to work less than you are – and be happy with it). The bid/ask system also creates wild fluctuations in your income, has uncertainty and is project-by-project vs a long-term career. The projects also tend to be tactical and low skill roles. This is also not the future of remote work – but as Upwork has proven – there are a lot of people willing to work nights/weekends to supplement their income.
  3. Authentic remote jobs: This is the future of remote work – 100% remote, full-time / 40 hr/w roles, transparent wage rate, career/growth-oriented, all workers use both remote communication & connection tools, goals/metrics are clear, tasks are able to be completed asynchronously and the company has a remote culture. These are the Rolls Royce of all remote jobs – and what we all aspire to get. These roles will continue to grow exponentially and will have a massive impact on the global economy.

Diving into the details of Authentic remote jobs

100% remote

The true remote job has no borders. This isn’t ‘can be anywhere – as long as it’s on the East Coast of the US’. Real remote jobs are global. Let me repeat – they are GLOBAL. And they are this way to find the best person in the WORLD for the position – not the best person in your zip code.

Full time, 40 hours/week

Authentic remote jobs are not part-time nor on a bid/ask marketplace system. I’ve never seen a critical position in a company or a key player be ‘transactional’ and only show up part of the time. Additionally – the best in the world already have full-time roles – and they’re looking to put their entire brain/efforts into the next challenge.

Transparent wage rate

Despite the touchy/feely comments people make about their motivations for a job, at the end of the day, money matters – and the best Authentic remote jobs are transparent on what the wage rate is in the job description. According to a recent study by Glassdoor – money is the #1 motivator for 67% of job seekers. Remote or not remote – wage rate matters – so be transparent and include them in the job description.


Though money is a motivator – the best in the world are also looking for intellectual challenges that enhance their careers. This is consistent on remote and non-remote jobs – but even more enhanced when the job seeker now has an infinite number or job opportunities available to them – not just the selection in their zip code.

Use remote communication & connection tools

Many companies have video conferencing and collaboration tools – but ironically – companies that are not ‘remote-first’ fail to use them properly. Managers have to ‘remember’ to post that file on Google drive, the team doesn’t use video in the meetings, everything is synchronous, etc, etc. Authentic Remote jobs are only in companies that treat remote workers as equals.

Success goals & metrics

In a typical office job – if a role isn’t terribly well defined – you can walk around and ask your colleagues and manager to help nudge you in the right direction. In 100% remote jobs – this is much more difficult and the definition of success needs to be more clearly laid out. What are the goals, how is the work itself done, what are the objective metrics, what is the expected calendar are all important to clarify. All Authentic Remote jobs have these characteristics – so success or failure is clear and transparent.


Asynch has also become a bit of a buzzword in the remote world. But the importance of it remains – Authentic Remote jobs have to be able to be done without dependence on synchronization. Unlike everyone huddled in an office – the remote worker needs to be able to complete a majority of the task on their own – in their own time. This doesn’t mean the remote worker doesn’t collaborate with others – it simply means the task itself can be broken down to individual components that the remote worker can complete on their own (with very little dependence on others).

Remote culture

True Authentic Remote jobs are in companies that are ‘remote-first’. This isn’t ‘work from home Fridays’ – it’s a proper understanding of how to build their company structure for remote organization, how to manage and cluster timezones of remote workers, how to understand the power deltas between office workers vs remote workers (ideally there are no physical offices), how to build culture remotely, how to bridge cultural gaps, and how to define roles to be clear/async/measurable.

Examples of Authentic Remote jobs from remote-first companies

Companies such as HotJar offer remote positions and check all the items on our list: they have a remote culture, they are fully remote, employ people from any region as long as the time-zone allows them to be aligned with other team members, offers employment contract for talent in specific countries or contractor agreement for the rest, paid holidays, team collaboration allowance, holiday budget, etc. That is the true remote vision and Authentic Remote jobs.

On the other side – companies like DataDog offer some remote positions, are open to offering 100% remote work, but employees need to live in the US or other areas where the company has offices. It lacks the remote culture, it does not have a fully distributed/remote team. Even if some of the offered jobs are remote, according to the classification above, the lack of remote culture makes those jobs simply flexible jobs, not Authentic Remote jobs.


Going back to the beginning – to get to the end state where the term ‘remote jobs’ evolves to be ‘all jobs’ – we need to be clear on our definitions and what we’re trying to expand. Specifically – employers – develop more Authentic Remote jobs as they are the future of work…