The Power of Presence

Asynchronous Communication FTW

My family gets frustrated whenever they try to call me.

On iOS, turning on Do Not Disturb drops all phone calls the first time they attempt. Meaning, they’ll have to call a 2nd time for my phone to actually ring.

The thing is, my phone is on Do Not Disturb 90% of the time.


I place a very high premium on my freedom. I want freedom to be where I want when I want.

I don’t want my phone to buzz when it’s convenient for the other person. I don’t want to drop writing this response to jsneedles just because someone decided that it’s a good time for them to have me on the phone.

Asynchronous is key

100% of my communication with my team is asynchronous. Most of them on Trello.

It’s also up to my teammates to work whenever they want, as long as we develop a steady, predictable rhythm.

In many ways, I see asynchronous communication as the respectful way. It’s about not interrupting… unless there’s a 911.

With the nature of our communication tools, collaboration can easily be planned.

It can be far easier to carry out the same task at 5:00pm rather than 4:42pm just because of your commute schedule. This way, I don’t see a reason why schedules have to interrupt.

Presence is still critical

While asynchronous has its advantages, we still have to show up like real people.

I value this lifestyle freedom, but am quite worried that my work relationships are getting too cold and transactional.

To help solve this, I often share selfie video recordings and audio recordings with people I work with.

It’s not a perfect solution, so I’m happy to keep exploring how to show up without interrupting.