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Asynchronous work can boost your creativity

May 30, 2023

Temporal restructuring has featured prominently as asynchronous work becomes a growing trend, particularly due to the rise of remote work and the need for flexibility in work schedules. Research has already shown that when people are not required to be working at the same time, and communication and collaboration occur through new technologies, productivity is improved and stress goes down. 

Now, two researchers from the University of California at Berkeley (USA) decided to study the effect of asynchronous teamwork on tasks involving creativity. Ultimately, they understood that performing activities at different times can stimulate creative freedom, especially for women.

To reach this conclusion, they analyzed the creative process of folk musicians in eastern India. After collecting ethnographic and interview data, the researchers conducted a field experiment in which individual singers, both men and women, recorded a song both synchronously and asynchronously with a standard set of instrumentalists. 

“Women will perform better when teamwork is asynchronous, rather than synchronous because working alone will afford them greater freedom for creative expression.”, Aruna Ranganathan, one of the authors, wrote for the Harvard Business Review. “We argue that men will not experience the same boost in performance, and thus the rise of asynchronous teamwork has the potential to reduce gender disparities in performance.”, she adds.

The scientist believes that asynchronous restructuring of at least some tasks can be an effective and largely feasible solution to decrease inequality in organizations’ creative teams.

Source: Study | Harvard Business Review