I realized only after spending a few months in companies where remote and async was a hot topic that back in the days when I was freelancing I collaborated with my clients & freelancer colleagues in a remote & async manner. It was just natural for us. And it worked so well that when I moved to southeast Asia for three months with 8 hours time shift most of my clients didn't notice it. We were using e-mail or some task management tool like Asana for most of the communication. Calls? Just when something urgent occurred. On-site meetings? Never or a few times a year at maximum.
When I was working as a freelance engineer I had an opportunity to join several engineering teams as an external collaborator. These teams had these rules like 10 am standups or working mostly on-site. Because I was external, I was usually in some kind of grey zone: me or my colleagues or my boss - no one was sure whether these rules apply to me. I took advantage of that and didn't comply with them. Nobody ever complained. And I think that I know why: Because I always delivered. And If not, I communicated it in advance. It's so dead simple: Do your job well and others usually let you to do it in a way that suits you.
In 2019 when I decided to quit my freelancing career and join Angelcam - one of the deciding factors to do it was that one of the core values of the company was freedom. For me remote & async is a manifestation of freedom and I was lucky that my boss was a huge fan of this approach. Actually - the whole team was dedicated to it and we spent a lot of time shaping our processes & tools to work well for remote & async. During my time in Angelcam, it was also the first time when I moved to another timezone (-6 hours) in a managerial role. This was an important experience because it was a confirmation of my belief that remote & async is not meant only for individual contributors (engineers, marketing specialists, etc.).
In 2021 I had the opportunity to start building an engineering team in Digismoothie almost from the scratch and from the beginning I knew it is going to be a remote & async first team.
And that's the brief description of the journey. Back in my freelancing days, I was an intuitive user of the remote & async approach. This experience is for me a reminder of how this way of working can work well without any extra effort. In Angelcam I understood that it's actually a topic and area that needs to be handled and facilitated. In Digismoothie I became the facilitator and propagator of remote & async approach. And in the future, I would like to share the lessons I learned along the way.