If workers are always engaged in real-time communication, then they have no control over their schedules. Rather than setting their own agendas and being productive, your team spends the day responding to requests. To compensate for lost time, they work faster, which leads to more pressure, higher frustration, and stress. Despite your best efforts, there will be times where some people won’t be able to meet. Recorded meetings can give people the information they need to continue working. Establish a protocol for situations that require an instant response and create a dedicated channel so employees know to reply instantly when they receive such messages.
Not everyone can attend meetings and without written communication or recordings important information is lost. Additionally, asynchronous video enables you to craft a well-planned presentation – tools like Loom and Soapbox even allow you to split your screen, so you can provide visuals while you speak. By recording a message ahead of time, you’re able to ensure it’s the message you want to send. If you were to speak in-person, you might forget key points or get distracted by colleagues’ questions.
Examples of asynchronous communication
If your message pertains to a specific project, you can add a comment to a task within that project, for example. For conflict resolution and major incidents that affect several team members, it’s worth meeting in person or hopping on a video call to talk through possible solutions. It refers to the process of sending a message to someone or something without being in a live conversation with them. There are many times when text-based asynchronous communication communications just won’t cut it. Assigning Direct Responsible Individuals is essential for keeping your async communications efforts moving in the right direction. Basically, this means letting recipients know when they need to respond by — along with where and how they should respond. In turn, the initial sender will know when to check their own messages — and when to follow-up with those who have yet to respond by the deadline.
And let’s be honest, your ability to communicate with customers is a lot more important than your daily internal meetings with your team. Asynchronous communication steps in where live meetings can’t (or shouldn’t). Synchronous communication is always better for urgent matters, but asynchronous actually often works best when you need people’s undivided attention and time on a project or task. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication, as well as when it’s appropriate to use one or the other. With asynchronous as the default, the communication that truly requires immediate response can be appropriately completed synchronously.
Asynchronous Communication: What It Is and How To Make It Work
For one, the info and content that’s currently in-use by your team should be made visible and accessible to all stakeholders. It should also be housed on a platform that’s easy to build on, and that allows for the free flow of ideas. As we said earlier, async communications actually gives you a bit of a headstart in the knowledge documentation department.
Brenna Loury, our CMO, has written in more detail about how to build trust in a remote, async-first “workplace”. Asynchronous communication is the text you send on your phone, the email you shoot off on your work computer, and the message you ping in your project management software.
Asynchronous in telecommunication
A call on Zoom or Google Meet or a live in-person meeting (remember those?!) would be considered a synchronous, real-time communication. All participants have made arrangements to their schedule in order to conduct this live, face-to-face meeting. Even if you’re a fully remote team, from time to time it’s great to get together in person. Being together in a space will help you develop deeper bonds with your colleagues, which will ultimately help you with onboarding new hires. The immediacy of synchronous communication leaves little time for self-editing.
Collaborating with Dropboxcan help align everyone, no matter where they are working from. Meeting agendas, project outlines, evenlong videos can be sharedeffortlessly. Dropbox creates one central, convenient workspace that doesn’t have office hours and lets you approach tasks on your own terms. As you’ve learned, asynchronous and synchronous working have their own pros and cons. While async provides a number of productivity and work-life balance benefits, it also means that we miss out on the human connection that isn’t easy to build in an async environment. Study after study after study has shown remote workers are more productive than their in-office colleagues.
Plus, it gives you the ability to automate routine processes so teams can focus on more challenging work. It allows you to work on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more – all in separate times and places. It’s the perfect tool to edit documents and leave comments for other team members to address at another time.
When there’s a lot of dependencies on your team, you end up with more meetings. Before Rick sends an update to a customer about a bug the customer found, he has to check with Anna from engineering to see if the issue was fixed. Nobody knows what anyone is working on, which leads to meetings and long email threads. Adopting a flexible work schedule allows you to recruit top talent from anywhere in the world.