Asynchronous communication – do you know what it is? The recent years brought many changes, but besides the challenges there are benefits. Companies were forced to work remotely and some of them kept this style of working till today. Owners of the companies have noticed that remote work has many advantages, but some of them can be connected directly to asynchronous communication not merely to remote working.
What is asynchronous communication? – table of contents:
- Asynchronous communication – the meaning?
- Advantages of asynchronous communication
- Asynchronous communication in your company
Asynchronous communication – the meaning?
Employees that can work from home can save a lot of time because they don’t have to commute at peak times. It is very reasonable especially in a situation when the distance from home to the office is large. But remote work doesn’t make the employee more effective.
What matters is the style of working, where the results and achievements are important instead of hours spent behind the desk. Asynchronous communication allows freedom for the creativity of employees and gives them a sense of control over the situation. Besides many concerns, people who are being released from their places in offices perform their tasks more eagerly, timely, and with better results.
Asynchronous communication is such doesn’t require an immediate response. An ideal example of asynchronous communication is an e-mail that can wait for a response. An immediate answer to the email is an example of synchronous communication.
Instant messaging is the best example of synchronous communication because they allow connection in real-time. Most of the employees have notifications on their e-mail accounts and respond to the e-mails immediately after receiving the mail, and this means that their communication is synchronous as well.
Most of the messages do not require an immediate response – faster does not always mean better. Responding to e-mails pulls the focus and disturbs the rhythm of work. Distractions such as email messages, notifications, and phone calls are a huge enemy of productivity. Sometimes one task, that should be done within an hour takes much more time because of problems with effectiveness.
The best response to such issues is asynchronous communication. To make it work, the rules have to be established throughout the whole organization. Otherwise, some of the employees can perceive the lack of responses as a sign of disrespect and ignoring, not as an attempt to improve efficiency.
Advantages of asynchronous communication
Most of the tasks assigned to employees can be performed in the system of asynchronous communication. There are industries, such as customer service, that require availability at certain times. But creative tasks, preparation of statements, or presentation can be moved to an asynchronous environment.
The employee gets tasks with the deadline, and it is up to him when to finish the assignment. Such a mode of operation allows an increase in effectiveness and gives the ability to adjust commissioned tasks to other everyday duties. Employees that work flexible hours are usually more pleased with their work, and more willingly perform their tasks. Allowing the employees to ignore the messages and releasing them from the obligation to respond immediately to every e-mail can increase their productivity. Notifications and calling the phone don’t help to focus and each interruption can cause problems with refocusing on the task.
Most industries cannot abandon synchronous communication completely, but improvements and changes are possible. If you need to have a meeting with your team try to organize it differently. Allow the team to finish all the other duties asynchronously before the meeting. How? Give your team all the learning materials and tasks before and then set the meeting date. This approach allows your employees to learn and acquire knowledge at the best time for them.
The meeting will be more efficient and will give better satisfaction for all. Forcing all the participants to watch lengthy presentations altogether with other members of the team is not effective. Contrary to popular belief, more freedom results in more willingness to work and greater ambition.
Asynchronous communication in your company
If you plan to introduce a new model of communication to your company start from smaller steps. One of the most notorious problems with asynchronous communication is the fact that some individuals expect an immediate response to their questions, comments, or messages.
It is important to introduce smaller changes and set clear rules. Most of the digital tools used to communicate have the option of setting statuses. Inform your cooperators, that they should use those functionalities when they work on their assignments and need to focus. Other employees should not expect that they will receive immediate responses. This will allow us to avoid unnecessary stress for both sides of the communication channel.
If you use e-mail messages to communicate, try to share your calendars, where all employees set the blocks of time. With this function, all the cooperators have the information, about when they can expect responses to their e-mails.
Asynchronous communication or synchronous communication – which model to choose? There is no one recipe to increase the effectiveness of the team. Asynchronous communication seems to be an interesting idea to fight distractions and problems with a lack of focus among the employees. It is worth remembering that abandoning real-time meetings is not a happy medium that can be used without consideration. Meetings have to be devoted to creating assignments and collaborative problem-solving to bring benefits to the company.