One of the biggest challenges in a remote working environment is to determine an effective way of communication. Generally, employees prefer to work synchronously, by being in the same place, same time, either virtually or physically. However, in the modern workplace, many projects are completed via asynchronous communication. This includes communicating at multiple points across the workday with employees in various locations and time zones.
For example, a writer may create content and send it to the designer, who’ll email it to the approval team. All these works are being done for the same project but completed at different times. Embracing asynchronous communication can help overcome the limitations of synchronous communication to ensure effective collaboration and prevent unnecessary delays.
What Is Asynchronous Communication?
Asynchronous communication is when two or more people can communicate without being available at the same time. This means there is a time lag between when the sender sends the message and when the receiver receives and interprets it. Thus, asynchronous communication nullifies the need for an instant response to non-urgent issues.
The Pros and Cons of Asynchronous Communication
- Flexible Response Time
Asynchronous communication does not demand an immediate response to non-urgent matters. Employees, managers, and stakeholders can take time to send, receive, and interpret messages rather than being interrupted in the middle of some other more important task.
- Ease of Access to Information
Asynchronous communication is saved by default, so employees, stakeholders, and team members can access the data at any time. For example, if an employee joins the team in the middle of a project, they can review all relevant files and have the same level of understanding as others. Likewise, if a crucial member leaves, the rest of the team can still access all essential information required to take the project forward.
- Not Always Feasible
Though it is a great option for a hybrid workplace, it is not the best option for all teams in your firm. For example, support representatives and client-facing positions often require synchronous workflows due to the nature of their roles.
Also, if you are launching a new product and want to ensure your sales teams understand its specifications and benefits, a video call or face-to-face meeting can help them better grasp the information and ask questions on the spot.
- Challenging for New Teams
Although asynchronous communication simplifies collaboration among people across different time zones, it can still be challenging for growing new teams.
Tips to Use Asynchronous Communication Effectively
- Seek Progress, Not Perfection
Be aware of the limitations of asynchronous communication, as there may be times when only a set amount of work can be done because of the time gap. Yet, incremental advancement is better than no progress at all.
- Prioritize the Right Meeting
Many times, employees schedule meetings without determining the actual objective or attendance required. To avoid meaningless meetings, ask employees to create an agenda, a list of the people invited, and the expected contribution from each person during the meeting. Also, document the topics for discussion and summarize them for the team.
- Have the Best Workplace Technology
Embracing asynchronous communication in the workplace is impossible without the right technology. Your workforce should be connected to share information across various locations at any time.
Consider having the following technologies to facilitate effective asynchronous communication in your workspace:
Other than email, invest in a flexible, instant communication application that can integrate with other business-related software and enables asynchronous communication.
Have a meeting room booking system that syncs with your company’s calendar apps. This will help employees schedule meetings easily by checking the availability in real-time, thus avoiding unattended reservations or double bookings.
Implement a cloud-based file-sharing platform like Google Workspace and a community-facing project management solution.
Give a workplace app to your employees to simplify room reservations, find colleagues, and request service when they are in the office.
- Insist on Documentation
Implementing this communication can be difficult without good documentation. Therefore, establish a standardized process to record important information concerning a project and ensure employees know how and where to find it.
Use Asynchronous Communication to Enhance the Employee Experience
Asynchronous communication does not demand employees to be always available, reducing their stress and pressure. By making it easier for them to work or meet at different times, you can create a positive employee experience for an increasingly distributed workforce.
At QuickFMS, our cloud-based facilities management software enables our clients to organize and operate their infrastructure from any place and at any time, ensuring maximum workplace productivity and employee efficiency. To learn more about improving employee experience for in-person and remote workers during the pandemic, subscribe to our blogs today!
Amit Prasad is the founder and managing director of SatNav Technologies and has business interests in a wide range of IT products. SatNav Technologies is an IT products company focusing on cloud based map data products and a pioneer in GPS, FMS & LBS Technologies. The product suite includes SatTracx in-the-field location based solutions and A-mantra in-the-office facilities management solutions. QuickFMS from a-mantra is a cloud based facility management system which enhances organization’s efficiency.