While I think remote work is the future, I believe that asynchronous communication is an important factor in building team productivity, whether your team is remote or not. Not only does async produce the best work results, but it also lets people do more meaningful work and live freer, more fulfilled lives.
Imagine getting work done while waiting in line! Or riding the bus to work and being productive before arriving at the office. You can do it, and your team can too, without needing to meet or talk on the phone. All of that is possible when you’re working asynchronously.
Asynchronous communication tools like Slack and WhatsApp allow us to communicate with others in ways that are more efficient and effective than ever before.
But there are a few things you need to know about asynchronous communication before you dive in. Let’s begin by defining the term first:
What is Asynchronous Communication?
Asynchronous communication is a method of communication that allows people to exchange messages without the need for real-time interaction. This type of communication can be done through email, instant messaging, online forums, and even video conferencing. This type of communication is often used when people are not available at the same time or when they are in different time zones.
Asynchronicity refers to something that is out of sync. Asynchronous communication tends to happen at an individual’s own pace and schedule regardless of their location. To communicate asynchronously, you don’t have to be present in any real-time setting. It can happen whenever and wherever you want it to.
When you think of teamwork, the first thing that probably comes to mind is working together in real-time, whether that’s in person or over video chat. However, not all team collaboration has to happen in real-time; in fact, some of the most effective teamwork can happen even without everyone being present at the same location.
You’ve definitely heard of Slack. It is a communication platform where teams communicate and complete their daily tasks. Communication on Slack is a type of asynchronous communication. Today, many teams use Slack or MS Teams to communicate and carry on the teamwork.
How Can You Communicate Asynchronously?
Tools, such as email and instant messaging, have become increasingly popular in recent years for communicating asynchronously. This type of communication allows people to exchange messages without the need for real-time interaction. This can be beneficial for both individuals and organizations, as it can allow people to exchange information more quickly and efficiently. Asynchronous communication can also help to reduce distractions, as people can choose when to check messages.
Some tools for communicating asynchronously tools are:
Email, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp
Project Management Tools
AttendanceBot, Trello, Asana are some project management tools that help you communicate asynchronously
Slack, MS Teams
Benefits of Asynchronous Communication
Working asynchronously when you’re remote, has its perks:
Communicating asynchronously is often touted as the key to remote worker productivity. And it’s true that asynchronous communication can help workers avoid distractions and better focus on their tasks. But there’s another reason why asynchronous communication is so important for remote workers: it can help to prevent burnout.
When workers are constantly bombarded with requests and demands, they can quickly become overloaded and start to feel like they’re always on call. Asynchronous communication can help to relieve some of this pressure by allowing workers to schedule their time and respond to requests at their own pace. This can help workers feel more in control of their work-life balance, and prevent them from burning out.
Another advantage is that it requires less time from employees as they can respond to messages at their own convenience. This can lead to higher productivity as employees are not interrupted in the middle of their work. Another advantage is that asynchronous communication can be more efficient as it allows people to have discussions offline, which can prevent interruptions. However, communicating asynchronously can also lead to miscommunication as messages can be misinterpreted without the benefit of body language or tone of voice. It can also be difficult to build rapport with co-workers when asynchronous
Increased Happiness and Contentment
It’s no secret that happy employees are more productive employees. When working in an async environment, your employees have full control over their schedules and they set their own pace. This gives them more time to live to the fullest and spend time witty their family. Asynchronous communication has been shown to lead to greater job satisfaction and lower levels of stress, both of which can contribute to a happier workforce. Furthermore, asynchronous communication can help to promote a better work-life balance, as it gives employees more flexible hours and the ability to work from home when needed. In today’s fast-paced world, asynchronous communication is a key way to promote happiness in the workplace.
One of the benefits of asynchronous communication is that it can help to lower stress levels. When we communicate synchronously, we often feel the need to respond immediately. This can lead to us feeling rushed and frazzled, as we try to juggle different tasks at once. In contrast, asynchronous communication allows us to take our time in responding. We can compose our thoughts more carefully, and we don’t have to worry about interrupting conversations or multi-tasking. As a result, asynchronous communication can help us to feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Automatic Documentation and More Transparency
Asynchronous communication happens through email, text messaging, and social media. One of the major benefits of asynchronous communication is that it leads to automatic documentation. Since asynchronous communications are typically written down, they can be easily referenced later. This can be useful for maintaining transparency in the workplace. For example, in case of a dispute about what was said in a meeting, asynchronous communications can provide evidence of what was actually said. Asynchronous communication can also be helpful for remote workers who need to stay up-to-date on what is happening in the office.
Time Zone Equality
Asynchronous communication helps ensure that everyone is on an equal playing field, regardless of their location or time zone. This type of communication eliminates the need for people to be available at the same time in order to communicate. Instead, asynchronous communication allows people to send and receive messages without having to coordinate their schedules. This can be a huge advantage for employees who work in different time zones or who have other commitments that make it difficult to schedule regular meetings.
How Remote and Hybrid firms can Adopt Asynchronous Communication?
As the world increasingly moves online, asynchronous communication is becoming more and more important. For remote and hybrid firms, asynchronous communication can provide a number of benefits, including increased productivity and improved work/life balance.
By adopting asynchronous communication tools and techniques, remote and hybrid firms can enable their employees to work flexibly and collaboratively, without the need for face-to-face interaction. In addition, asynchronous communication can help to reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary meetings and travel. As the workplace continues to evolve, asynchronous communication will become an essential part of doing business.
How We at Harmonize Communicate Asynchronously
Eversince the pandemic has struck, companies all over the world have gone remote. Although many have returned to the on-site previous routine, most still prefer working remotely. So do we.
And therefore, at Harmonize, we recognize that communicating asynchronously is key to maintaining a strong, cohesive team. In order to facilitate this, we make use of a variety of tools and strategies. Slack serves as the major communication platform for the team to keep everyone on the same page, no matter where they are or what time zone they’re in. and we’ve found Slack to be an invaluable way to stay connected and productive. With it, we easily share documents, have discussions, and give feedback without interrupting each other’s workflows. We can also search through past conversations to find information quickly and easily.
Secondly, Google Meet is our go-to tool for asynchronous communication because it’s simple to use and easy to access from anywhere. We use Meet to record lectures and presentations, share documents and project files, and provide feedback on work in progress. Meet is also great for holding virtual office hours and for getting quick answers to questions especially if we’re not able to meet in person. In this way, we are able to stay connected and productive even when we can’t all be in the same place at the same time.
At Harmonize we make sure to communicate without interrupting each other’s workflow. Finally, we are careful to avoid creating too many dependencies between team members. This ensures that everyone can work independently and at their own pace. By following these principles, we are able to maintain efficient asynchronous communication within our team.
Ready to Communicate Asynchronously?
Though it can be difficult to change long-standing communication habits, the benefits of communicating asynchronously are clear. Remote and hybrid firms should adopt asynchronous communication wherever possible in order to improve transparency, collaboration, and overall productivity. At Harmonize, we use a variety of tools to communicate asynchronously including AttendanceBot, which helps us manage attendance and track time for remote workers.