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Back-to-back video calls, all-day team chats combined with an expectation of immediate response is taking its toll on people trying to work from home.
In the quest to create a real-time interaction of the office, we are cutting the remote workers' ability to get things done.
Asynchronous communication is when we send a message (such as emails) without expecting an immediate response. The recipient can take hours to answer it.
Synchronous (or real-time) communication is when you and the other person are engaged in a face-to-face audio or video conversation, like a video call or a phone call. The information discussed is responded immediately.
Instant messaging tools like Slack or Teams are synchronous, and in some companies, email is also used as a real-time communication tool.
Team communication has increased by 50 percent in the last 20 years. We spend an average of three hours a day working on emails. On an average, Slack users send about 200 messages in a day.
This near constant communication hampers work productivity, with video calls, one-on-one meetings, e-mail and team chat leaving little room for actual work.
The overhead of real-time communication leads to:
This requires managers to:
While face-to-face connections are important, make sure that zoom meetings, phone calls and other real-time communication are not the rule, but an exception.
Personal and real-time interaction is good for team building, but we need to provide flexibility to the remote team in both work hours and location, and make it okay for them to disconnect when required.
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