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Asynchronous Communication and Why It Matters For Remote Work

Communication in a remote setting

Communication in a remote setting

Communication and collaboration are already complex issues, further complicated by remote working.

Team workers sitting in different time zones and work never happens at the same time. Real-time communication like video conferencing is great but cannot be done the whole day. Email is limited in its collaborative features.

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Asynchronous Communication and Why It Matters For Remote Work

Asynchronous Communication and Why It Matters For Remote Work

https://open.buffer.com/asynchronous-communication/

open.buffer.com

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Key Ideas

Communication in a remote setting

Communication and collaboration are already complex issues, further complicated by remote working.

Team workers sitting in different time zones and work never happens at the same time. Real-time communication like video conferencing is great but cannot be done the whole day. Email is limited in its collaborative features.

Best practices for asynchronous communication

  • The setting of clear processes, with clear intentions and less clutter.
  • Most things aren’t urgent, and we need to work by thoughtfully communicating.
  • Making your writing refined, polite, and contextual works wonders.
  • Give all the information at once while in a remote working environment.

Real-Time Vs. Asynchronous Communication

Real-time communication, like a Video chat, works well for casual hangouts, catch-ups, celebrations, urgent situations and one-on-one meetings. Real-time communication is necessary to get things done fast, and for visibility. The lesser, timid employees are at a disadvantage in real-time communication.

Asynchronous communication is inclusive and democratic, as it provides everyone with a chance to communicate in the same way and be heard.

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Asynchronous communication

There are mainly two ways to communicate within a company: synchronous and asynchronous communication. While the second type has always been widely practiced, as face-to-face meetings or any other ...

Real-time communication drawbacks

While real-time communication inside of a team might lead to solving faster some issues, it also has various disadvantages. 

For instance, having your colleagues come to ask you questions to which you feel pressured to answer on the spot leads to you being continuously interrupted, which results in being less productive and feeling stressed or even getting a burnout, as you try to do everything in proper time.

The asynchronous workplace

When the employees are provided with control as to when they are willing to communicate with their co-workers, there are many advantages that emerge. 

For instance, having the freedom to decide exactly how your working day should look like leads to more satisfied employees as well as to better communication within the team. Further benefits vary from feeling less stressed due to better planning to greater transparency and more efficient work.

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A Central Management Tool

A Central Management Tool

Physical presence does play a large part in moving our projects forward. Managing a project remotely requires a diligent and transparent approach to keep track and maintain the various tasks, deadl...

Keep teammates accountable

Creating accountability is a great way to manage the work remotely. Accountability is shifted to the teammates, who are now supposed to be responsible for their own work and decisions.

One way to build accountability in remote teams is to assign groups and let teammates hold each other responsible. Also make teammates share their work experience and any issues they face, publicly (within the team) so that it acts as a ready solution for others, reducing repeat work.

Document Everything

Even if the team is small, document, formalize and map each process, making it scalable and automatic.

Standard Operating Procedures, if used correctly in a remote setting, can act like a central nervous system.

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Faster Isn’t Better

Faster Isn’t Better

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 ...

Asynchronous Vs Synchronous Communication

  • 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.

Communication Boom

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.

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