This limits your access to the global talent pool as you can only hire employees who can operate in the same time zone. Across the board, perfecting your asynchronous communications will make your team more productive — period. If you’ve ever sent an email, replied to a Slack message sent earlier in the day, or simply received and responded to a voicemail, you’ve engaged in asynchronous communication. Platforms like Monday,Trelloand task management tools in Dropbox let you play digital catch-up with team members without all having to find time in your calendars.
Collaborating as part of a team requires strong communication, which isn’t achieved by chance. To create solid communication asynchronous communication lines, you need to outline your expectations for the team from the outset, in accordance with your company culture.
Remote work is here to stay: promote efficiency over constant communication
Another example is if you’re working on a project and need input from your boss. You can’t just walk into their office because they might be in a meeting.
It does need to be balanced with synchronous communication as well. For some people, it’s easy to be honest in a1-1 meetingwith their manager, but for others, they hate being put on the spot. Asynchronous collaboration improves your teamwork because of the higher quality feedback. If you’re a manager and you aren’t collecting feedback in an async manner, you’re missing out on a lot more data and insights especially with a remote team. A friend recentlyrecorded a conversationabout asynchronous vs. synchronous communication that we wanted to share. He refers to the difference as “my time” vs. “our time.” I think this is a wonderful analogy.
Asynchronous work best practices for individuals
The purpose of asynchronous communication is to help you run a better team and give people flexibility to get their best work done. Digital communication channels like Slack and Microsoft Teams are often no better. If someone sends a message and you’re expected to respond in near real-time then you’re not operating in an async environment. Digital communication tools are only as asynchronous as the people and culture that operate them. When it comes to documenting your asynchronous communications assets, Helpjuice’s knowledge base software has you covered. Note that the tool or channel used to communicate doesn’t matter here.
Many people attribute productivity gains to the time saved commuting and the avoidance of office distractions. Again, integrations keep communications and updates uniform on all channels — in turn minimizing the need to “play catch up” throughout the course of your async meetings.
Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication
This is true in any company but is especially crucial for success in an async environment. Visualize things with screenshots or screen recordings with apps like CloudApp and Loom. Be clear about what you need from the other person and what the deadline is. A few extra minutes adding details and editing for clarity on the front-end can save days of back-and-forths in an async environment. Because employees don’t have to stay on top of each message as it comes in, they can block off large chunks of uninterrupted time to do the work that creates the most value for your organization. They can come back to process their messages in batches 1-3 times a day instead of bouncing back and forth between work and messages or meetings. A 2015 study conducted by Yahoo Labs found that the most common email response time was just 2 minutes.
People are forced to plan ahead and think through what they want to communicate ahead of time instead of sending a barrage of messages. Finally, Helpjuice’s integrations allow teams to easily push and pull content from their knowledge base as needed. With your organization’s collective knowledge readily available, your remote employees will always have the info they need to do their job well.