The average person spends about 80% of their workday talking, messaging, and exchanging ideas with their team. So, it's no secret that communication is the key to productivity. To be specific, asynchronous communication.
Defining asynchronous communication
Asynchronous communication is when one or more person sends a message knowing that there's a time lag before the recipient absorbs the information and sends a thoughtful response. Essentially, sending a message without expecting an immediate response.
For example, think about sending an email to your team. You know have the expectation that there will be a lag in communication.
However, compared to synchronous communication, there's an element of urgency. Synchronous communication is real-time communication when two or more people are talking or exchanging messages at the same time despite the location.
Think about an in-person meeting or even a Zoom call. Your team members who attend the meeting need be in one location at the same exact moment in time to have the meeting.
Examples of asynchronous communication
In this day and age, the internet has made asynchronous communication very much possible. And in the past year with the pandemic, it seems like many remote professionals have relied on asynchronous communication to keep teams engaged and in the loop.
Here are examples of collaborative work-from-home tools to consider when adapting asynchronous communication to your team:
- Instant messaging like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack
- Project management tools such as Trello and Asana
- Workspaces such as Google Apps, Notion, Dropbox
- Email (common practice)
Here's a rundown of best practices and tips when it comes to asynchronous communication:
- Set clear intentions for team members when it comes to weekly deliverables or upcoming projects.
- Invest in your writing when Slack messaging your team. Be clear, concise, and even try bullet response.
- Distinguish what tasks are urgent which ones aren't. Also, be wary of team members who are in other timezones as it may conflict with your communication plan.
Food for thought
Asynchronous communication isn't for everyone. And neither is synchronous communication. We all have our own methods when it comes to our communication styles. The important idea is to understand that we don't have to adhere to just one path.
Using a combination of both can set up a path of success and allow team leaders to be intentional about their approach to communication in the workplace.
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