How asynchronous communication supports remote and hybrid work environments
Are you communicating the right way with your remote and hybrid employees? Here's why asynchronous communication beats synchronous communication hands down when it comes to a distributed workforce.
Synchronous communication is the most commonly used method of business communication. This is where businesses expect employees to be in touch with management and co-workers throughout working hours.
Workers are required to respond to messages without delays. The system closely mimics that of a traditional work environment. When considering remote settings, employees use messaging systems to reach out to co-workers.
Synchronous communication doesn't truly fit well for remote workers and adds unnecessary steps for everyone. Instead of optimizing the time workers assign to a specific task, they're directing a huge portion of their work day to answering constant messages. This wastes time and distracts remote workers from the task at hand.
As the name indicates, asynchronous communication is the complete opposite of synchronous communication where remote workers are not expected to respond to every message they receive immediately.
This essentially permits remote collaborators to reply at the most convenient time for them and they aren't in a constant reactive state. By adopting this style, employees and companies are set for success and not the opposite.
Employees can recognize their own increased productivity, leading to higher mental capacity and fewer distractions. Ultimately this provides benefits like improving work efficacy, maintaining deadlines and reducing errors. When remote workers can optimize their own productivity and focus, companies will see improved outcomes.
Let's have a look at five ways to implement asynchronous communication.
Set designated check-in times
One of the best ways you can promote steady communication between you and your team is to set designated check-in times. When you're building a plan for asynchronous communication times, ask the team to schedule a convenient time to check in with you for work updates. From weekly or daily updates, you find the best time that works for your business. If there's no genuine need to check in, keep communications short without anticipating stop times for all team members.
Develop respond-by policies based on urgency
Develop respond-by policies where you expect remote workers to respond to your messages within 12, 24 or 36 hours based on urgency. This not only decreases the pressure on employees but ensures that all members are looped in on time.
Reduce @channel and reply-all usage
Avoiding unnecessary @channel mentions in communication platforms like Slack is key. When remote workers are pulled in with every message, this only reduces productivity. DZone notes that constant interruptions from collaborative tools can even reduce operational IQ by as much as 10 points. The more interruptions, the less attention workers will pay to notifications.
Never waste an email: Be detailed
Say you have 24 hours to respond to an urgent question by a co-worker. It'll be a good idea to ensure that your email addresses the issue in a detailed manner. According to IDoneThis, every interruption can take 20-30 minutes to recover from, ruining productivity over the span of each day. A great way to make use of asynchronous communication may be to also use audiovisual support such as recording videos or sharing links to documents to have everything the team needs.
Create an emergency protocol
Despite the best efforts of optimizing asynchronous communication, productivity issues will come by here and there. An emergency communication protocol will help employees and the business with issues that require immediate attention. You may want to consider flagging messages or using coded words to mark them on level one emergency priority.
Ready for asynchrony? Perle can help equip you with on-site connectivity options and hardware, allowing remote employees the ability to connect and touch base when needed. Check out our customer success stories today.