Nowadays, after the pandemic, the approach to work in organizations has changed. Currently, many companies allow their employees various forms of hybrid work. And sitting eight hours in the office seems to be a thing of the past.
But does working remotely mean that now your communication with your supervisor, team members or other employees is limited to online meetings or teleconferences? Are there other, efficient ways to communicate in the online world / hybrid teams / remote teams?
Asynchronous Communication – The ace up the virtual leader’s sleeve
We happy to say that the answer is YES and it is asynchronous communication!
But first things first – what is asynchronous communication? Unlike synchronous communication it does not require two or more people to be present at the same time, e.g. email, chat, survey.
Asynchronous communication can be very beneficial to you and your organization.
Why go asynchronous?
Have you ever heard of Zoom fatigue? Or maybe you have even experienced it? Zoom fatigue is fatigue or even burnout resulting from excessive use of virtual communication platforms, particularly conferences and video meetings. Research shows that “meeting marathon” affects on our brains.
To overcome this you can take breaks between meetings, try to keep them short or define “office hours” … But you can also invest in asynchronous communication.
What do progressive organisations do to keep their cohesion and engagement high? Benchmarks!
Let us give you some examples how others are using asynchronous communication in their organizations. And what is more important, how do they manage to build relationships in team with asynchronous communication?
How to build relationships in team with asynchronous communication?
Benchmark: DOIST (A pioneer of remote work that specializes in productivity software. The company is 100% virtual with employees located all across the globe.) / Chase Warrington, Head of Business Development
- In Doist, 95% communication is asynchronous.
- In Twist, which is like Slack, we have separate channels, which start with “Z” – they are all channels which are dedicated to things outside work. You can join channels which are interesting to you, have conversations about subjects which are interesting for you.
- Channels: two truths and a lie – I record a video where I tell two truths and a lie about me, others vote, and then I pick the next person – like a snowball
- Socializing – make it all optional! I never force a teammate to turn their webcam on. I have teammates who I have never seen or heard. They are very funny in Twist, but no one ever saw them or met them.
- We also do casual hangouts, once a month we make teams of 3 random people from the company and they have a one hour video conf together.
How to build and maintain great company culture using asynchronous communication?
Benchmark: SLIDO (An audience interaction platform for live, remote or hybrid meetings, events, classes, and webinars. A global company with over 260 teammates in 26 countries.) / Peter Komornik, Co-Founder & CEO
- Monday Morning Meetings – 10 min long videos recorded and shared with the company
- Couchtalk – Recorded and shared interview with a person from the company, about their life & passions
- Dedicated Slack channels
- Monthly pulse check / Weekly newsletter
How to build good, friendly and honest relations with the team and develop it using asynchronous communication?
Benchmark: ETTA (A consultancy and training company. Employees located in Poland, Spain, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand… and keeps moving around!)
- Using Signal and having separate chat channels for separate threads eg. ETTA Open Space – for everything, Project Info – updates on projects and deliveries, After hours – for any chit chat, news, and funnies
- Voice messaging even for discussing a recruitment candidate or a difficult situation with a Client
When to communicate asynchronously?
- Whenever possible!
- Check-ins / updates
- Feedback or praise in the group forum
- Passing on information, announcements
- All-hands-meetings that are not crucial
- 1:1 meetings
- Important or direct feedback
- Difficult messages (e.g. layoffs)
- In any situation where you need to “read between the lines”
Below you can find some useful tools for remote communication with a team
- Asynchronous communication: Slack, MS Teams, Twist, WhatsApp, Signal
- Access to files: sharedrive, sharepoint, Google Drive, Dropbox
- Tracking tasks: Asana, Trello, Basecamp
- Visual collaboration and brainstorms: Miro, Mural, Jamboard, Mindmeister
- Synchronous communication: Zoom, Hangouts, Skype
We hope that after this article you have a deeper knowledge on what is asynchronous communication and you will start using some of the tools and tips in your team or your organization. If you want to learn more watch the full webinar “Asynchronous Communication for deep work and great teams”.