What Is Asynchronous Communication?

Asynchronous communication might sound complicated, but in reality, it’s quite a simple concept. Asynchronous communication is communication where an immediate response is not expected. Synchronous communication, on the other hand, involves communications where you do expect an immediate response, such as video meetings, instant messages or even in-person meetings. 

Understanding the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication will help you utilize both more effectively, and push your team to maximize their communications. 

Asynchronous communication explained

Asynchronous communication is a form of communication where you don’t expect an immediate response. It might involve sending an email and not expecting a response for a few hours, or it could even be sending a message in Slack with the understanding that your colleague will respond when they have time. 

What is the difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication?

Asynchronous and synchronous communications are different primarily in the response timeline that is expected. 

With synchronous communication, you’re speaking to a co-worker or a stakeholder in real time and therefore will receive some sort of immediate response. You might be physically present at a meeting in the conference room or speaking with them over the phone. 

Synchronous communication can also include situations where you aren’t necessarily in the same place, like talking over a video call. 

Examples of asynchronous communication: 

You might be wondering what qualifies as a form of asynchronous communication. Here are a few examples: 

The last example can be a bit confusing, because using Slack and other messaging services can sometimes imply the need for instant responses. However, tf you know that the person on the other end of the message won’t be able to respond, this could be considered asynchronous communication as well. 

Examples of synchronous communication:

Synchronous communication is common in office and work settings. Examples of synchronous communication include the following: 

In-person meetings Video calls or Zoom hangouts Stopping by a co-worker’s desk to ask a question Calling a co-worker or stakeholder on the phone

In some instances, synchronous communication is preferable. This can be the case when socializing, celebrating milestones, and participating in team-building activities. Brainstorming ideas for a new project should take place through synchronous communication, and sensitive matters are better discussed in real time so that meanings and inflections are not misconstrued. 

(Chris Humes via Unsplash) Advantages of asynchronous communication 

There are several advantages of asynchronous communication, including facilitating remote work and increasing productivity. 

If your team is spread across several time zones, synchronous communication can be difficult to coordinate. In-person meetings might only happen at an annual conference or bi-annual gathering, and video conferencing requires coordination between those starting their workday and those who have already finished. 

For remote work, asynchronous communication is critical for teams that need to collaborate when they cannot be in the same place at the same time. 

While frequent in-person check-ins can seem like the most efficient way of communicating as a team, attending meetings and responding to instant message interruptions can actually begin to cut down on productivity. In fact, teams that use Slack spend an average of 90 minutes every day connecting with others via instant message, which can significantly cut into an employee’s ability to get longer pieces of work completed. 

According to a Forbes analysis of time management data, 71% of people report frequent interruptions while

Continue reading

This post was originally published on this site