What is asynchronous communication? And what’s the difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication?
In a 2019 blog post titled Be Too Busy to Do Coffee, entrepreneur and investment guru Naval Ravikant famously said,
“Nothing is getting done in a meeting with eight people around a conference table. You are literally dying one hour at a time.”
That feeling of a slow death is one that pretty much anyone who’s worked in an office can relate to, and yet the agonizing, drawn-out torture of meeting-packed calendars still continues at many companies.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Smart managers are finally figuring out that dragging their entire team into the same stuffy room, at the same fixed time might not be the best way to get them to communicate productively with each other. Forcing your employees to be in sync with each other is generally a surefire way to ensure that they’ll never be. Asynchronous communication is the way forward.
The idea of asynchronous communication has come into vogue recently thanks to many teams being forced to work remotely due to the covid-19 pandemic, but the basic idea is nothing new.
All “asynchronous'' really means is “not at the same time”, and if you think about it, all effective communication is at least a little asynchronous. Communication simply doesn’t occur if everyone’s talking at the same time, and yet we’ve all been in meetings where that’s exactly what happens. Everyone talking. No one listening. For an hour. Sometimes more…
By embracing asynchronous communication, business leaders are not only recognising that every team member works and communicates according to their own individual rhythm, they’re making the most of it.
According to a January 2021 PwC survey, 83% of employers stated that remote work had been a success at their company. Encouraging news for employees who prefer not wearing pants to meetings.
It’s important to remember that every employee’s top priority should be to work. That means doing their job, being productive, and actually getting things done. This is much better achieved with focus, concentration, and momentum; and without interruptions. The last thing you want a team member to do when they’re “in the zone” with a task is to stop. Yet that’s exactly what they have to do if they’re being forced to sync and align with colleagues at fixed times during their working day.
And while it’s true that some people thrive in the interpersonal, group-driven environment of synchronous meetings, most don’t. Even among a friendly, informal team, there’s a lot of pressure to “perform” in meetings, and that pressure can spoil otherwise brilliant ideas and suggestions. You know the feeling: you’re in a meeting and someone says something that sparks a genuinely awesome brainwave in your mind, so you jump in to speak and… all that comes out of your mouth is a stammering, incoherent mess. And by the time you pause for breath, everyone is blankly staring at you, and all you want to do is jump out of the window.
The pressure of synchronous group meetings kills great ideas. Asynchronous communication – whereby everyone can take as much time as they need to process, formulate, and articulate – allows them to flourish.
Asynchronous communication tools can be as simple as Post-it notes, suggestion boxes, and emails. But as businesses shift their communication processes in a more and more asynchronous direction, there’s a growing demand for digital communication tools designed and built with effective, productive asynchronicity in mind from the start. Woice is exactly that.
With a suite of tools geared towards asynchronous communication, Woice not only makes staying in touch with your team easier and more efficient, it also makes messages more meaningful, more emotional, and ultimately more effective. Stop dying one hour at a time and go async now.