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The Power of Async Communication

Hey friends, my name is Yusra Jami. I am just your average, typical 9-6 worker who gets up every day and works for 8- 9 hours a day. Then, I enjoy the fruits of my labor by doing copious amounts of shopping as a way to treat myself for being so hardworking and diligent with a couple of minor differences that set me apart from the masses. 

I work for Stadium/SnackMagic as a customer success manager. I am a full-time remote employee and have been one since Covid hit back in 2020; I live and work in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Distributed teams are made up of employees working globally in different locations. Most often, distributed teams consist of a group of remote workers located in different cities or countries. Sometimes, distributed teams also include employees who work in an office as well as remote team members we call that a hybrid team. In the case of SnackMagic, we are a completely distributed team and our company believes in hiring the right kind of people for the right roles irrespective of where they are. We are a completely remote team, and outside of having a NY distribution warehouse from where we fulfill our orders we do not have a physical office.

What is asynchronous communication?

Now you might be wondering, what even is asynchronous communication? Asynchronous communication is communication that doesn’t happen in real-time or when two or more people can communicate without the requirement that they are “present” at the same exact moment in time or in the same location. Email forums direct messaging (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Microsoft Teams), project management tools (Basecamp, Asana, Trello, and others), communication over Slack, Intranets (Yammer, Sharepoint, etc) are a perfect example of asynchronous communication. 

Why is asynchronous communication important in the future of work?

The answer is simple! It offers more flexibility to both employers and employees for a response, and the communication is saved by default such as in writing, by video, or by voice. Synchronous communication is the exchange of information in real time while asynchronous communication is the exchange of information without an immediate response.

What are the advantages of asynchronous communication?

Now, let’s talk about some advantages of asynchronous communication over synchronous communication. No doubt synchronous communication plays a vital role in building tangible relationships with the customers and relaying urgent communications but it often leads to interrupted work. The expectation of having to reply immediately is not a focus-friendly goal and constant video meetings can be draining.

The solution lies in asynchronous communication. While synchronous communication often leads to shallow work, asynchronous communications promote and encourage deep work. Team members will have free time to work on a project for long periods of time without distraction from messages or meetings.

Yusra Jami

Here are some tips for improving asynchronous communication:

  • Remote work may be the new norm, but that doesn’t mean that it fixes everything. Your team members may have different work schedules and commitments during the day on top of their working hours. Working from home means they might have to juggle other responsibilities like childcare, family commitments and household chores so it’s important to get your communications right by maximizing your asynchronous communications. You’ll give your team more flexibility and freedom to fit work around their schedules. It enables the important tasks to be prioritized that means more work can get done quicker, on top of their personal priorities.
  • The need to be “on” constantly (responding to messages and being available for calls) can put stress on your team, eventually leading to burnout. With asynchronous communications, this stress is diminished as more control and flexibility are given to everyone.
  • If you want a global and a diverse team, the need for asynchronous communication increases. It is next to impossible to build up a team of people from all over the globe on synchronous communications alone. The need to respond to a line of communication immediately will interfere with the different time zones and will lead to a delayed response time. That’s why asynchronous communications are so important! You can upload pre-recorded meetings for those that might have missed it and asynchronous platforms like Notion will make working in different time zones possible. There’s no need to limit your team to a certain area. Asynchronous communications makes building a diverse and global team a realizable goal, and you can hire more people with fresh perspectives.

In the end, just keep in mind that synchronous communications shouldn’t be forgotten entirely. You need to create a balance between the two to get feasible results across your remotely working teams.

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