Asynchronous Communication: Definition, Examples And The Best Tools

| 29 Settembre 2020

Some other benefits are a reduced need for note-taking and the ability to share the meeting’s content with team members who could not attend. Just be sure to advise all attendees that the meeting is being recorded prior to getting started. In order for your team to work together efficiently, they need to understand how synchronous communication can best be used to reach their desired outcomes. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when you and your team need to use synchronous communication in your work together so that it can be as positively impactful as possible.

This can be streamlined by moving to asynchronous, recorded exchanges with candidates. These meetings can become monotonous and repetitive, especially when they’re done live at the same time each day or week. Just about everyone has access to a webcam on their laptop or smartphone. So recording a message and attaching the video to an email is somewhat straightforward, albeit a little cumbersome. These days, employees specifically seek out remote work opportunities more than ever. The way in which these communications happen is, quite literally, everything.

Disadvantages of synchronous communication

Synchronous communication can help you build rapport with teammates and develop personal relationships that lead to better collaboration at work. For example, if you’ve sent an email requesting a document from a team member, rather than expecting an immediate response, you’re patient and wait for them to respond later on. The Meeting Manifesto—which was shared company-wide—explains when and how to schedule meetings. Within the manifesto, we also go into details about when you shouldn’t have a meeting—things like sharing status updates or other general information, or meetings without an agenda or purpose. A shared workspace is a central source of truth and communication for your entire team.

This article will cover some examples of asynchronous communication, also known as async. Adopt a Direct Responsible Individual (DRI) model for management and decision-making. Made popular by Apple, DRI means a single person is responsible for any given area or project inside the company. That person doesn’t do everything themselves but instead organizes the team or project, makes key decisions, and generally owns the timeline and results. The more you can decrease the number of people involved in decisions, decentralize authority, and increase individual accountability, the more efficient your team will be. This is true in any company but is especially crucial for success in an async environment.

Knowledge Management System: Best for FAQs and Company Policies

Synchronous communication is inherently human; it’s how we interact from birth. (Our mothers don’t send us a text message to welcome us into the world!)  And in most workplaces, these real-time communications have been the default, especially pre-pandemic. Communication async gives employees more freedom to process information and respond on their own time.

asynchronous communication examples

The expectation of being constantly available means that workers lack control over their schedules. They spend their workdays attending meetings and responding to requests rather than proactively setting their own agenda. Interruptions split people’s attention and make it more difficult to make meaningful progress on work. High-value, cognitively-demanding activities — like coding, writing, designing, strategizing, and problem-solving — require long periods of deep, focused work. Synchronous communication requires constant context switching and makes creating large, uninterrupted chunks of time during the workday impossible. Before we dig into the benefits of a more async approach to teamwork, let’s look at why we should question our current, real-time ways of working and communicating.

How to use asynchronous communication examples for work situations

These days, we rely on asynchronous communication to stay in touch in a virtual work environment. Yet, in a fast-paced world where efficiency is imperative, relying on asynchronous communication can seem counterproductive. Clarity is a vital ingredient in successful asynchronous communication. Any confusion created will likely cause a series of back-and-forth communications which will delay progress. When thinking about clarity, it might be helpful to imagine what follow-up questions the receiver may have and answer them proactively to maintain forward motion. Now that we’ve covered synchronous communication, let’s dig into the pros and cons of asynchronous communication, and look at some examples and best practices.

That party can check in at their own pace and respond to your comment or question. Now let’s get specific, starting with the tools in your async messaging toolbox. Each team member must plan their work day around this meeting(s) on their calendar. That means they choose smaller, faster tasks, and procrastinate or never get to those larger, deep-work tasks. The good thing about team chat apps (as opposed to email) is that they often allow you to mute notifications either at certain hours of the day or for specific periods of time. If an email is about a timely matter, then a fast reply is appropriate.

Remote work is here to stay: promote efficiency over constant communication

At Asana, we’re big fans of how asynchronous communication can increase productivity and reduce work about work, but there are some drawbacks to consider as well. While synchronous communication can help in case of urgent discussions, asynchronous offers greater benefits for operational communication. It lets you be more productive, offer and receive better ideas and achieve a clear understanding of the issue. Many organizations use synchronous communication for team meetings and decision-making purposes. The main idea behind synchronous communication is that all people communicate simultaneously, leading to quicker information exchange and resolutions.

asynchronous communication examples

I often can’t “stop by her desk” for a quick conversation – instead, we communicate through asynchronous channels, such as email or Slack. These asynchronous conversations are critical since she and I work in different time zones. Setting clear deadlines is essential for success in asynchronous communication. Recipients of asynchronous communication should be made aware of when you want to hear back from them as well as any internal deadlines and the target completion date for the project as a whole.

But! You still need synchronous communication too

Learning with synchronous communication includes video conferences where all participants attend the classes at the same time. Whereas, asynchronous learning includes using pre-recorded videos and webinars for teaching and demonstration. With synchronous learning, participants can get their concerns and doubts addressed quickly and on the spot.

What is an example of a synchronous network?

A synchronous optical network (SONET) using a fiber optic connection is a great example of a synchronous network. Fiber optic networks require two fiber optic strands, one for transmit and the other for receive. The connection is also dedicated, which means the bandwidth is not shared.


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