Asynchronous communication has quickly become a buzz word in the corporate workspace. But the concept isn’t new at all. Rather, it’s the tools at our disposal that are giving asynchronous communication a new revival.
The spike in remote and hybrid work means our day is punctuated by video calls and virtual meetups. Gone unchecked, these can quickly become a drain on workplace productivity and employee engagement.
Asynchronous communication offers a breather from the pressures of real-time communication. It gives staff more control over when and how they engage with one another.
In this post, we’ll define asynchronous communication and examine its benefits. We’ll also help you pick the right internal communication tools to implement asynchronous communication in your workplace.
Pro Tip: Streamline, speed up, and scale your internal communications with ContactMonkey’s OpenAI integration.
What is Asynchronous Communication?
You’ve likely already come across some form of asynchronous communication in your workplace.
Consider the way you send out an email to a colleague, receive a company newsletter, or chat with your boss on Slack. These are great examples of asynchronous communication.
In fact, ‘asynch’ communication simply means communicating in a way that doesn’t require an immediate response. It also removes the need for communicators to be present at the same moment in time or place.
To better understand asynchronous communication, it’s helpful to compare and contrast it with synchronous communication.
Synchronous vs Asynchronous Communication: What is the Difference?
Consider your weekly standup meeting. Everyone in attendance needs to be present at the exact same moment, and sometimes, in a specific location. This type of meeting is an example of internal communication that is synchronous.
In contrast to asynchronous communication, where teams communicate at different times and from different places, synchronous communication demands real-time interaction.
This gives synchronous communication its name. The term implies that multiple parties are ‘in-sync’ during an exchange, such as video conferencing or talking over the phone.
Other differences between synchronous and asynchronous communication include:
- Planning: for synchronous communication you usually need to prepare what you’ll say in advance.
- Coordination: everyone needs to be able to meet at a given time and date
- Collaboration style: some prefer to bounce ideas off each other in person while others want more time to think things through.
Pro Tip: Never worry about IT restricting your internal employee lists. Use ContactMonkey to sync with your Azure Active Directory or HRIS. Get started today.
Asynchronous Communication Examples
The medium of exchange is what truly distinguishes synchronous and asynchronous communication.
For asynchronous communication to take place, it’s not necessary for all participants to be present in real time. They also don’t need to be constantly active in the conversation.
Instead, participants are able to think through their response, do some digging if necessary, and plan their feedback.
Some examples of asynchronous communication methods include:
- Employee emails
- Internal company newsletter
- Intranet communication
- Slack chats
- Instructional videos
- Information guides
With ContactMonkey, you can coordinate asynchronous communication in your workplace using a single platform. Easily create, send, and track interactive employee emails straight from Outlook and Gmail:
Need to know if and when your communications reached your recipients? No problem. In-depth email analytics mean you’re constantly in the loop on whether your messages are received. With ContactMonkey’s Internal Communications software, you’ll get detailed email tracking including:
- Open rate
- Reading time
- Most popular clicks
- Segmented reporting by department and job title
Asynchronous Communication Tools
Asynchronous communication tools are the backbone of effective remote teams. From virtual team building to return to work communications, it’s hard to imagine what working during the pandemic would even look like without asynchronous communication tools.
As the workplace continues to transform post-lockdown, it’s important to know your options when it comes to asynchronous work.
Try a modern internal communications tool.
Start a 14-day trial. No credit card is necessary. Zero risk.
Here are some of our personal favourites:
ContactMonkey embodies the best of asynchronous communication. It’s a one-stop-shop for sending personalized employee emails and interactive company newsletters—all from your Outlook or Gmail.
You can even create custom email lists without IT using ContactMonkey’s list management tool.
In addition, embedded pulse surveys, employee engagement surveys, and anonymous comment features allow you to ask employee engagement survey questions and collect honest employee feedback straight from your weekly newsletter.
Not to mention, employees can respond on their own time and without ever having to leave their inbox. ContactMonkey’s employee feedback tool keeps employee feedback simple and streamlined.
2. Google Drive
These days, you’d have a hard time finding a single company that doesn’t have this platform in their day-to-day workflow. But did you know that Google Drive also represents a model of asynchronous communication?
By allowing team members to share documents, presentations, images, and just about every type of asset your company uses, Drive serves as a great example of asynchronous communication.
3. Google Docs and Google Sheets
As part of the Google Workspace suite, Google Docs and Google Sheets are both great tools for asynchronous collaboration.
Employees can comment on each other’s documents, add suggestions, enable edits, and track changes. All the while being able to automatically save changes and view how a document has transformed over time.
A hassle-free chat for the workplace, slack is like instant messaging with your colleagues and bosses. It also lets you create slack channels for specific teams, projects, or events.
While urgent messages may necessitate a faster response time, Slack is a great internal communication tool for small businesses or large corporations looking asynchronous communication solutions.
Backed by the latest research in positive psychology, 15Five is a human-centred communication and performance tracking tool.
The software prioritizes asynchronous engagement through employee surveys, collaborative goal management, and more dynamic performance reviews.
Serving up an all-in-one intranet platform, Jostle is essentially an online office.
With the modern workplace top of mind, Jostle connects remote workers from different locations and time zones. It does this through a single hub that integrates company news, task management, discussion forums, and team groups.
Asana is a project management tool and asynchronous collaboration software. It boasts shared calendars, project timelines, and team goal setting, along with myriad other features.
With the added benefit of integrated performance tracking, Asana has basically mastered the asynchronous workday.
Monday.com is a workflow management software and collaboration hub that enables employees to communicate in an asynchronous fashion.
With project management tools, performance insights, and collaborative docs, Monday offers a 360 view of team projects. It also integrates with other tools employees use, making it more efficient.
Benefits of Asynchronous Communication
Not a fan of endless virtual meetings and catch-up calls? Then asynchronous communication may be more your thing.
Let’s take a moment to dive deeper into the benefits of this form of communication:
1. Flexible communication
A huge benefit of async communication is the flexibility when it comes to response time. Employees and employers alike gain more say in how they manage conversations.
Strictly speaking, it means employees and managers can decide when something merits an interruption to their state of flow. People who like to stick to schedules will find this particularly beneficial because they can arrange conversations around their set agenda.
That being said, if you’re using asynchronous communication channels to communicate with colleagues who demand instant response, it defeats the purpose.
Asynchronous communication habits have to be engrained into your workplace culture. Otherwise, asynchronous messaging tools will simply become synchronous communication channels.
2. You have a record of your communications
With asynchronous communication tools like email and Slack, your messages are instantly saved by default. When we’re speaking in a meeting or over the phone, there’s hardly ever a track record of what’s being said.
In all honesty, we’ve probably had instances where we thought this was for the best.
But when it comes to recalling important details of a conversation, this can become a challenge. Asynchronous, written communication takes care of this as it leaves a digital paper trail.
3. Room for more honesty
Ever found yourself watching a Twitter debate unravel before your eyes (or had the misfortune of being a part of one)? Then you’ll know that there’s just something about the digital medium that makes us bolder (or brazen), than we are face to face.
Of course there are drawbacks to this. But when your company is clear about workplace standards and codes of conduct, the digital divide can actually leave room for more authentic conversations.
ContactMonkey’s internal communication tool lets you embed anonymous pulse surveys directly into employee emails. Your staff can offer honest feedback in the form of anonymous comments, or scale ratings such as stars and emojis.
Employee feedback is a terrific barometer of employee engagement, and can be a rich source of ideas for employee engagement activities.
Embrace Asynchronous Communication for Remote Work with ContactMonkey
With effective coordination, asynchronous communication has ample benefits for collaboration across your company. Of course, there will be moments when you’ll need a simple old-school conversation between your colleagues. But ultimately, how internal communication drives employee engagement should not be overlooked.
The key is to find balance and give employees more power to choose when and how communication happens. Collect employee feedback and measure employee engagement to see how your team responds to different modes of remote communication.
By allowing you to create personalized employee messages and add interactive elements, ContactMonkey makes asynchronous communication simple and straightforward. Book a free demo to see ContactMonkey in action: