Asynchronous Communication: Definition, Types, and Examples

How important is communication to your business?

If you are like other businesses, it is one of the most critical components of your success. As the business world shifts from mostly in-person to more remote operations, the way you communicate has likely changed, too.

One of the most significant changes is switching from synchronous to asynchronous communication. Asynchronous communication can be a great tool you can use to improve your team’s productivity.

If you are unfamiliar with this term, keep reading to learn what asynchronous communication is, along with specific examples of how you can incorporate this strategy into your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Synchronous communication occurs in real-time, while asynchronous communication allows employees to respond on their own time.
  • Asynchronous communication lets team members absorb information and respond later without feeling constantly interrupted.
  • Most businesses will do their best to use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools.

Asynchronous Communication Defined

Asynchronous communication is any communication that does not happen in real-time. There is a time difference between when one person provides information and when another person receives and responds to that information. This typically happens through digital means, such as email.

When you use asynchronous communication, you should not expect an immediate response. Asynchronous communication can help foster productivity by giving people more time to consider information and respond on their own time.

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Communication

With synchronous communication, you and the person you are talking to are communicating simultaneously and responding in real-time. This could mean you are talking in-person, on the phone, through a digital face-to-face meeting, or by using an instant messaging system.

Synchronous communication has some specific benefits and uses. For example, if you want to have a brainstorming session, this is best done in real-time so that team members can respond to each other’s ideas. Synchronous communication can also eliminate misunderstandings that might come with asynchronous communication, including the lack of emotional expression.

Asynchronous vs. synchronous communication.

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The downside to synchronous communication is that it takes advanced planning to ensure that all involved parties can participate. There is also the risk that communication shared face-to-face may be forgotten without having a record.

Examples of Asynchronous Communication

Our digital world makes asynchronous communication simple. There are numerous tools you and your company can use. You likely already use at least some of this software.

1. Email 

Email is the most common and widely used asynchronous communication tool. You send messages, and the recipient can take in your information and respond on their own time. In a business setting where you require a response, you can include your expected response timeframe in your email.

2. Google Drive 

Another popular choice for asynchronous communication is Google Drive. This cloud-based technology lets you share documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and other information with anyone. It is an ideal tool that teams can use to edit documents and share comments and feedback.

3. Slack 

Slack is a communication tool that takes many typical email conversations and puts them in a messaging platform. Companies can create different channels for various teams and topics. Team members can react and respond to messages on their schedule.

4. Loom

When you need more than simple text, Loom is a great tool. Record your screen to give concrete examples and directions and share them with your team. Loom also integrates with Slack.

5. Twist

This platform combines chat and email into the same tool. Groups can use Twist as an efficient and calm communication tool that helps keep conversations organized. Users even have the option to disconnect so they can better focus on deep work and reconnect when they have the time.

Benefits of Asynchronous Communication

Focusing too heavily on real-time communication can cause problems with productivity. With a shift towards asynchronous communication, you may find your employees are more productive and tuned in. Here are some key benefits to using asynchronous communication:

  • Eliminates Distractions: With asynchronous communication, you can use your time more effectively without constantly being distracted by requests from other team members. You can plan a time in your day to respond to emails, add your ideas to a project, and do other team interactions.
  • Leads to More Thoughtful Responses: Without the pressure to give an immediate response, you can take time to digest the information you receive and respond thoughtfully.
  • Removes the Mental Drain of Being Always-On: Having the expectation of always being available to respond can be mentally draining for some people. Asynchronous communication can give you more energy to focus on your work.

Companies that embrace asynchronous communication grant their employees the freedom to manage their time in the way that makes them most productive.

This video talks about even more benefits of asynchronous communication.

Companies Can Benefit from All Types of Communication

Many companies will find that they have the best productivity when they use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous communication. Certain types of information are best communicated in real time, while an asynchronous approach is suitable for less urgent information. 

This communication pyramid is an example of how Doist, a digital communication company, uses multiple types of communication to keep in touch with employees, both remote and in person.

Pyramid showing the various types of communication tools for both synchronous and asynchronous communication.

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Here are some examples of when synchronous communication might be preferred:

  • Team meetings: Whether in-person or remote, you want all team members present while building team relationships.
  • One-on-one meetings: Synchronous one-on-one meetings are ideal when you need to share sensitive information or talk in greater detail.
  • Emergencies: When you need an immediate response, use some form of synchronous communication.
  • Brainstorming: While you can do asynchronous brainstorming, many teams find synchronous brainstorming the most effective, so team members can share ideas in real-time. 
  • Kickoff meetings: You need everyone on the same page at the start of a major project or event. A synchronous event also gives people the chance to ask questions.

Beyond these examples, most communication should be asynchronous. Make sure everyone understands the normal response timeframes and other expectations for the various communication tools you use. Get feedback from your team members so they can point out potential inefficiencies in your communication tools.

Improve Your Communication with Televerde

At Televerde, we offer sales and marketing solutions to various businesses in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Not only can we help you improve your communication, but we have tools that can lead to more sales growth, better lead generation, and improved customer loyalty.

Are you ready to get started? Contact us today to get started.

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