The benefits of asynchronous communication to improve internal communication and collaboration
Asynchronous communication has already been popular with start-ups for several years and is now becoming an essential lever for collaboration and internal communication in all large companies.
And for good reason, in the age of teleworking, hybrid working and 'meetingitis', this mode of interaction is essential for teamwork.
However, after a career spent in physical meetings, face-to-face progress check-ins and live phone calls, some employees are struggling to grasp the benefits of this new approach.
Does this sound familiar? Mozzaik presents 7 good reasons to adopt asynchronous communication that will convince your most reluctant colleagues. Read the following carefully!
What is asynchronous communication?
Before getting to the heart of the matter, let us quickly review the definition of asynchronous communication.
To put it briefly, asynchronous communication is the opposite of synchronous communication. Synchronous communication refers to instantaneous interactions such as those observed in a telephone call, a meeting or a video conference.
Thus, conversely, interacting asynchronously means exchanging information in a delayed manner. Asynchronous communication therefore implies a latency between each message, whether it is in the form of text, audio capture or a video clip.
Traditionally, asynchronous communication is embodied in epistolary conversations. More recently, it has of course been embodied in email and SMS.
But that is not all. With digital technology, many other solutions now allow a form of asynchronous communication through messaging, integrated conversation threads or simply shared documents:
- Collaborative communication applications such as Microsoft Teams;
- Knowledge management and electronic document management (EDM) software such as Microsoft SharePoint ;
- Corporate Social Networks (CSNs) like Microsoft Yammer;
- Collaborative project management applications, such as Microsoft Planner.
📌 To go further, find out how to create an internal social networking platform without getting it wrong
You now know a little more about these two ways of interacting in a business context. So, synchronous or asynchronous communication, which solution should you choose for your company?
Here are 7 good reasons to consider the second of these two options:
#1 Parallelizing tasks to improve internal collaboration
Asynchronous communication tools allow employees to perform tasks in parallel and move forward simultaneously on the same project. This optimizes teamwork and increases collective productivity.
In particular, employees can practice Co-Authoring, i.e. work on the same document, shared via an EDM software such as Microsoft SharePoint.
Thanks to this form of asynchronous communication, members of a project team can, for example, design the PowerPoint for their annual presentation more efficiently:
There is no need to pass the document from hand to hand, then send a first draft for proofreading before starting a new writing cycle. With Co-Authoring, the PowerPoint is edited by the employees and corrected by their manager simultaneously. A real time saver.
In addition, each employee always has access to an updated version of the joint presentation. No more lost attachments or out-of-date work materials that cause misunderstandings and delays.
Better still, Versioning allows the history of the shared document to be tracked, an earlier version to be consulted and even restored. With this feature, team members therefore have the right to make mistakes, which stimulates initiative and innovation.
This is an advantage that can be found elsewhere, since in the event of accidental deletion, the document is kept for 93 days.
🏆 To go further, here's our guide to turning your SharePoint into a true EDM
#2 Giving visibility to stakeholders to facilitate teamwork
Asynchronous communication also helps to clarify the course of a project for the employees involved and, in so doing, to simplify teamwork.
Task scheduling applications such as Microsoft Planner and ToDo can, for example, be integrated into the Microsoft Teams collaborative communication software. The "Tasks" tab in Teams can be used to schedule tasks, prioritize them, assign them to individual project team members, display them in a Kanban board or list, and even synchronize them with each team member's personal ToDo list.
In this way, each employee is informed of the tasks they have to carry out, but also of those delegated to their teammates and of the progress of each task. There's nothing like transparency to boost employee commitment and facilitate collaborative work.
#3 Organizing information to simplify internal communication
Asynchronous communication tools also offer many possibilities for prioritizing information .
The Microsoft Teamsinternal communication application, for example, makes it possible to create thematic channels in each Teams group. A working group can thus decide to open a discussion thread dedicated to each of its customers or to a specific dimension of the project in progress (R&D, design, market research, etc.).
But that's not all. Teams group members can also tag a user on a message to draw their attention to a key piece of data or to request a response from them on a specific point.
Finally, Teams users have access to multiple formatting options (bold, colored, bulleted lists, etc.) that allow them to organize their speech and highlight the most important information. Even better, collaborators can use images (graphs, diagrams, etc.), links to enrich their speech, and much more.
💡 To take Teams even further, discover 11 Teams apps you should integrate urgently
#4 Storing data to optimize knowledge management
In addition to prioritizing information, asynchronous communication software also makes it possible to store data and create real knowledge bases that are accessible to all employees over time.
The electronic document management (EDM) software under SharePoint365, integrated into the Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace, makes it possible, for example, to create a communal knowledge base which is fed by the employees and makes the information accessible to everyone thanks to Mozzaik's advanced search.
This means no more long hours of research and e-mail exchanges to confirm information that was not understood during a meeting or video conference. Everyone has all the material they need to work well, without wasting time in unproductive interactions.
#5 Avoiding interruptions to boost individual employee productivity
We can't talk about asynchronous communication without mentioning the individual productivity gains associated with this mode of interaction!
Asynchronous communication makes it possible to avoid a certain number of meetings (those dedicated to sharing cold information or certain progress check-ins for example). Employees can thus devote a maximum of their time to higher value-added work and increase their productivity.
Above all, asynchronous communication means that employees are less frequently interrupted in their work. In particular, they are spared a large number of unannounced calls. Employees can therefore focus fully on their tasks, maintain a good level of concentration and be more productive.
#6 Promoting high quality exchanges for the benefit of collective intelligence
More unexpectedly, asynchronous communication in some respects promotes better quality exchanges between colleagues.
This mode of interaction allows each of the stakeholders time to reflect calmly and to formulate their ideas in the most accurate, clear and synthetic way.
Furthermore, when communicating off-line, employees do not suffer from a loss of concentration as they do during a meeting or video conference.
Thanks to asynchronous communication, employees can gather essential information, give their best and participate in the emergence of a true collective intelligence, even when they are introverted by nature.
#7 Working better as a team in an international context
Finally, and not surprisingly, asynchronous communication has the advantage of facilitating collaborative work between teams located around the world and in different time zones.
With staggered communication, there is no need to get up at the crack of dawn or stay up late at night to communicate with your Japanese or Brazilian colleagues. Everyone can check their messages and reply when they are available.
But that's not all. Internal communication tools such as Microsoft Teams or the corporate social network (CSN) Microsoft Yammer also offer an automatic translation feature. This means that messages posted by colleagues who do not speak the same language can be understood in a few clicks.
Good to know: The Digital Workplace and its various features make it easy to roll out asynchronous communication in the company. With Mozzaik365, you can easily integrate your Teams and Sharepoint applications and offer your employees a true digital work environment by encouraging interaction between colleagues and connecting your teams. This digital workspace also facilitates internal collaboration, knowledge sharing, and ultimately, collaborative work.
💡 To go further, find out why you should create an intranet in Microsoft
Good reasons to adopt asynchronous communication in your company: conclusion
As you will have understood from this article, there are many good reasons to adopt asynchronous communication.
When used intelligently and wisely, this way of interacting with colleagues improves internal collaboration, teamwork, internal communication, knowledge management and collective intelligence.
Fortunately, the Digital Workplace tools, such as Microsoft Teams, Yammer and SharePoint, lend themselves particularly well to asynchronous communication and make it much easier to adopt. So why not switch to asynchronous communication for your business?