Team members are able to collaborate effectively from remote locations due to the availability of email, Slack, Zoom and other cutting-edge technologies. This allows them to provide the same, or even more, value than would be possible with a full-time employee. As we enter the second year of the pandemic, the focus is no longer on how to connect online, but when.
As dispersed teams become increasingly common, it is important to distinguish between synchronous and asynchronous forms of remote communication. Synchronous communication occurs in real-time, while asynchronous communication does not.
Remote communication is crucial for the successful operation of virtual teams in today’s increasingly digital working environment. Establishing effective communication amongst team members is essential for a balanced and stable approach to completing tasks.
At Works, we are highly experienced in creating and sustaining effective distributed teams. A key factor in achieving success is strong communication, both between management and employees, and between employees themselves. A breakdown in communication and collaboration can weaken the whole structure.
The effectiveness of this foundation is being threatened by the increased pressure of working in distributed teams, where asynchronous communication is necessary. Nevertheless, effective interaction can still be achieved.
When individuals work for multiple organizations and utilize digital resources to communicate and collaborate both synchronously and asynchronously, the challenge lies in tackling the challenges that arise when people communicate over the web, work on multiple projects at once, and seldom, if ever, meet in person.
Anomaly in the PMI Data
In order to realize success when working remotely, it is essential to have the correct equipment. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the various time zones and geographical areas that make up the team. With this in mind, let us look at this in further detail.
- The drawbacks of switching to synchronous communication from its asynchronous counterpart.
- Having your asynchronous tools in sync is crucial.
- Furthermore, your remote workforce, as well as your customers, may get the benefits of synchronous communication.
What is Synchronous Communication?
In conclusion, synchronous communication only occurs in real-time, meaning team members must be online at the same time and using the same device to partake in a video conference or call. Asynchronous communication, on the other hand, allows messages to be sent at any time convenient for both parties. Despite this being a useful distinction, it is not adequate enough for arranging efficient remote communication amongst geographically dispersed teams.
Pros and Cons of Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication
Synchronous communication can present a challenge for remote workers, particularly those based in home environments. This is due to the fact that asynchronous projects enable team members to reply at their own convenience, allowing them to take the time to consider their response and ensure it is of a high quality.
Managers may find managing a workforce spread across multiple time zones challenging. Finding a suitable time for all staff to come together for office meetings and conference calls can be difficult. Unfortunately, remote workers may need to be flexible with their schedules in order to accommodate any inconvenience this may cause.
The term ‘rotating shift patterns’ is used to refer to alternating meeting times which are often inconvenient. This approach helps to prevent one group of people from bearing the burden of having to attend late night or early morning meetings too often.
It is evident that this is not the optimum solution. To alleviate stress, it is recommended that each member establishes a healthy work-life balance. To ensure meetings are productive, substantive topics should be discussed that cannot be addressed through email. Additionally, chat rooms should be utilized as another form of synchronous communication.
If there are only a few time zones to consider, it is advisable to identify a period of time when all participants are available for the meeting. To minimize disruption, a video/audio or chat meeting should be scheduled during this window.
It is reassuring to note that the majority of virtual teams utilize asynchronous methods of communication. To ensure you are optimizing asynchronous communication, we recommend that you review our case study.
Remote Team Application Synchronization
It is essential that all team members are able to communicate with one another in real time, so it is important to ensure all remote staff, both domestic and international, are using the same software. Prioritize the tools used throughout the organization to ensure all staff are on the same page.
It is essential to have a central asynchronous communications channel to enable asynchronous decision-making. All team members must be able to access the same data and take part in ongoing conversations, so it is important to select technology that supports this.
It’s Open Source, So It Must Be Good, Right?
This will facilitate communication between distant members in different time zones, providing them with the assurance that they are being provided with the correct information and have a shared understanding with their colleagues. This will result in a stronger sense of team unity and success.
Benefits Of Synchronous Communication
Communication is essential for remote businesses, providing the same support that a keystone does for a physical structure. The company will benefit from a well-structured system, while remote workers are given the confidence and security to perform to their highest potential.
Employees will be able to ensure they possess the most recent information each time they commence their work, regardless of whether they are working remotely from New Zealand or in an office in New York. This is emphasized by Thanaporn Sundaravej, author of “Synchronous and Asynchronous Collaboration Technology Use in Teamwork”.
Improved adoption of communication technologies may be more likely to occur when individuals, particularly managers and employers, have a good understanding of the differences between synchronous and asynchronous communication. Furthermore, the use of collaborative technology in organizations enables employees to collaborate more effectively, despite geographical and temporal constraints.
Remote employees may find that video and/or audio meetings provide them with rare occasions for interpersonal connection with colleagues. This can lead to increased trust, a wider variety of abilities, and stronger connections in the professional sphere. Furthermore, synchronous communication can enable more people to be involved in the process simultaneously.
Positive Effects of Non-Real-Time Conversations
Our organization may benefit from having remote workers in multiple time zones when tackling particularly challenging tasks. As the old saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’, but having several minds working together can be a significant advantage. By having workers in different locations, we can ensure that our organization can continue to work on solutions even when one group clocks off for the day. This allows us to make the most of the resources available to us and to ensure that no problem remains unsolved.
The primary advantage of this approach is that it allows for the provision of round-the-clock services by recruiting from a global pool of talent. This is likely to be an attractive prospect for many customers.
Expand Your Virtual Staff
Keeping employees in different time zones informed can be a challenge, but it is possible to ensure no one is left behind if you take advantage of synchronous communication options. For further advice on how to effectively communicate with remote workers, please read this post.
If you are looking to create a remote team of IT professionals from around the world, please get in touch and we can help you find the most suitable experts for your needs.