Is it time to mourn the death of synchronous communication?
Stuck at home in front of your computer screen, you yearn for synchronous communication: popping your head into a colleague’s office and exchanging information in real time. Ah, the good old days, full of spontaneous, on-the-spot discussion and debate. Or was it?
Productivity experts actually prefer asynchronous communication: sending a message to someone and waiting for their reply. Although this approach appears less efficient, it has valuable benefits for anyone suffering from digital fatigue. In addition to the fact that asynchronous communication is compatible with remote working, it helps you stay focused on the task at hand and means you can take time to reply.
To make the gradual switch to asynchronous communication:
- Put the brakes on! Don’t answer every email within minutes of receiving it. Limit the number of interruptions by checking your email in batches twice a day.
- Use instant messaging sparingly so you don’t disturb your contacts’ powers of concentration.
- Exploit project management tools that allow everyone to view the tasks, people in charge and project status at a glance. This avoids calls and emails to find out whether such-and-such a correction has been made.
Free your teams from the demand to be constantly in “on” mode. There aren’t many employees who really need to be.
by Blake Thorn (I done this, 30 june 2020).
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