Synchronous Vs Asynchronous Communication
  • Shweta Barma
  • Last Updated: 29 Apr 22
  • 7 min read

Synchronous Vs Asynchronous Communication: How to use both to dominate Remote Work?

  • Shweta Barma
  • Last Updated: 29 Apr 22
  • 7 min read

When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly hit, many of us were forced to work and learn from home; while remote work isn’t a new concept, most of us haven’t faced the challenges (and, yes, rewards) of a completely digital workplace or classroom.

It raised a lot of questions for new remote workers. What is the most effective way to communicate with your coworkers? How can you, as an instructor, ensure that your students are not only receiving the information they require but are also learning?

How do I know when it’s better to make a phone call or hold an online meeting rather than send an email or record a video?

Have you grasped the knowledge of synchronous VS asynchronous communication? Or are you unsure of the best time and method to work and collaborate with your team?

Communication is the primary skill for any manager or team member to grasp, particularly in the current world. Selecting the perfect stream for having conversations your message is critical to how well it is received and acted upon. 

What is Synchronous Communication?

Synchronous communication includes the word “Synchronous,” meaning real-time. This type of communication happens spontaneously. 

Two or more people are involved in general communication. This type of communication ensures that the people involved in the communication exchange messages or information instantly without any long pause in between.

Even if you just talk to a friend over a coffee meeting, it’s an asynchronous way of communicating. Meaning, there has to be an immediate response from the communicating parties. 

Before the covid hit, life around us depended on real-time communication. After covid, we have realized the importance of asynchronous communication in many ways, which we will discuss later. 

Why use Synchronous Communication?

It’s a part of our daily lives, and it’s how we humans exchange information and talk to each other. 

It’s necessary to remember that it can be through personal meetups or technology when we exchange messages. 

Synchronous communication happens in either a physical way or a virtual way. 

We can communicate synchronously by talking to each other simultaneously. However, it does not have to be in the exact location, which means that we can use technology for communication without being in the precise place at the same time.

For example, phone calls are a way of communicating synchronously. You and the other person don’t have to be present at the same place, but also, you can display virtually at the same time or in real-time through phone calls. 

There are many other ways of synchronous communication, and phone calls are just one.

Real-life Examples of Synchronous Communication

So, below are some examples to show you what synchronicity looks like in a real-world communication scenario.

  • In-person meetings
  • Group discussions
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Video conferencing 
  • Phone calls
  • Audio conferencing
  • Text messaging through SMS or Instant messaging app
  • Talks with colleagues during an office break

When to Use Synchronous Communication?

  • For replying to urgent messages
  • For solving issues on the spot
  • For knowing the other person better 
  • For deeper conversations
  • For emergencies
  • For brainstorming ideas
  • For real-time feedback or comments
  • For training 
  • For dealing with customers instantly

Synchronous Communication Tools Used In Remote Work

Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, SMS text, KrispCall for instant team-messaging.

Benefits of Synchronous Communication 

Sync communication fosters a sense of belonging that often lacks time-delayed touch. Because real-time conversations make stronger connections and a part of a team, the sync approach is best used in situations that require a more personal touch, such as:

Socialization: Virtual happy hours and Zoom hangouts are ideal for establishing in-person rapport.

Meetings: One-on-one conferences and other relationship-building activities are best carried out in real-time so that participants can receive immediate responses.

Sensitive topics or critical feedback: Since unclear written communication can be interpreted differently, synchronous communication is essential for sensitive issues that cannot afford any confusion.

Projects that require complex discussions or brainstorming are also best completed in real-time: this allows everyone to contribute without waiting for several people in different time zones to evaluate. Likewise, real-time communication is the best way for a team to respond to an urgent situation or emergency.

What is Asynchronous Communication?

Asynchronous communication is just the opposite of synchronous communication. Everything happens in a delay, and this type of communication generally happens virtually and not in the same place as synchronous communication. 

Asynchronous communication can be best explained in terms of the technology that we use today for communication. 

The time between information sent by one person and the interpretation of that information by another person is delayed when communicating asynchronously.

It’s not that only two people can communicate asynchronously; just like synchronous communication, any number of people can engage in asynchronous communication.

Real-life Examples of Asynchronous Communication

Below are a few things to know about how we practice asynchronous communication in our daily work lives or in general.

Emails, Google Docs ( collaborative documents), messaging apps, pre-recorded videos, SMS text, online forums, krispcall’s messaging.

When to use Asynchronous Communication? 

  • For replying late to messages
  • For knowing the other person better 
  • For quality replies or answers to questions
  • For non-emergency situations
  • For training through video or quick-reference guide

Benefits of Asynchronous communication 

Asynchronous communication is the most commonly used method of communication for virtual teams, particularly those working across multiple time zones, for a variety of reasons.

  • It relieves the pressure of having to respond right away. Employees who have time to think about a response are more likely to deliver well-thought-out, high-quality communication rather than knee-jerk reactions.
  • Better preparation. Employees must plan ahead of time to work through projects and processes with remote teammates because asynchronous communication does not rely on instantaneous input. This can result in a proactive, rather than reactive, mindset, which can benefit the company.
  • Increased control over the workday; asynchronous communication allows people to set aside time during their workdays to respond to messages rather than respond day and night immediately.
  • Communication and collaboration across time zones are simple. When no immediate response is expected, teammates from all over the world can contribute to a project, allowing companies to hire from anywhere. This, in turn, promotes a diverse workforce.
  • Fewer interruptions allow for more in-depth work and concentration. When team members can respond on their schedule, they can devote their full attention to the task without distraction by incoming requests.

Synchronous VS Asynchronous Communication

Synchronous CommunicationAsynchronous Communication
Collaboration in real-timeFewer distractions, but lead to more focus and deep work time
Synchronous communication has the potential to be more personable.Can communicate at one’s own pace and on one’s schedule
Immediate feedback.Before communicating,  it can take some time to perfect your ideas and responses.
Standard 9 to 5 working hoursEmployees can decide which work hours best fit them

Final Thought

There is no single best way to communicate when working or learning remotely. There are advantages to both asynchronous and synchronous communication.

Some communications are time-sensitive and require immediate attention. On the other hand, others are less urgent and can be handled less disruptive and possibly even more helpful.

No matter how far or close your colleagues or audiences are, with the right tools and knowledge of where each method excels, you can use both synchronous and asynchronous communication to improve your communication.

As previously stated, both types of communication have their benefits, uses. As a result, it’s essential to understand when to employ those communication techniques.

But don’t worry if you’re sick of looking for ways to implement both sync and async communication in your business; KrispCall has you covered, and KrispCall gives you the best of both worlds. Try KrispCall Today.

Shweta Barma
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