Even though many of us first heard about the “hybrid” workplace model after the pandemic, some companies have been using this approach long before 2020 and have managed to gather valuable insight into how to make it more effective.
Deciding whether a certain topic requires a meeting or whether the discussion can happen in a more casual way has been one of the most challenging aspects of this new workplace model. Keep reading to learn more about meeting prioritization and the synchronous/asynchronous models of communication.
Sync vs. Async Communication Styles
You’re likely to lead two types of communication at work: synchronous (when making decisions actively) and asynchronous (for sharing information and collaborating over time).
As the linked Inc. article points out, synchronous communication usually refers to things like phone calls, video conferences, and in-person meetings. These are all situations where attendees have to be present and engaged at the same time; they’re all in sync. On the other hand, asynchronous communication is used when writing e-mails, texting, or sending messages to someone in Teams or Slack.
When Should You Use Each Kind of Communication?
Using both types of communication is essential when working in a hybrid work model. However, finding the right balance can be difficult. If you’re overdoing the meetings, people will start to feel stressed and like they lack time to be alone with their thoughts and focus on the tasks at hand.
Conversely, if you rely only on text to communicate with team members, they start to feel isolated and detached from their work. It’s also a lot harder to make fast-paced decisions with asynchronous communication.
Having said that, there is no exact formula for the best balance of communication types. What you can do is think of communication as a spectrum — the more complicated and urgent a topic is, the more likely it is that you need to conduct it synchronously (in a video conference or a live meeting). On the contrary, the simpler the conversation is likely to be — for example, if you’re only giving information or providing updates — it would benefit everyone to do it asynchronously (through a short e-mail or a text message).
While working in a hybrid work model, finding the best way to communicate with your colleagues and team members can be challenging. That’s why it’s always a good idea to combine both types of communication: synchronous and asynchronous. Finding the right balance often depends on the kind of project your team is working on, as well as the urgency or complexity of the topics you need to discuss.
If you’re looking for a tool that makes both sync and async communication easier, check out Docket for all of your meeting, note-organizing, and outcome-tracking needs.