Synchronous vs Asynchronous Communication: Whats the Real Difference?


For colleagues who don’t speak the same language; they have the time to revert back to informational updates, transcribe and translate, if need be, to gather full meaning. They also have time to formulate and review their own written feedback. “Zight (formerly CloudApp) definition of asynchronous communication allows me to quickly communicate the insights I have observed in the data and what I believe we should do with that information through video and screenshots. I can then share these screen recordings with the team to ensure we are all on the same page.

But with different working styles and a predominantly remote or hybrid working environment, it can be challenging to figure out the best way to communicate with your team. In fact, according to Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work report, difficulties with collaboration and communication was cited as the second biggest struggle when working remotely. Nothing is more important in team management than effective communication. These two forms of data transmission can be easy to understand in terms of human communications, but it’s significantly more difficult for architects and developers to apply them in software design. And while the basic principles guide the execution of program code, the amount of time it takes for these software-based communications to transmit can often be measured in milliseconds. A student completing assignments on their own, outside of a classroom or video call, is an example of asynchronous learning.

Ahead of The Game: Ways You’re Already Using Async

The best part of creating a centralized knowledge base is that your whole team has access to the exact same source of truth every time you update it. At Float, we use Notion as a compass for who’s who and where’s what. Our team resources and documentation are written and categorized in a self-service format that is easy to digest by everyone on the team.

synchronous vs asynchronous communication

Async communication, on the other hand, allows individuals to plan their day and schedule around their own personal needs without sacrificing their own productivity or efficiency. Throughout our lives, a large amount of, if not the majority of communication occurs synchronously. Talking face-to-face with people is synchronous communication, after all.

Step 1: Identify & Collect Knowledge

Without this sort of pressure, everyone is happier, more relaxed, and therefore more productive. Companies stand to lose a lot as a result of poorly managed communication between employees. A survey conducted among businesses with 100 employees or more revealed these companies lose $420,000 per year due to miscommunication.

synchronous vs asynchronous communication

This can help reduce endless back-and-forth messages (so long shoulder taps) and lets everyone work more autonomously and efficiently. Without distractions, employees can block off time for deep work, then batch responses a few times a day instead of checking their phone every 30 minutes. Synchronous communication is common in a physical work location where managers can walk up to a team member’s office and ask for a document or question about a process.