The past couple of years I’ve become increasingly bullish about the use of asynchronous communication at work. Synchronous communication is when you phone or do a zoom conference with your colleagues or customers and asynchronous communication is when you communicate with them through a Whatsapp recorded audio message or a Loom video for example.
One of the reasons I’m bullish about this trend is that I’m myself only using async communication with my MemoHub customers. The program lasts one month and during that time I never have a live session with the participants, we mainly use whatsapp text and audio messages. I’ve been doing that from the start, so two years ago, and it works fantastic, I never had problems with it.
Contrary to what many people think, I believe that there are benefits for both the sender and the receiver.
The first obvious benefit is that you can consume it whenever you have time, you don’t need to synchronize your agendas. Second, with the video format you can add more context than with an email by adding a screen recording for example. Third, for the sender it’s often faster to record a 3min audio message than to write a long email. And last but not least, audio messages enable the receiver to multitask. IT’s an aspect that I always explain to the people I work with, but on my side I love to receive audio messages because I can multitask when I listen to them, whereas with an email it’s impossible bc I have my face stuck to a screen. For me it was a game changer because I can listen to my customers’ audio messages while I’m at home cooking, when I’m watching my kids playing at the playground, when I’m in the transportation to and from my office or even when I have a coffee at work. I think it’s a vastly underappreciated benefit of this model for the receiver.
Now, apart from telling you about my life, what I think is exciting is that I see plenty of super interesting features built on top of these audio and video messages. I think that many people don’t like to receive an audio or video message because if the sender is not mindful enough you end up with long messages not synthetized enough. However in the past couple of years a new breed of async communication tools have emerged and they basically add features on top of the audio or video message to lower its consumption friction.
The first obvious feature is the speed option that allows you to listen to a message 1.5 or 2x faster. Personally this feature was a game changer when it became available on Whatsapp. But you also have many other features that are super interesting such as automatically removing the hmm and blanks, or generating a transcript or automatic audio and video chaptering or the ability to search audio and video messages files. “add the screen of searchie with the first video search engine but without showing searchie”
This is why I’m bullish about async communication, whether it’s with your colleagues or customers, and that we’ll probably see interesting tools emerging in that space.