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Questions to ask when considering switching to asynchronous meetings

Ben Larsen

Asynchronous meetings have the opportunity to increase the level of focus, engagement, and productivity for your company or team. But, how do you know when you’re ready to leave your synchronous meetings behind and make the shift to asynchronous meetings?

It’s easy to see the benefits of asynchronous meetings, and those benefits tie directly to the pain points of the modern-day synchronous meeting. And, that’s exactly where to start.

6 questions to explore when considering a switch to asynchronous meetings

Below, we run through the six key areas to examine within your own team or company when considering a switch to asynchronous meetings. It’s our recommendation to make the switch if any of these areas are a cause of concern for you, your team members, or your company as a whole.

Is your team struggling with the amount of time spent in meetings?

Time has dual impact when it comes to synchronous meetings. And, in the modern-day workplace, those impacts are decidedly negative. When considering switching from synchronous meetings to asynchronous meetings, it’s important to think about the time challenges your team faces in terms of time spent in meetings and the time-based challenges you face when meeting synchronously.

Did you know that the average executive spends 23 hours per week in meetings? Add that up over the course of a career and that's nearly half of a life in meetings! If that statistic isn’t alarming, we don’t know what it is.

While it wouldn’t be fair to categorize all synchronous meetings as unproductive, anyone that spends a lot of time in meetings each week can attest: a lot of synchronous meetings are unproductive.

Business leaders should be examining closely the time being spent in synchronous meetings and challenging their impact on productivity. If you’re considering switching to asynchronous meetings, it’s vital to determine if your team or employees would be more productive with less time spent in meetings.

Is it difficult to find a convenient time to meet?

The time spent in synchronous meetings isn’t the only time-related challenge business leaders face.

Teams across the country, especially global companies with employees and business partners in different timezones often find it challenging to schedule synchronous meetings at a time convenient for all attendees.

Even for those teams all residing in the same timezone, calendars are often overloaded to a point where finding a time when all attendees are available becomes a challenge.

If your team faces the time constraints detailed above, it’s time to switch to asynchronous meetings.

Are your team members struggling to understand and meet expectations?

Did you know a Gallup study in 2016 showed that nearly half of all U.S. employees don’t know what is expected of them at work?

If your company or team is seeing many employees wearing multiple hats, participating in multiple projects, and spending more and more time in meetings, it’s time to consider switching to asynchronous meetings. After all, this increased demand on your team members' time and attention is leading to overwhelming, unclear, and misaligned expectations. More and more synchronous meetings tend to compound their negative impacts.

An asynchronous meeting can help align expectations through easy communication that is consistent across all meetings. And, if your commitment to asynchronous meetings is paired with the onboarding of an asynchronous meeting platform like Asynchly, then your meeting objectives, expectations, and decisions are all documented well and archived for on-demand access.

If you or your team members are struggling with understanding or keeping up with what is expected of them while at work, asynchronous meetings run on an asynchronous meeting platform like Asynchly may be the silver bullet you’re looking for.

Are synchronous meetings leading to a lack of focus for your team or organization?

For many workers, the interruptions caused by constant meetings and other forms of synchronous collaboration and communication lead to an inability to focus on the work that matters most.

A 2015 study revealed that 36 percent of workers felt that by attending meetings, the quality of their work was diminished. Whether you’re an individual worker, manager, or business leader, that has to make your head spin. This pull on your team’s focus and attention isn’t limited to synchronous meetings, either. Constant chats, pings, reminders, and drive-by conversations add up and make it difficult to get deep work done.

Switching to asynchronous meetings can clear your employees’ calendars, giving them the space and time required to deliver quality work. If your staff or team members are delivering sub-par work due to a lack of focus, it’s time to switch to asynchronous meetings on an asynchronous meeting platform like Asynchly.

How are synchronous meetings impacting your team's productivity?

Similarly to focus, actual productivity can take a hit by spending too much time in meetings — whether they’re productive or unproductive synchronous meetings.

Many companies rely heavily upon synchronous meetings to make decisions. Getting everyone together at the same time, whether in-person or over phone- or video-conference, can result in a big hit on productivity. After all, if someone’s not working on their to-do’s, nothing will get done.

While some synchronous meetings are absolutely necessary, the majority of them could be managed asynchronously — leaving your team members open to contribute what’s required of them towards the meeting’s objective, get out, and focus on their other productive work.

If your team, company, or organization is experiencing a lack of productivity, the time spent in meetings is likely a major culprit. Consider switching to asynchronous meetings to get your teams’ productivity back on track.

Is there a lack of engagement or happiness caused by the negative impacts of synchronous meetings?

Perhaps the worst thing a company can endure is a lack of employee engagement. A lack of engagement can occur for many reasons. One of them is the dull, aching pain caused by back-to-back-to-back (you get the idea) meetings.

In companies committed to a heavy meeting culture, engagement can be challenged due to the negative compounding effects of unproductive synchronous meetings. Think about it: the four other factors to consider when making a change to asynchronous meetings, if regularly experienced by workers, leads to a severe lack of engagement and happiness at work.

If you’re seeing a lack of engagement amongst team members and employees, give them back their time, space, and enjoyment at work by making the switch to asynchronous meetings.

As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when examining whether or not switching from synchronous meetings to asynchronous meetings in the workplace is a good idea for you and your team, company, or organization.

We recommend taking an honest and hard look at the state of your company in the five areas we’ve outlined above to see if it could benefit by a clearer, more efficient, and organized way to meet.

We’re still working hard to build the Asynchly asynchronous meeting platform, but if you’d like to be put on the list to receive a demo as soon as it’s ready, fill out our early-access form.

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