We continue to learn more about workplace trends in T1V’s Work From Anywhere Study, where respondents from a variety of industries across both the enterprise and education have reported their collaboration habits.
One of the pivotal trends we see is the hybrid work model, where some employees from an organization work on-premise in the office, while others work from home. This shift is transforming the way we think about meetings and collaboration.
The Economist highlighted a particular study from the Harvard Business School that takes a deep dive into how meetings and digital communication patterns are changing with the nature of work. They found a few things that are happening nowadays:
The latest meeting trends
The latest digital communication trends
Taking all of these factors into account, the commonalities are clear: there are more collaborative touchpoints (people communicating more often, higher instances of collaboration) and more people involved in each collaborative touchpoint.
If we look at these commonalities and apply them to the hybrid work model, where flexible hours are vital, people are working odd hours and joining platforms that support both in-room and remote participants - it’s important to focus on one of the most valuable resources and how it affects collaboration: time.
As employees continue to navigate the hybrid work model, the boundaries between actual formal meetings and focused solo work becomes blurred. For example, the use of productivity tools and instant messaging platforms like Slack have skyrocketed.
People are communicating digitally more than ever during their work hours…whatever those flexible work hours may be - inevitably altering time-based collaboration.
There are two types of time-based collaboration: synchronous collaboration and asynchronous collaboration.
Synchronous collaboration occurs with the use of collaboration tools that enable participants to collaborate in real-time, where they’re in the same location or in different places. This is usually found in the form of face-to-face interaction, on the fly brainstorming session, or a formal meeting. One of the benefits to synchronous collaboration is the ability to send and receive information immediately, which is helpful to workflow efficiency and problem solving in real-time.
Synchronous collaboration platforms
In contrast, many of us initially heard about asynchronous platforms from education - specifically, higher education - with HyFlex teaching and learning. EDUCAUSE describes the HyFlex course format as combining face-to-face learning with online learning, allowing students to participate in classes synchronously AND asynchronously online. Students can decide how to participate, and resources and tools for the asynchronous course allow equitable access and participation for students including videos, chats, online resources, and more.
Asynchronous collaboration, also known as async collaboration, is time-relevant too - but is collaboration that takes place outside of a defined meeting period. An example of asynchronous collaboration happens when two employees use a productivity tool for communication - like Slack. One person sends information, like a message, note, or image - and then the recipient (or several) can receive that information and digest it at any time - preferably at a time convenient for them.
Asynchronous collaboration platforms
There are potential pain points to asynchronous collaboration - like a lack of urgency, or miscommunication - for instance, if a person does not receive or respond to information sent to them. But with the blurred boundaries between meetings and focused work, along with the in-room and remote participation combination of the hybrid work model, asynchronous collaboration will likely be more and more prevalent within the nature of work in the years to come.
This is not to say that synchronous collaboration or meetings will no longer occur - quite the opposite! Instead, the latest trends of blended, agile teams suggest that work will unfold through a combination of both synchronous collaboration and asynchronous collaboration.
Therefore, we all need to be prepared with technology platforms that seamlessly support both styles of collaboration. The key will be where synchronous collaboration meets asynchronous collaboration, where blended teams can flow in and out of group work together - even if they’re apart.
Learn more about T1V collaboration solutions to support both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration at t1v.com. Schedule your demo today.