The real possibilities that lay shielded under the immenseness of the prospects harboured by the world make for a revelation only in times of crisis. Case in point the coronavirus pandemic that has made all of us embrace a life we never thought would be conducive in serving of our needs. From going contactless for the longest period of time- and not just in matters of financial transaction, to availing truly the real opportunities allowed by the option in working from home or remotely, these trying times of our lives has endowed us with a realisation of adaptability and flexibility being forever ingrained ideals of the human existence.
Specifically in the realm of professional work, this residing in adaptability has been explored more than in any other strata of living. The case being one of economies and finances that which is what drives life in the modern consumerist world, it only is natural that work should continue in one of its ends in earning us incomes for sustenance no matter what. That has indeed been the case in the current scenario as well and accompanying this all important spectrum of living has been a slew of changes mandated necessary by this very shift in the state of health of the world.
The pros and cons of remote work are one of never ending enumeration. Specially today when the more assertive frequency and continuation of its mannerism has made it more open to evolution, carrying out one’s professional duties from outside the confines of a strictly defined physical space occurring as the office has come to be characterised by certain distinct modes of operation. And taking over this dimension of work has been a concept that which in itself isn’t anything very new but surely is more important than ever today in both its doing and in recognition along this sphere of occurrence.
Establishing as the rather ordinary preface in asynchronous communication and specifically necessitating the prevalence of a technological interface for it to see fruition is this element that has since long been characterising of the professional space across some of its areas. But its assuming of greater relevance and acquisition of more clarity in the present context speaks of its residing in a universality we often reap the benefits of. Asynchronous communication is a ‘modern’ mode of communicating in that it involves understandings beyond the real time workings of the physical world. At the same time though, it also is as much traditional a concept in that the requirement for it has been attending to work affairs of earlier arrangements as well.
Asynchronous communication works because it is so imbibing of the ideas and ideals in flexibility that remote work aspires to create more and more scope for. That being said though, it isn’t just such pursuits in working that does not occur within a defined zone that this form of convenience attends to. In fact, asynchronicity might have been explored as a part of the more routine schedule that needs to be adhered to within the formal settings of an office for instance, in such circumstances that call for it as the logical and only option as well. In cases of such dealing with clients that cut across the differentiation of time zones, it obviously would be a communication occurring in much asynchronisation that would be the only way in getting the job done. But the fore of asynchronous communication that the now more explored realm of the location based choice in professional working has opened up happens to be somewhat different, not just in purely organised working terms but also in assertions of one’s personal life as well.
It perhaps is its working out of much consideration for a representation of the more real world issues of workers and employees that makes the current capacity of functioning of asynchronous communication reveal itself along a different line of working. This might not be very trailblazing a way in working and living but the extents to which it has eased the human dilemma in eking out that elusive work life balance is perhaps what makes this now necessary component of human lives a winner to totally root for.
Asynchronous communication is relevant in its allowance of the luxury that workers today can afford to take in choosing to work as per their own convenient dwelling in time and resources. Whether it be adjusting one’s work schedule to equally emphasise also on their personal commitments or simply choosing to work during that time of the day during which they tend to be more productive, this necessitated practice in the professional world is one of much advantage.
Why this mode of working is referred to as the related but somehow different still understanding of asynchronous communication is because of the nature of how it occurs. It is unlikely that even in most professional setups, much like in other spheres of life, employees would be always working independent of everyone else. Even when it might not be the most collective of duties that one is assigned to, there still would emerge the necessity of some degree of interaction and team work or at least follow ups and coordination among different people dealing with that same specific field of the organisation.
It is this aspect in communication that the aforesaid concept in non synchrony alludes to more specifically, meaning that employees might not be- or rather need not be always available in designated points of time or even anytime during that span of the rigid traditional work hours of the usual 9 to 5 stipulation. But even in emerging as contrary almost to the expected or long recommended process in simultaneous ‘get together’ of employees as in meetings or the like to collectively dwell upon the mechanism in and of working, asynchronous communication can in fact be a more concrete mode in disseminating and processing information and thus influence desirable outcomes.
Because with not everyone available at the same time to make note of important points or engage in deliberation and/ or discourse about any matter, the gist of what is crucial for every employee to be abreast of is very certainly documented within the larger consideration of non linear working schedules. This helps to more clearly approach the issue at hand while also ensuring that there does not arise ambiguity due to subjective basis of individual interpretation of facts. And while this might not even be the intended grounds of advocating for asynchronous communication to be an integral part of any professional work arrangements it sure is one of the more ‘liberating’ revelation of it.
Of course the more obvious benefits of asynchronous working occurs through its inherent essence of freeing employees from the rigours of predetermined and fixed times of physical availability, however inconvenient that might be not just in terms of accessibility but also in consideration of the differing periods of productive bursts for every single one of them. Even in the former allowance though, it is productivity that can still be thrust upon what with being able to adjust with the demands of personal life leading workers to be generally more upbeat about their professional duties as well. This is availed out of a feel good realisation in attaining that crucial balance of work and home as well as an experience in being lesser stressed about the other concerns of life. And occurring as it does along those lines of the tendency to come across as more efficient in shorter, scattered periods of work, asynchronous communication does all it can to indeed raise the bar of the remote work phenomenon.
And yet, despite all such residings in convenience, this workplace communication beyond the traditionally synced space of the actual office and occurring as well outside the real awareness of time is not without its limits. The very definition of it being unadhering to any one specific zone in time makes it a prospect in considerable possibilities of clash. Also this arrangement taken upon oneself to work whenever one ‘gets the time’ in at least one version of it can end up having effects exactly opposite of what is expected. While achieving a distinct balance between work life and personal life or adjusting the demands of both is what drives asynchronous communication to be the end in desirability, the working of it very often ends up instead to be an irony of sorts.
In choosing to access this privilege of working independent of the set schedule of the office or outside the timetable of their colleagues, and even the team members on whom some portion of the task might be more dependent in its realisation, we might in fact be disrupting our own existence by allowing work to find its own intimidating way at just about every vacant expanse of our time. Even in the front of actually getting work done, while the terms of asynchronous communication might bolster individual productivities, it might also slow down the greater process in getting the whole task done since the responses upon it tend to be scattered and not immediate or non priority.
There also might be a weird feeling of disassociation setting in that though might not be an exclusive shortcoming of this particular concept as it is of the actually remote and distant setting of work. Also creeping in might be another assertion in much ambiguity of the permission for working remotely to automatically be characterised by this association in further flexibility. Not to mention the missing out on the wonderful and much needed exercise in brainstorming and collaborating and everyone swearing by their own privileged dwelling in what is their exclusive share of time might not be syncing as well with the other essential elements of real work waiting to happen in real time.