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Ultimate Guide To Asynchronous Meetings That Work For You | Dive

From what async meetings are to tools for them - learn how to maximize the benefits of asynchronous meetings in your workplace and make them work for you!

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In the past few years, it has become common to work from home. As technology has improved and the world has become more connected, companies are more open to the idea of hiring people to work from home. And even though there are benefits to working from home, it also comes with its own challenges, especially when it comes to unnecessary meetings, communication and company culture.

Asynchronous meetings are a new way of addressing these challenges, and they are becoming increasingly popular among remote teams. In this blog post, we will discuss what asynchronous meetings are, how to conduct them effectively, and some downsides of Asynchronous virtual meetings you should keep in mind.


What are asynchronous meetings?

Async meetings are meetings that are not held in real-time. Instead, people can contribute to the meeting at a time that suits them best. This means that everyone doesn't have to be in the same place at the same time. This is a good way to avoid unproductive meetings, save time, and increase efficiency.

Asynchronous meetings are conducted using asynchronous communication tools, such as email, Slack messages, video recordings, and collaborative documents like Google Docs. These tools allow participants to communicate and collaborate on their own schedules.


Comparison between asynchronous and synchronous meetings

The comparison below will help you best in understanding the differences between async and sync meetings:

Asynchronous Meetings

Async Communication happens at different times

Participants can contribute at their own pace

Participants can review and respond to messages when it suits them

Asynchronous collaboration can be beneficial for participants who struggle to communicate effectively in live meetings, as they have more time to formulate their thoughts and express themselves in writing.

Meetings can be more flexible and accommodating to participants in different time zones

Can be more inclusive for participants who need to accommodate other commitments such as work or family

Synchronous Meetings

Synchronous Communication happens in real-time

Participants need to be available at the same time

Participants need to respond immediately

Can be beneficial for participants who are more confident and efficient with their communication.

Meetings can be more efficient for discussing complex or urgent topics.

Can build better rapport and teamwork among participants


How to conduct asynchronous meetings effectively?

To run effective asynchronous meetings, you need to plan ahead, communicate clearly, have the right tools, and follow up on action items. With these tips, you can run effective, productive meetings that help your team reach its goals. Here are some tips on how to run effective asynchronous meetings:


Use a Source of Truth:

Asynchronous meetings often involve multiple contributors, which means that there may be multiple versions of the same document or project. Using a source of truth, like a collaborative document, can help make sure that everyone is working with the most up-to-date and relevant information.

Set clear deadlines

Setting due dates for everyone at the meeting is one of the most important things to do. This means making sure that participants not only have to answer but also giving them a certain amount of time to do so.

It's easy for busy team members to forget that they're supposed to contribute to remote meetings. Even if they don't forget, they may keep pushing back their responses to make room for other things to do. By setting deadlines, you can make sure your meetings don't last for days.

For example, if you conduct daily standups, give everyone until 10 AM every morning to fill out their part of the meeting agenda. This makes sure that everyone on the team knows what everyone else's top priorities are and other relevant information. So, when you get together for your weekly meetings, most meeting participants will already know what's going on, and you'll be able to use your time much better.


Keep track of what was said and what was decided

No matter what type of meeting you're running, it's important to take notes. For meetings that don't happen at the same time, develop a system that makes it easy to record all points of discussion, both those that were planned before the meeting and those that were brought up during the meeting.

Use a tool like Dive to make an agenda for a meeting that lists talking points, who will be there, and other important details. After the meeting is over, be sure to write down any decisions or conclusions that were made.

It’s easy to lose track of important parts of the conversation. So, by organizing and summarising, you can save your team a lot of time and trouble and allow them to jump to the most important parts of the conversation.

Use video or voice recordings to supplement written notes

Free Photo of Woman Taking Notes Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

It can be challenging to convey your thoughts and ideas in writing sometimes. In such cases, you can supplement your written notes with video or voice recordings. These recordings can provide additional context and help in making sure that everyone is on the same page.

For example, you can record a short video to explain a complex idea or provide a demonstration of a new product feature. By using video or voice recordings, you can ensure that everyone on the team understands the concept or feature.


Choose the right tools

Meetings that don't happen at the same time must use special tools to make the process easier for everyone. You need tools that can help you make and share agendas, take notes, and set deadlines. You can stay organized and make sure everyone is on the same page with these tools.

Here are some asynchronous tools that you can use for your meetings:

  • Dive: Dive allows you to create agendas, capture notes, and set deadlines for everyone involved. With Dive, you can easily collaborate with your team members and ensure that everyone is up to date on the latest developments.
  • Google Docs: Google Docs is a cloud-based word-processing tool that allows multiple users to collaborate on the same document in real-time. This is a great tool for capturing meeting notes and keeping everyone on the same page.
  • Trello: Trello is a project management tool that allows you to create boards, lists, and cards to track tasks and collaborate with your team members. You can use Trello to create an agenda board for your asynchronous meetings and track the progress of each item.
  • Slack: Slack is a messaging tool that allows you to communicate with your team members in real-time. You can use Slack to set reminders, share files, and collaborate on projects. You can also use Dive's meeting management integration for Slack and start conducting the most productive asynchronous meetings in your company.


Follow up with action items

After an asynchronous meeting, go over the meeting notes and make sure everyone knows what to do next. Make sure each action item has a clear person in charge and a clear deadline.

Tracking action items is a key part of making sure your asynchronous meetings go fruitful. It makes sure that everyone is responsible for their work and lets you keep track of how your projects are going.


Evaluate the effectiveness of your meetings

It's important to look at how well your asynchronous meetings are going on a regular basis. This will help you figure out what needs to be fixed and make sure your meetings are effective and productive.

You can evaluate the effectiveness of your meetings by asking for feedback from your team members. You can also review the notes from your meetings and assess whether or not the action items are being completed on time.

By regularly evaluating the effectiveness of your meetings, you can make adjustments to improve the process and ensure that your meetings are as productive as possible.


Downsides of Asynchronous meetings

Source: Pexels

While asynchronous meetings have many advantages, they also have some downsides that should be considered. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Participants may not be able to get immediate feedback or clarification.:

Participants may have to wait longer in asynchronous meetings to get the feedback or clarification they need. This lag time can be frustrating, especially when they need quick answers to move forward with their work. However, there are ways to mitigate this issue. One solution is to designate specific times for everyone to check in and answer questions and touch base.


Can be less engaging and may lack the personal touch of face-to-face interaction:

Asynchronous meetings can lack the personal touch of face-to-face interaction, making them less engaging for some participants. However, this can be mitigated by using video recordings or asynchronous video tools like loom to provide a more personal touch.

Also, using collaboration tools to work together on shared documents can create a sense of camaraderie and collaboration. Overall, it's important to be intentional about creating engagement and building relationships during asynchronous meetings.


Lack of connection:

Apart from engagement, some people can also feel the lack of an emotional connection that comes with face-to-face interaction. Written communication, especially in a work setting lacks the tone and emotion needed to establish a deeper connection.

Using video calls, Phone calls or other forms of asynchronous video communication can help bridge this gap by allowing participants to see and hear each other, even if they are not communicating in real time.


Less spontaneous brainstorming:

Brainstorming and ideation sessions are essential for creative work, but asynchronous communication can take away some of the spontaneity and creative energy that comes from bouncing ideas off each other in real time.


Responses take time:

As we covered earlier, asynchronous communication can be tough for work that requires immediate action, especially if coworkers are waiting hours for replies. That’s why establishing clear expectations around response times and prioritizing urgent tasks can help solve this issue.

Using apps like Telegram or WhatsApp can allow for quick real-time communication when time is of the essence.

While asynchronous meetings have their limitations, they can still be an effective way for remote teams to collaborate and communicate. By being mindful of the potential downsides and implementing strategies to mitigate them, teams can make the most of asynchronous communication and improve the productivity and collaboration of the entire company. It's all about finding the right balance between efficiency and connection and finding the right tools to facilitate the meetings.

One such tool is Dive. Dive is more than a meeting notes app. It not only takes meeting notes, but also assigns action items, and creates a meeting summary that is easily searchable and shareable with your team. This way, you never have to wonder what was discussed in a meeting again.


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