In remote work, unlike when working in the office, 'you should abandon real-time communication' pointed out

Many companies have introduced remote work due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, and many companies have introduced chat tools and video conferencing software so that employees who are physically far away can work smoothly. However, software developer Snir David argued that 'the working environment for remote work is fundamentally different from working in the office, so we should fundamentally change the method of communication and introduce 'asynchronous communication'.' I am.

Written communication is remote work super power-Snir David Blog

“We were used to conferencing all day long, because we were talking to each other in the office, hoping to get an immediate reply in our work chats, and we were used to meetings all day long. We will try to reproduce this situation using Slack,' he said, pointing out that many companies have implemented video conferencing software. However, it seems that remote work will fail in the long run by interacting with Slack while expecting a reply soon or setting up multiple Zoom meetings every day.

Communication with chat tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams will be different than conversations with colleagues sitting next to you in the office. The problems with the chat tool that David points out are the following.

· Chatting is more time consuming than talking to a coworker sitting next to you in the office.
· In contrast to the first problem, talking to an employee in a remote department within the company is too easy. Usually, when making an inquiry to another department, there are many cases where the contents of the inquiry are checked within their own department, but since there are no such obstacles in chat tools, even a small amount of content that would normally not be inquired by other department There is a risk of bothering employees.
・Everyone expects an immediate response in chat, so even non-urgent requirements are rushed.
・ In chat, the contents of conversation with someone are buried, so the same explanation may have to be repeated several times.
・Many people do not want to show their 'shame', so they tend to keep the content of their conversations private by using private chats or private rooms.

David also points out that video conferencing tools have the following issues:

-Only one person can speak at a time, and it is difficult for multiple people to speak actively like in an actual conference.
-In a large conference, in addition to the main conversation, members sitting next to each other can exchange details, but this is not possible in a video conference.
・Since video conferences do not change speakers frequently, it tends to be like a “lecture”.
・Video conferencing must be staring at the camera all the time, and at the same time, many people are staring at their faces, which makes them mentally exhausted.

Based on the above problems, David argues that there is a problem with synchronous communication in remote work. Synchronous communication, where you expect other participants to respond quickly to your inquiries, is as simple as listening to someone as soon as you can, rather than annoying and solving a clogged question. There is also an advantage that can be solved. However, it reduces the motivation to document 'what you can ask if you ask someone', which tends to bring about the negative effect that important contents for business are not documented.

Also, if there is an in-house culture of asking someone a question, many employees will start work without making a thorough plan in advance, and 'if anyone has a problem, know who to ask and ask' Work in a way. This creates a culture of “interruption in business” in the organization, which reduces work flexibility, David points out.

A big advantage of remote work is that you can get the work done on your own schedule, but if you have an in-house culture that asks someone a question immediately, synchronize the work hours of each other's employees. I have to let Taking advantage of being released from office work, I would like to carry out the schedule of “work in the morning, raise children and housework from noon to evening, and return to work at night”, but work at night. It is impossible to get someone to answer your questions without a colleague doing it. Similar problems occur when employees around the world work in different time zones.

As a method of solving these problems, David proposes 'asynchronous communication in which the information to be transmitted is written and saved in sentences'. Asynchronous communication conveys information in text, similar to chat, but the difference is that communication is not ad hoc.

With chat, you're communicating with at most one or two people, so everyone shares the context of the problem. However, although asynchronous communication leaves information as sentences, it does not know who reads the sentences and at what timing, or how much the other person shares the context with oneself. Therefore, when writing text as asynchronous communication, it is necessary to write so that the information can be conveyed even if the other party does not share the context.

For example, let's say you have a problem with your in-house database, caused by a

MySQL instance failure due to lack of memory. If you want to modify this database, all you have to do is to 'modify the database today' if you have a member in your company who already shares information. Since the other party understands that there is a problem in the database and the cause, etc., communication is possible even with this description.

However, for asynchronous communication that you want to propagate widely to non-contextual members, all you need to write is 'Today, I'll fix a database with a MySQL flaw due to lack of memory'. You don't have to write a long sentence, but describe the contents that the outsiders would like to know, such as 'when will the correction be made,' 'which database has a problem,' 'what is the cause of the problem,' etc. That is necessary for asynchronous communication.

In the first place, chat and video conferencing tools used in remote work are 'inferior' ways to mimic the office environment, David pointed out. It is said that if you try to realize synchronous communication forcibly even in remote work, it will hinder flexible work and collaboration with remote locations, and you will lose the advantages of remote work.

Synchronous communication at the time of remote work produces disadvantages, while asynchronous communication produces advantages. Since important information in business is stored in documents and anyone can find it in the proper order, it creates an environment in which it can be looked up by yourself, so synchronous communication such as chat and phone call 'Tell me about that problem You don't have to make inquiries such as 'where is that document?'

In such a case, work is less likely to be interrupted by someone's inquiry, and it is possible to concentrate on one's work and improve productivity. In addition, because you can work without the need of someone to answer the question, you can realize the flexibility of working hours, which is an advantage of remote work. David argued that storing the required information in a document would also save employees time to teach someone knowledge.

in Note, Posted by log1h_ik