The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology


Asynchronous Communications, HR 2.0 and the Future of Work

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We seem to want real time everything.  We schedule meetings when and where the most of us can be together in the same room.  When that fails, we schedule conference calls.  I’m a definite culprit of this as I will always meet my clients face to face when the opportunity presents a choice.

Unfortunately, real time transactions, while growing from a data perspective, are shrinking from a human perspective.

Consider this.  You read this blog post, which may be in response to a blog post written by one of my other favorite bloggers weeks ago.  You then decide to comment, and it may take a couple days before someone else reads and responds to you.  A simple conversation and exchange of ideas can take weeks.

Consider text messaging.  Rather than placing a phone call and interrupting a meeting that might be going on, I’ll text message my wife letting her know my flight has been delayed and I’ll be home late.  She can pick up the message whenever she is ready.

Pre-GenX workers and to a large extent GenX as well are very into real time communications.  But the world and technology is increasingly lending itself to non-real-time conversations.  GenY millennials are increasingly comfortable with conversations that span hours or days or longer.  Ideas from these conversations hang around and tickle the backs of our brains until the become useful in some unexpected context.

In some ways, the rest of us have also gotten used to async communications.  E-mail is the perfect example where we’ll send a message knowing that a response may not come back immediately because the recipient is in a meeting or has other priorities.  We’ll undoubtedly see more of this coming with hopes that it makes us more efficient and allowing us to prioritize as we see fit.

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2 responses to “Asynchronous Communications, HR 2.0 and the Future of Work”

  1. [IMG ]SystematicHR comments inAsynchronous Communications, HR 2.0 and the Future of Workthat we (at least pre-GenX and GenX workers) are very into real time communications.

  2. Wally Bock Avatar

    Your comment on email and not getting a response back right away (instantly) struck a cord with me. When I started in business there was no email, only paper. And a response that came back “right away” was one that you received a week or so after your letter. So I love the “instant” nature of email, but a delay of hours doesn’t bother me much.