Campus News

Associate professor talks impact of asynchronous communication

Kristen Shockley, an associate professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ psychology department, was recently quoted in a BBC article about asynchronous communication.

Asynchronous communication has reigned during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it isn’t exactly new. Asynchronous communications refer to exchanges that don’t happen in real time, but rather on your own time, like working different hours than your co-workers.

An interesting amount of burden falls on the worker to stay in touch and up to date with their workplace. Asynchronous communication “gives people more autonomy in how they work, and with that comes more responsibility,” Shockley said.

In other words, while a company might let its employees work to their own schedule, the worker then adopts the responsibility to access team resources and manage their tasks in a way they wouldn’t in an office working “normal” hours.

Shockley suggests that asynchronous working might even lead to an increase in employee monitoring.

The article continued to point out that asynchronous communication isn’t something that can be flipped on, like a switch, and change isn’t coming tomorrow.