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Asynchronous Video Meetings: How to Leverage the Future of Collaboration

Learn why asynchronous video meetings are the future of collaboration and how to implement them in your organization.

by Brian Casel
Updated Jul 15, 2022

Don’t you find it weird that we often associate productivity with things that actually distract us from working?

We take the number of meetings per day or the state of someone’s calendar as a sign of them working.

It’s crazy.

But things are changing.

Most of us no longer work side by side, after all, and can’t substitute meetings for real work. Of course, various remote communication tools bring us closer. But our perception of collaboration is no longer the same too.

For one, we are tired of days filled with endless video calls and online meetings. Even Zoom’s founder, Eric Yuan, publicly admitted to suffering from meeting fatigue.

We want to focus on doing the real work – tackling tasks on our to-do lists and getting stuff done.

But we still have to collaborate with others sometimes. Luckily, in certain situations, we can do it by conducting asynchronous video meetings instead.

This article will explain what asynchronous meetings are and how to embrace them in your organization.

We’ll cover:

  1. What is asynchronous video meeting?
    Discover what it means to communicate asynchronously with video.
  2. When having asynchronous video communication makes the most sense.
    Discover the best use cases for meeting asynchronously.
  3. How to conduct an asynchronous video meeting.
    Learn what to do to implement asynchronous collaboration in your organization.
  4. Tools that help you embrace asynchronous video in your organization.
    Discover tools to help you conduct asynchronous meetings with video.

What does it mean to conduct an asynchronous meeting with the video?

The Pandemic reignited the conversation around the validity of meetings in the workplace.

One study after another examined whether synchronous meetings are time well spent, and pretty much all concluded against them.

Just consider this data from Atlassian.

On average, employees attend 62 meetings per month. This translates to spending roughly 31 hours in real and virtual meeting rooms. And according to the data, at least half of that time is typically wasted.

According to Atlassian, 91% of surveyed employees admitted that they typically waste that time … daydreaming.

Yes, but that’s not even the best part…

If you convert that time into monetary value, it equals $37Bn in salary costs for US businesses.

Unbelievable.

Then again, the data makes sense. Think about how many meetings you’ve sat through recently that could have been avoided if you and the other participant reached whatever decision you had to make asynchronously?

My guess is many.

Now, I’ve mentioned this term – asynchronously – several times already. I think it’s time I explained it a little more.

Let’s start with defining asynchronous communication on the whole

Asynchronous communication happens when you conduct back-and-forth conversations without any participant having to be present for them at the same time.

Email or text messages are the most obvious examples of asynchronous communication. You can write, read, and respond to such messages without being present with the other person in real-time.

But asynchronous communication doesn’t happen over text only. These days, and with tools like ZipMessage, you can take it to a whole new level and embrace asynchronous video meetings.

So, what are asynchronous video meetings, then?

Asynchronous video meetings are meetings that don’t happen in real-time. When conducting such a meeting, you and other participants record and share videos that the others can watch, process, and respond to in their own time. 

Example of a threaded video meeting conversation
(An example of a threaded asynchronous video conversation in ZipMessage)

When you think about it, these meetings work and serve the same purpose as your usual all-hands meetings.

They just don’t happen in real-time, that’s all.

Benefits of asynchronous video meetings

Asynchronous meetings have already been touted as the future of collaboration, and there’s a reason for that.

  • Moving to collaborate asynchronously can dramatically reduce your time on meetings. The 31 hours a month that we spend in meeting rooms or on Zoom calls can quickly become just a handful, dedicated only to those sessions that absolutely require everyone present in real-time.
  • Asynchronous meetings allow for better quality communication too. Participants have the opportunity to consider their responses. They can also provide more context to their ideas by sharing their screens.
  • These meetings have a positive effect on productivity. That’s because you can conduct the conversation when it’s convenient for you and focus on work during your most productive times.
  • Finally, asynchronous meetings provide an archive of the conversation. These messages are easy to go back to and reference when needed.

Worth to note – Asynchronous video meetings do not render traditional, face-to-face meetings obsolete. There are several situations where you will have to bring everyone together. 

But there are also situations where it just makes more sense to skip a live meeting and discuss and reach a decision asynchronously.

When using asynchronous video meetings makes the most sense

#1. Scaling client communication

Communication is beyond critical to a successful client relationship. Whether you are a consultant or an agency, you need to regularly engage with clients, answer their questions, share project updates, or provide support.

Unfortunately, with only so many hours per day, offering the same commitment to every client is almost impossible.

That’s where asynchronous video meetings come in handy. You and the client can conduct meetings by exchanging video messages, discussing the project, share ideas but do it all without jamming your calendars.

#2. Scaling client coaching

As a coach, you sell clients access to your time and expertise. But eventually, you just run out of time to give clients.

Asynchronous videos can help you deliver 1-on-1 coaching or even run group sessions without having to book more calls or meetings.

What’s more, the typical, threaded conversation layout of an asynchronous video meeting keeps you keep a record of every conversation with a client and manage their engagement better.

#3. Gathering project information and feedback

This is a common scenario – You and your team launch a new project, so everyone gets together to discuss it, plan it, and bounce ideas off each other. But like with many other meeting types, these sessions can easily happen asynchronously.

The situation is no different with collecting feedback and project approvals. In many cases, conducting review sessions asynchronously can lead to far better results.

Everyone involved can provide more thought-through feedback. And with a complete conversation archive, no information gets lost in the heat of discussion.

Video intake form example.
(A video intake page allowing team members to record and send asynchronous videos to others.)

#4. Video interviews

Let’s face it; live interviews can severely strain your time and resources too. First, you sit through all those calls and ask the same questions. And then, you have to sift through your notes to figure out who’s a fit…

By asking candidates to record short videos to answer your questions and moving the conversation to asynchronous, you can scale the hiring process and focus on having live calls with highly-qualified candidates only.

#5. Stand-up meetings or status update meetings

I admit it; stand-up meetings are great. You get to present what you’re working on and see what other teams cook up in their offices. It can be so energizing.

But these meetings can often become monotonous and repetitive too. This is particularly true when you work on larger projects and not many exciting things to tell others about.

In this case, you can switch those stand-up meetings to an asynchronous cadence, where each team or colleague records their update and shares it with the rest.

Using asynchronous video meetings for status updates.
(A team member sharing a status report via asynchronous video.)

How to conduct an asynchronous video meeting

I get it; asynchronous video meetings are still relatively new. So I’m not surprised that you might wonder how you could introduce them to your company. So, to conclude this guide, let me share several tips to help you understand how to make async meetings work.

Because these meetings are similar to traditional ones, except for the asynchronous ones not happening in real-time, they work pretty similarly.

You set up a separate conversation (a meeting) where everyone involved can share their messages and respond to other people’s ideas.

Before you get to that, though, there is one thing I always recommend teams to do:

Create a process for asynchronous video meetings.

This may seem obvious, but I’m amazed at how often companies turn to asynchronous communication, leaving their employees wondering what they’re supposed to do with it.

To avoid that, document everything about how you’d like those meetings to go.

  • List asynchronous video tools you’ll be using. Include an overview of the tool, a login link, and a quick run-through of how to use it.
  • Outline how to send and receive messages. It may seem obvious to you, but others on your team might wonder what’s involved. So, provide a clear overview of how to record a video message, share it with the rest, and respond to what others have posted.
    TIP: Record a quick video to explain it. This way, you’ll provide a clear, visual guide and let your team experience asynchronous video simultaneously.
  • Define which meetings to run asynchronously with video and which ones would still require everyone to meet in real-time.

Set up separate conversations per client or meeting

There are two aspects to this advice:

  • If you work in a team and regularly meet with the same people but about different projects, separating those conversations will help you ensure that no information will get buried among other messages. Otherwise, you can quickly end up in a situation with simultaneous conversations about different projects running side by side.
  • But if you work with clients, keeping one continuous thread throughout a project or client engagement is better. This way, you create an archive of the entire engagement and can quickly reference particular information or other data point at any time.

TIP: Create a link to a single thread in ZipMessage and add it to your project management tool to create a point of reference for anyone working on the project.

How to start your first asynchronous video meeting

Here’s something I hear from clients often: They try to move their clients or teammates to use asynchronous video. But nobody’s budging.

If you worry about the same happening to you, here’s some advice that might help.

When starting a new project, introduce the idea of using ZipMessage to conduct project-related meetings asynchronously with video. Get buy-in from stakeholders. Then, send everyone involved in a project a link, and ask them to reply with a video. 

This way, you’ll get them to experience the benefits of conducting meetings. You’ll also get them to use the software and ensure that they’ll understand its value and continue the conversation asynchronously. 

How ZipMessage Helps You Scale Asynchronous Video Meetings

Video intake form example.
(Recording an asynchronous message in ZipMessage)

ZipMessage (disclaimer - this is our tool) is a video messaging software that helps companies embrace asynchronous communication with video easily.

The power of ZipMessage is that it can replace certain types of meetings with asynchronous communication, allowing you and your team to process new messages in your own time. 

Use ZipMessage to

  • Scale client communication
  • Coach clients
  • Gather project information and feedback from clients and co-workers
  • Conduct video interviews with candidates
  • Run stand-up meetings, and more.

Because of its focus on asynchronous communication, ZipMessage is packed only with relevant features and no fluff:

  • Back-and-forth threads all on one page. ZipMessage allows you to create an official space where you and your clients or teammates can share messages asynchronously.
  • Easy to use. Your clients or team don’t have to download or sign up for the app to use it. Instead, they simply post their videos to your account. 
  • Screen sharing, camera, and audio. The platform gives you the option for screen recording and sharing, turning on the camera, or doing both at the same time.
  • Personalized URLs. Customize URLs per your calls or set your ZipMessage link as your brand name.
  • Privacy. Mark your asynchronous video link as private if you want a selected group of people to see your videos.

ZipMessage also integrates with Slack, Zapier, Chrome, and Firefox, and you can even embed ZipMessage conversations on your website using a simple HTML embed code.

And that’s it… 

This is everything you need to know about asynchronous video meetings. 

What’s left is to try conducting a meeting this way to see the benefits this form of communication and collaboration offers. 

Good luck!

Want to Leverage Asynchronous Video Meetings? Check out ZipMessage, a Dedicated Asynchronous Video Messaging Platform

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