Why Asynchronous Video is Awesome for Business Communications Part 1

By Colin


Every day, it seems, we’re finding new, better ways to communicate. Memos are transitioning into internal blogs, email is moving over to collaborative platforms like Yammer and Facebook at Work, and now video is opening up even more ways to share information within an organization.

Video is expanding throughout our personal lives, popping up more and more in our social feeds and news sources. But it’s been making headway in the professional world as well. Consider that Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes recently began publishing quick selfie-style videos to share important company updates. As Holmes explained in an article for Fast Company, “I started hunting for a different way to connect with my teams—something that didn’t feel too distant and remote but also wouldn’t consume more time and resources than I genuinely had to offer.”

The firm Melcrum discovered in a 2011 survey that 93 percent of internal communication professionals reported that video is essential, and now we are starting to see practical applications come into play for our day-to-day workplace interactions.

Most recently, Facebook at Work implemented live video for companies that use the service. At Carpool, we’ve been using Facebook at Work for several months and, due in part to the way the network is presented, we have begun using video much more to share what we’re doing and to collaborate remotely.

One of the greatest ways to use video, we’re finding, is as a form of asynchronous communication. Think of it like an internal kickoff meeting, but employees can consume the content when they have the bandwidth to do so.

Recently, we posed a question to a few people in Carpool: “What do you think about asynchronous video?” Here’s what they said.

Jarom Reid, Cofounder

There are three main reasons I’m all for asynchronous video updates:

  1. It adds another sense to the communications experience.
  2. Consumers engage in a more meaningful way when it best fits their schedules.
  3. I like that it allows for the engagement to happen quickly and those who need to know and take action aren’t waiting for everyone to be in the same place at the same time.

The downside is that it can require a little more work for the creator, but I have found more thought and professionalism go into the creation of the video and therefore create a stronger channel of communication. In general, we move faster and with more accuracy.

Alexandra Kruse, Social Engagement Specialist/Community Manager

In the world of email, attachments, and conference calls, video proves to be a quick and effective form of communication. It can connect people across the globe in a matter of minutes.

The problem some people experience with video, according to Glide CEO Ari Roisman, “is that we’re using synchronous video communications tools in an asynchronous world.”

“We’re used to responding to an email or Facebook message whenever it’s most convenient for us. Having to make ourselves available at exactly the same time as the person we’re talking to feels, and in some ways is, anachronistic.”

Asynchronous video can be a speedy and effective form of collaboration. Recorded videos can be shared as a usable work product. An asynchronous environment allows the audience to review and consider other comments and perspectives before replying, therefore creating a culture of reflection and learning. It also allows the author to control the amount of time spent on the topic of discussion. Though it can be time consuming, depending on the nature of the content, video provides a reliable source of communication that can be used over and over again.

Next Week

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll revisit the same subject with Director of Strategy Chris Slemp and Account Director/Business Development Darren Litchfield.