To answer this question, we've brought Andi on board as a guest author. He is a New Work Advisor at our partner Blackboat - The New Work Group, and he has compiled his extensive knowledge for you in this blog article. 🤝
Let's be honest: Clearly, awork is, in our opinion, the best project management tool in the EU, and maybe even worldwide. 🙌 And of course, awork can do a lot when it comes to internal communication.
However, we humans tend to follow the "Law of the Instrument" (Wikipedia), which, in short, means: Once we understand a (digital) tool, we want to use it for everything. You might have heard the saying: "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
As much as we love awork, it's not the tool for everything. But it's great for many things!
The Synchronous-Asynchronous Matrix
In today's world, we typically need around 6-7 digital communication channels:
- Email for external communication 📧
- Cloud storage ☁️
- A project and task management tool, of course, awork 📝
- A (transparent) chat tool like Slack or MS Teams 💬
- A (mobile) phone 📱
- A video call solution 🎥
And each channel is well-suited for specific purposes. Without a doubt, awork is the perfect "hammer" for every project "nail."
However, when we use multiple tools for various purposes, two questions inevitably arise:
- Which communication channel do I use when?
- Which (company-wide) tools are available for each communication channel?
And here at Blackboat - The New Work Group, we have the following rule of thumb for the first question in store…
The more emotional the topic, the more synchronous the channel.
Because we receive an email, it doesn't mean we have to respond in the same channel. Especially in written communication, there are limits to addressing emotional topics. Anyone who has tried to solve issues in a "family WhatsApp group" knows this. 😅
What's the alternative? Of course, you can choose a synchronous communication channel, like picking up the phone, meeting in person, sending a video...
Conversely, just because someone schedules a "status update meeting" doesn't mean it's the appropriate communication channel. You probably already suspect that such time-consuming meetings would be better shifted to an asynchronous communication channel.
Asynchronous project and task management tools like awork not only save meeting time but also come with many handy features that suit these purposes. How about proactively changing the channel if you're unsatisfied with communication and see what happens?
Now, let's move on to the second question: Which (company-wide) tools are available for each communication channel?
Great question! Ideally, you're familiar with all of them and can match them to their corresponding communication channels. And then? You already know which channel to use for which purpose and are aware of the rule "The more emotional the topic, the more synchronous the channel." Nevertheless, the question still remains: Which specific tool now?
Each communication channel should have a specific, clear tool assigned to it!
Now, when it comes to defining clear tools for each communication channel within your team, especially in the case of Microsoft 365, it might look like this:
Or in the case of Google Workspace, it could look something like this:
Absolutely, it's crucial to keep the number of tools per communication channel to a minimum. Ideally, there should be just one tool for each channel, as simplicity is key, and adding more tools only increases complexity 💡.
We're aware that you might be using other tools alongside awork, and that's actually a good thing. There are other fantastic tools out there that excel in their specific domains and can significantly streamline work. From our experience, they work best when used purposefully.
This is where Blackboat, an awork partner, comes into play. With their Work New Classes platform, they provide insights into effective collaboration using cloud tools like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack, and of course, awork.
If you're curious, check out the Work New Classes. You can take awork courses with Tobi, Julia, or Andi and learn more about features, but especially about the underlying WHY. Are you already seasoned awork professionals? You'll also find additional courses and weekly live streams on communication, productivity, or even ChatGPT within the Work New Classes.
Of course, the Blackboat team isn't solely based on free videos, although some are available to everyone. That's why, as awork customers, Blackboat offers you an exclusive discounted access to all their videos. Just reach out to Nicola or Andi, with whom we collaborated to write this blog article. 😊
[.b-testimonial] For over 10 years, at Blackboat – The New Work Group, we've been assisting companies in their growth journey by fundamentally enhancing collaboration. We achieve this by leveraging the right technologies, methodologies, and now, our new Work New Classes platform. [.b-testimonial]