Hybrid Working Model: Is it practical for Education Agents?

COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably enforced remote working for all. However, COVID-19 vaccination rates are rising all around the world, including Australia with a 90% single-dose rate. Meanwhile, splitting the working time between home and office is becoming a new norm post-pandemic. 

Most companies are heading towards a hybrid working model allowing their employees to rotate in and out of offices. But, for an education and migration agency, how practical is it? Let’s take a look at its implication.

1. Consulting with clients

Education and migration agents require a lot of client dealing, in-person meetings and face-to-face interactions. Client consultation is not just a matter of a session or meeting. It is a matter of career that involves not only rationales and clear communication but also rapport and trust. In this aspect, virtual interaction may not always be the right way or say, it may not bring the expected result in the long run. So, a hybrid model can be a good option. Consultants can work from home and also be present at the office premises as per the requirement for client consultation.

2. Performance measurements management

Performance measurement management has always been a top priority for any organization looking to improve its ROI, revenue, and employee retention. Unlike traditional performance management where goals are set and revisited several times a year, the only way to be truly transparent with goal-setting in a remote or hybrid workplace is by utilizing technology that acts as the centre of truth.

A study done by Harvard Business Review has shown remote workers may get lower performance evaluations, while those seen in the office are considered more committed to their job.

Organisations must implement the technological tools and structures to ensure quality between remote and in-person performance management. Goal transparency through technology is used to support collaboration among groups or teams. This allows for shared understanding and knowledge on how to better support each other.

Another least discussed effect of distributed work is on junior employees, many of whom struggle more than their more senior counterparts. Finding ways to enable mentoring can help address this.

3. Mental wellbeing

Employees can easily end up feeling disconnected from the business and their colleagues. There’s no denying the pandemic has shifted both companies and individuals’ perceptions of the way we work. One of the biggest takeaways is the focus on mental wellbeing. Employees haven’t only dealt with COVID-19, they’ve also faced the challenges of lockdown and reduced social interaction.

Adding on to this, the remote employees’ engagement and loyalty will wane if those employees continue to work away from the office. This ultimately makes the hybrid workplace and remote work a lot more challenging. Organisations must ensure they have the appropriate policies and programs in place to manage and mitigate the risks associated with employee wellbeing.

4. Making use of technological tools

Zoom, Slack, and other digital workplace communication tools will continue to play a huge role when workplaces go hybrid. But in the transition, employers have an opportunity to improve how their employees use these tools. For education and migration agencies, a CRM tool like Agentcis can be a great help to coordinate tasks, manage leads, track applications, and maintain finance for both remote and hybrid working models. 

Making use of the technological tools can reduce miscommunication in the hybrid model. It’s easier now than ever before because there are many tools that allow people to keep track of information like calendars, reminders, and notes.

5. Breaking barriers to collaboration

Brainstorming and collaborating on ideas can be difficult in the age of remote work. While the hybrid model lets you pull employees into the office for big ideation pushes, consider also investing in virtual whiteboards or mind-mapping tools to keep all participants on the same page.

Employee engagement is a key success factor for any company. In this hybrid model, collaboration is more important than ever before. In order to keep employees engaged, organizations need to be constantly innovating and adapting themselves to new trends in the market.

Though the hybrid working model brings its own challenges, it can open new avenues to the working culture.

Final Thoughts

The way we think about our jobs is changing, sparking conversion around how, when, and where we work. Since the beginning of the global pandemic, it transformed how education and migration agents operate. With technology rapidly changing, utilising the right technology for your organisation is imperative to maintaining staff engagement in the hybrid working model. 

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