RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For some, working from home will not end when the pandemic does. Capital One announced a permanent shift to a hybrid work model on Tuesday.
Many wonderered if the pandemic would leave a lasting impact on workplaces like this. Will working from home become the new normal?
Capital One is telling its thousands of employees, including the thousands in Richmond, it will be for about half the week. The buildings have been sitting largely empty since the company asked employees to work from home beginning in March of 2020.
In September, offices will re-open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays– but the company said they will not require a certain amount of in-office working. On Mondays and Fridays, employees are encouraged to work from wherever they want.
“We want Capital One associates and leaders to balance in-person collaboration and team needs with individual choice and flexibility,” CEO Rich Fairbank wrote to employees Tuesday.
“Life’s demands don’t always fit around a 9-to-5 work schedule. Virtual work has allowed us to better balance the competing demands of our work and our personal lives. While a lack of barriers between work and life can be difficult to manage, most of our associates feel productive, effective, and engaged in a virtual work setting,” he said. The CEO said a recent survey showed 96% of Capital One associates want to incorporate virtual work into their regular schedules.
Fairbank said they will make exceptions for some to stay 100% virtual.
He also noted the advantages of in-person collaboration. “Our offices and campuses provide unique opportunities for planned collaboration, innovation, connection, and mentorship. We also benefit from unplanned interactions with people on and outside of our teams—the hallway conversation or lunch at the cafeteria. And for newer Capital One associates, being in-person allows them to be surrounded by colleagues, participate in team events, find mentors, build networks, and accelerate learning,” Fairback wrote.
“We are compelled by both perspectives, and that is why we are declaring our future as a hybrid work company.” The new model applies to its associates in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.
8News tried to talk to some Richmond-area Capital One employees to get their thoughts on the new work model. We’re told the company doesn’t want employees talking with journalists right now.