Capital One becomes a hybrid work company

Capital One Financial, one of the largest employers in the D.C. region, just told its employees they can work from home Mondays and Fridays, even after it reopens its offices here and elsewhere this fall.

In an email to Capital One workers, including nearly 10,000 in the D.C. area, CEO Richard Fairbank said the company will become a hybrid work company going forward, adopting a flexible hybrid model that allows a significant majority of its employees to spend some time working in the office and some working virtually.

“While remote virtual work is something people have done in some jobs for decades, we collectively discovered something remarkable during this pandemic. Remote work is not a niche opportunity. It works at scale in the mainstream,” Fairbank said.

“Two things propelled the success of virtual work during this pandemic: advances in technology and the fact that the whole world went remote at the same time,” he said.

Capital One, with 52,000 employees globally, will reopen its U.S. offices, including its Tysons headquarters campus, to workers Sept. 7.

Per Fairbank’s memo, Mondays and Fridays will be enterprise-wide virtual work days, with employees working from home or wherever they work best. Capital One offices will be fully open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with employees encouraged to come into the office. The company will not require employees to be in the office a certain number of days, however.

“Offices will be open on Mondays and Fridays,” a spokesperson told WTOP, “but associates are encouraged to work virtually on those days even if they do come in to the office — for example, joining calls on Zoom as opposed to holding in-person meetings.”

Capital One will also continue to support full-remote exceptions with senior executive approval.

Capital One has not announced a opening date for its offices in the U.K. and Canada.

A recent internal survey of Capital One employees found that 96% want to incorporate virtual work into their regular schedules.

Fairbank’s email said that remote work can be effective and empowering, and allows employees to better balance the competing demands of work and personal life. But he also noted the importance of in-person collaboration.

“It has now been over a year since tens of thousands of associates at Capital One transformed their homes and apartments into offices. Despite all that has happened, Capital One has preserved. In fact, we have thrived. We have taken care of customers, welcomed thousands of new colleagues and remained financially resilient under stress,” Fairbank’s employee email said.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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