Capital One Says Call-Center Staff Will Work at Home Permanently

Capital One Financial Corp. said the majority of employees at its U.S. call centers for cards will work from home even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

For the rest of its staff, the card giant extended remote operations until the end of March, according to an internal memo. Capital One had previously said employees would work remotely until at least the end of this year.

“Your well-being is our top priority,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank told employees in the memo this week. “I’ve been inspired by your resilience and determination. Creating home offices and learning new ways to work together. Talking to customers one minute and being schoolteachers the next.”

Companies have been grappling with how and whether to bring employees back after sending them home in droves in March to stem the spread of the pandemic. With cases surging again and school districts across the U.S. switching to online learning, many employers are electing to keep workers home.

Synchrony Financial, the largest U.S. provider of store credit cards, said last week it will allow all U.S. employees to work from home permanently.

Fairbank said engagement and productivity remain high among staff, adding that the McLean, Virginia-based bank has benefited from its years-long investment in cloud technology in the transition to remote work.

Before the pandemic, about 20% of Capital One’s domestic card call-center associates worked from home, a figure that will increase to 90% even after the pandemic ends.

“We have shown that we can skillfully and effectively operate Capital One in a predominantly remote environment,” Fairbank said. “We stand on the shoulders of a multiyear technology transformation that allows us to be successful in ways that would have been impossible just years ago.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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