Capital One Announces Modifications to Workplace Return

Office-based roles in the United States will require full vaccination upon reopening, now slated for November

  • UPDATED 5/18/22: Since this article was written, our office reopening policy has been updated. View the announcement here.

Six weeks ago, I announced that Capital One planned to reopen our offices this fall as a hybrid work company. I remain excited about the flexibility of hybrid and the opportunity to see associates and teams working together again in person.

From the beginning of this pandemic, Capital One has prioritized the health and safety of our associates and our communities. It’s why we moved early and quickly to remote work. And it’s why we have been careful and cautious about reopening.

Unfortunately, we have watched the Delta variant tear a hole through the steady course of improvement in COVID-19 outcomes that we had been experiencing. As a result, we have made some modifications to the reopening plans that we announced on June 29. These changes apply to office-based roles in the United States. For all other roles, associates should follow guidelines from local leadership. 

  • We will delay our reopen date from September 7 until November 2. 
  • When we reopen, associates coming to a Capital One campus or office will need to be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated associates should continue to work from home and will be supported in doing so. This policy will apply to the initial reopening period, which will now extend through at least the first quarter of 2022.
  • Associates coming on-site will be required to upload proof of vaccination. More information about the process and timelines will be shared shortly. 
  • All contractors, vendors and visitors must also be vaccinated to be on-site at a Capital One campus or office location.
  • We recognize that some associates will have circumstances or concerns that may make it difficult to come into the office. The choice to come into the office during the initial reopening period is strongly encouraged for vaccinated associates but is not mandatory for anyone.
  • Because the future course of the pandemic is still uncertain, we have not yet decided on the exact duration of the initial reopening period or our long-term vaccination policy. It is possible we will require vaccinations for all office-based associates after the conclusion of our initial reopening period, subject of course to appropriate medical and religious accommodations. 
  • We continue to expect Mondays and Fridays to be enterprise-wide virtual work days with Capital One offices fully open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 
  • Consistent with our approach throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor health conditions and follow expert guidance. 

We did not come to these decisions lightly. 

When I shared our initial hybrid approach in June, our plan was to reopen our campuses in September and welcome back as many Capital One associates as possible. All of us have missed our friends and colleagues, and my hope was that all of us could experience a fall reopening together. I had been encouraged by high vaccination rates among our associates and hoped that, combined with on-site protocols, we could ensure a safe September reopening without a vaccine requirement.

However, the highly-contagious Delta variant has put a damper on our aspirations. 

I know that some associates are unvaccinated at this time and may be disappointed or frustrated by this announcement. But a key prerequisite for a successful return is our associates having confidence in the safety of our work environment. Our announcement today is in service of that objective. 

The coronavirus has been a defining disrupter in our lifetimes. I look forward to having associates back in our offices again, and I am eager to turn the page on this pandemic. I know some of you are managing difficult circumstances in your lives or are struggling with the isolation of remote work. Many of you have been counting on returning to the office very soon. You have risen to many challenges over the last 18 months. You have supported each other. And you have been there for our customers. 

I continue to be in awe of your adaptability, your ingenuity and your humanity. Once again, as we push through yet another challenging phase of this pandemic, I ask for your patience and your partnership.

Rich Fairbank