When Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay asked his employees, in a memo last August, to “come together more often in person to work and collaborate,” he left one crucial detail vague: how many days a week.
Seven months later, the bank has appeared to answer that question: Three or four.
"Starting May 1, employees in hybrid work arrangements will come together in person for the majority of the time,” the bank said in a memo to employees seen Tuesday by Reuters. “This means you have the option to work remotely for one to two days each week, depending on your team.”
RBC’s senior leaders will finalize plans and provide updates to individual teams, the bank added.
The move likely will add one in-office day a week for many RBC employees — at least, compared with their schedule seven months ago.
Rafael Ruffolo, an RBC spokesperson, told Bloomberg last August that hybrid arrangements at the bank let most employees work in the office two or three days a week, and that those policies were in place for most teams and in most regions.
“We’re a relationship-driven bank,” McKay wrote in August. “Direct human connection is core to our culture and how we bring our purpose to life for all those we serve.”
Technology, he said, “can’t replicate the energy, spontaneity, big ideas, true sense of belonging and fun” of being in the office together.
McKay, at the time, countered that hybrid work was “here to stay,” but that “for hybrid to continue to work effectively, we need to get the balance right and be a bit more deliberate about when and how we organize on site.”
Tuesday’s memo may indicate that — for RBC, at least — that balance has shifted.