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Vale adopts a new, more flexible, safe and collaborative working model for employees

"Flexible office" combines remote work and collaboration hubs, and is part of the company's cultural transformation process

In order to prioritize the well-being and safety of its employees, Vale is permanently adopting a new flexible work model that combines remote work and the use of collaborative spaces

The pandemic accelerated changes already underway in the company and caused the collaboration model and physical workspaces to be rethought. To protect people's health and safety in March 2020, all eligible functions - administrative and operational support - were placed in home office. Based on the successful experience in this model, Vale decided to adopt remote work on a large scale and globally.

The company will implement the flexible office format, based on a management tripod with on-site (fixed positions in operations), off-site (remote work) and near-site (collaborative hubs) modalities. The flexible model allows employees to switch between remote work and face-to-face meetings at hubs, or even restricted and planned visits to operations. Only operational functions will follow on-site to ensure business continuity with complete security.

Even before the pandemic, in 2019, the company had already started adopting remote work and studying the adoption of more modern and alternative formats. For Eduardo Bartolomeo, Vale's CEO, change requires continuous learning. "We are building a new work model and it will be the result of the contribution of each one of us. We will continue to advance in this new Vale format that we want, in which people's well-being and safety comes first", he says.

According to Josilda Saad, executive manager and leader of the Vale Journey program, the challenging global scenario in recent months has intensified efforts to change the company's culture, bringing positive results. "When we were surprised by the pandemic, we saw that we were already prepared to carry out part of our activities remotely. We conducted an internal survey and the result showed that more than 75% of respondents feel productive working in the home office. For us, this was already a sign that we are on the right path", she explains.

Collaboration hubs

Close to Vale's operational units in Brazil and other countries where it operates, the hubs will be safe environments for team engagement, development and training, with flexible desks and meeting rooms adapted for integration and collaboration areas.

"We are transforming our current offices into hubs and we expect to start making them available in March 2021", says Josilda. In Brazil, besides the existing spaces, there will be seven new hubs distributed in the states of Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Maranhão and Pará. Abroad, there will be at least 10 hubs in countries like Canada, Oman, Indonesia and China.

Gradual and strategic change

To put the new work model into practice, Vale has established some safety triggers as a response plan to the pandemic. Thus, the new flexible office model will only be fully implemented after these criteria are met. In addition, a change management strategy was put in place to meet the new technical, process and technological requirements, thus creating a new mindset, with an integrated and collaborative environment to achieve the company's purpose.

Vale has studied benefit models that can meet specific needs and ensure the welfare of all employees who are working remotely. Among the benefits already incorporated is the ergonomic aid package for the acquisition of items that bring more comfort and quality to the routine, such as chair, table or other supports. The company has been carrying out continuous conversations with its teams so that the changes in progress are adopted together and serve all employees.


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