Brazilian mining giant Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s largest iron ore and nickel producer, is permanently adopting a new working model, tested during the covid-19 pandemic, that combines on-site, near-site and remote jobs.
The flexible office format, Vale said, will allow employees to switch between remote work and face-to-face meetings at collaborative hubs. It will also include planned visits to the company’s mines.
Only operational functions will continue to be performed on-site, Vale said.
The company expects to kick off the new hubs in March. There will be seven in Brazil, in the states of Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Maranhão and Pará.
At least 10 international hubs will be formed in Canada, Oman, Indonesia and China, the company noted.
Vale based its decision on the results of a survey among employees, with 75% of respondents saying they felt equally or more productive using the home-office model.
More than two years after curtailing operations following Brumadinho’s dam collapse, Brazil’s deadliest, the company has begun increasing production of iron ore.
Chief executive Eduardo Bartolomeo recently said he expects Vale to generate 400 million tonnes of iron ore a year by the end of 2022. Before the disaster, the company produced 385 million tonnes.