Business Insane

Nike gives corporate staff at Oregon headquarters a week off to unwind and destress ahead of office return

Employees at Nike’s corporate headquarters in Oregon have been given a week off to support their mental health, ahead of the return to the office in September.

This week, Monday to Friday the US firm will “power down” to give employees a rest after a tough year.

“Take the time to unwind, destress and spend time with your loved ones,” the firm’s head of insights Matt Marrazzo said in a message to staff.

It follows similar moves from other global companies. Bumble in June told its 700 staff worldwide to switch off and focus on themselves. LinkedIn gave its workers a week off in April while Citi Group said in March it would have “Zoom-free Fridays” to combat pandemic fatigue.

A growing number of employees have reported feeling burnt out as the pandemic drags on and many continue to work from home.

Mr Marrazzo told Nike staff: “Do not work” — adding that the past year had been “rough” and they were “living through a traumatic event”.

“In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane.

“It’s not just a ‘week off’ for the team… it’s an acknowledgment that we can prioritize mental health and still get work done.”

According to reports, it also reflects the fact Nike has had a successful year, with sales up and its stock gaining 20%.