Sports brand Nike is giving employees at its headquarters in the United States an extra week to ‘de-stress’ and recover from the hectic pace during the corona pandemic.
Staff at Nike’s Oregon headquarters will be allowed to return to the office from September 1. To prepare themselves mentally for this, employees are given the week before – that is, this week – off. The company hopes with the measure to prevent employees from getting burnout or other mental problems.
Nike has taken over the idea from dating app Bumble and networking site Linkedin, where employees were given extra days off earlier this year to put their mental health in order. “Take the time to relax, de-stress and spend time with your loved ones. Don’t work,” senior manager Matt Marrazzo wrote in a message to networking site Linkedin.
He acknowledges that “the past year has been tough,” and that staff need to recognize that “we are all human beings” who are going through a traumatic event together. “The past year (or two) was not comparable to previous years, taking time for rest and recovery is the key to performing well and staying healthy.”
Companies seem to be increasingly aware that the corona pandemic can take a heavy toll on their staff. Many employees have worked from home for a long time, often in far from optimal conditions, with a makeshift workplace and children home from school. Working from home blurs the line between work and private life, which can lead to additional stress.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder of Bumble, gave its 700 employees an extra week of paid leave in June to de-stress. In March, investment bank Citigroup announced a ban on video calls on Fridays to help workers break free from the “ruthlessness of the pandemic workday.” The bank declared May 28 as a company-wide holiday, dubbed “Citi Reset Day,” and encouraged staff to take more days off.
Marrazzo labeled the extra week off as ‘the right thing to do’ and believes that this form of staff support shows Nike is a good employer. “Not only is it a week off for the team, it also shows that we can prioritize mental health and still get our work done,” he added.