Nike closes corporate head office for a week to allow employees to focus on mental health

The paid break comes right before employees are required to go into the office three days a week.

Kelsie Sandoval
In New York
Tuesday 31 August 2021 00:37 BST
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Nike has closed its corporate offices this week so employees can have time to focus on mental health.

“Enjoy additional time off to rest and recover,” Nike said in a statement.

The paid break comes right before employees are required to go into the office three days a week. In May 2021, the company said they’d return to the office in September. Unlike other companies that have pushed back returning to the office because of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, Nike hasn’t changed its plans.

Employees praised the company’s decision to let them have paid time off, saying it gives time to prioritize mental health. Nevertheless, does not extend to the company’s retail stores.

“If it is the case that part-time workers in a retail store are expected to come to work, whereas headquarter offices are not, that also sends a message about which kind of workers they care about and are willing to invest in,” Liz Tippett, an associate professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, toldThe Oregonian.

Nike isn’t the only household company giving employees a break.

Earlier this summer, Bumble, a dating app, gave workers a surprise week off to fight burnout. Other companies have given employees a weeklong break during the pandemic, too.

Burnout is so pervasive that the World Health Organisation updated its definition for the condition in 2019. The WHO also recently published a study finding that working 55 hours or more a week increases the risk of death by heart disease or stroke.

Meanwhile, some companies have been experimenting with four-day workweeks to improve productivity and give employees more free time.

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