By Will Feuer
Nike is closing its corporate offices this week to give its employees a paid, week-long mental health break ahead of its September return-to-office plans.
Matt Marrazzo, a senior manager for the Beaverton, Oregon-based shoe maker, confirmed the break in a LinkedIn post last week
“Our senior leaders are all sending a clear message: Take the time to unwind, destress and spend time with your loved ones. Do not work,” he wrote. “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.
“It’s times like this that I’m so grateful to be a part of this team. In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane,” Marrazzo added.
“This past year has been rough — we’re all human! and living through a traumatic event! — but I’m hopeful that the empathy and grace we continue to show our teammates will have a positive impact on the culture of work moving forward.”
The move comes amid countless reports of workers nationwide reconsidering their careers amid the pandemic and as US workers navigate murky return-to-office plans
Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases that’s being driven by the Delta variant some major companies, including Apple and BlackRock have delayed their plans to bring workers back to the office.
Others, though, have pushed forward with urging workers to come back to the office and mandating vaccinations for all workers to keep people safe.
Nike, for its part, announced in May that it would bring employees back to its headquarters in September with a hybrid work model that allows employees to work remotely up to two days a week.
The company has not announced any plans to delay their return to the office.
Various recent surveys have found that a significant share of US workers say they’re willing to take a pay cut or quit to continue working remotely.
One anonymous Nike employee told Portland-based KGW News that the week off is “not only a chance to recharge and keep us together, but also a thank you for an impressive year.”
Nike stock is up more than 18 percent since the beginning of the year, falling just short of the S&P 500’s 20 percent return over the same period of time.
The week off, however, doesn’t extend to Nike’s retail employees as its stores will remain open during the week, KGW noted.