Nike closed its corporate office in Beaverton, Oregon, for a week in order to help its employees prioritize caring for their mental health,
What are the details?
Last week, in a headline-making
LinkedIn post, Nike’s senior manager of global marketing science Matt Marrazzo wrote, “Teams at Nike will start closing their laptops for our regular Summer Friday hours. But today is *extra* special. Nike HQ is also powering down for a full week off starting next Monday. 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.”
“In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane,” Marrazzo’s post 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.”
He added, “It’s not just a ‘week off’ for the team … it’s an acknowledgement that we can prioritize mental health and still get work done. Support your people. It’s good business, but it’s also the right thing to do.”
One unnamed employee told
KGW-TV that the week off is “not only a chance to recharge and keep us together, but also a thank you for an impressive year.”
The company also told the station that the time off is “intended for employees to refresh and recharge during the ongoing pandemic.”
According to KGW, “While those in the corporate offices are getting the paid week off, others aren’t getting it at all.”
Nike’s retail stores remained open, according to the station.
Liz Tippett, an associate professor at the University of Oregon School of Law,
said that the move should set an example for all companies.
“I like raising the focus of mental health as a basis for people to take their time off, not just when they’re physically ill,” she said. “I think it’s important to recognize the role mental health plays for workers and worker well-being.”
Tippet warned, however, that allowing retail stores to continue operating might send mixed — or even wrong — signals to employees and consumers alike.
“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,” Tippett reasoned.
Nike prioritizes workers’ mental health, but only for some