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Nike closed offices for a week, giving employees time off to focus on mental health

Nike closed offices for a week, giving employees time off to focus on mental health
Posted at 1:10 PM, Sep 01, 2021

The pandemic has brought mental health awareness to the forefront. Recent data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that in April-June of 2020, 40% of U.S. adults experienced at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, such as anxiety, depression or the use of substances to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19.

Nike took a proactive step by giving corporate employees a week off to focus on their mental well-being. Matt Marrazzo, a senior manager of global marketing science at the company shared more information about this time off in a LinkedIn post.

“In just about an hour, teams at Nike will start closing their laptops for our regular Summer Friday hours. But today is *extra* special,” Marrazzo wrote in the August 20 post. “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.”

A spokesman confirmed to CNBC that Nike had closed several offices in different locations for a week.

In May, the athletic equipment company announced that the timeline for employees of Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon to be able to return to campus was September with a flexible schedule allowing employees to work remotely up to two days a week.

A study by the National Safety Council and NORC at the University of Chicago found that employers that support employees’ mental health see a return of $4 for every dollar invested.

Nike Media

“It’s times like this that I’m so grateful to be a part of this team,” Marrazzo continued in his post. “In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane. 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. 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. Support your people. It’s good business but it’s also the right thing to do.”

Approximately 12,600 office employees worked at the Beaverton location in 2019. Most of them have been working from home since March 2020.

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