Nike Joins Bumble, Others In Offering Paid Time Off To Help Staff Deal With Stress

Eugene, Oregon, USA - July 8, 2014: Nike Clothing Store location in Eugene, Oregon.
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Some Nike employees are taking the week off to “destress” and deal with COVID-related anxieties in a move that mirrors a larger corporate trend to support the mental health of workers.

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Staff at Nike’s corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon have been given Monday through Friday off ahead of their return to the office in September, the BBC reported. Employees were first notified of the break via a LinkedIn post last week by Matt Marrazzo, the athletic brand’s head of insights.

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

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Marazzo added that it’s not just a week off for staff, but “an acknowledgment that we can prioritize mental health and still get work done.”

Such mental health breaks are becoming more commonplace as companies look for ways to help their workers navigate the pandemic and cope with rapidly rising rates of burnout.

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In June, the Bumble dating app gave all 750 of its employees a collective paid week off to deal with burnout and stress, the HR Executive website reported. LinkedIn gave its 15,900 full-time employees a paid week off in April to help them recharge and refocus.

In addition, numerous other companies have implemented companywide mental health days over the last year, including SAP, Cisco, Google and Thomson Reuters.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte MagazineStreet & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, will be published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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