Nike, the massive apparel and shoe company, is making mental health a priority ahead of productivity for some employees.
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The global brand closed its corporate offices for one week so that employees could, “enjoy additional time off to rest and recover,” said Nike’s press statement. The choice to close for a week has been applauded by Nike employees in Beaverton, Oregon, where the brand’s headquarters sit.
Senior Manager at Nike, Matt Marrazzo wrote on LinkedIn, “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."
Another employee told the local news outlet, KGW8, “It's not only a chance to recharge and keep us together but also a thank you for an impressive year."
Associate professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Law, Liz Tippett felt this was a great move for the company. Tippett has a focus on employment law and practices.
She shared, “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. I think it's important to recognize the role mental health plays for workers and worker well-being."
However, while Nike corporate employees will receive a paid week off, Nike retail stores will remain open.
Tippett noted, “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.”
In 2019 the World Health Organization announced that workplace burnout is an “occupational phenomenon,” and for the first time qualified burnout as a work hazard. Under this classification, workers can seek medical help for something other than physical illness or physical health issues.
Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.