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Nike are taking a mental health break | Will this work?

Nike headquarters are closing for 1 week in order for their employees to have a mental health break before reopening their offices in September. 

Nike, like most other businesses around the world, has had to adapt to remote working for the last 18 months. As the world has started to go back to ‘normal, a lot of us are excited to have that face-to-face connection that we haven’t had for so long. 

What has put Nike in the headlines specifically is that they are addressing that going back to the offices can be a shock to the system.

This is a great step forward in corporations considering the mental wellbeing of their staff. 

Nike stated that “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.”

Businesses even considering their employee’s mental well-being is a step forward on its own.

I’ve talked about this a lot, but the isolation and lack of social stimulation that many have faced during the pandemic is something that should be eased out of, rather than just expecting everyone to jump back to where they left off.

What I will question is what corporations such as Nike hope to gain from this week off. They mention it is not just a ‘week off -’ but what their staff does with this time is what will make a positive impact.

I compare it to when many will go on holiday or go travelling to ‘reset’.

This is all well and good and can be a fantastic experience. But your issues will still be with you, and will still be there when you get home.

Working remotely can be a huge challenge when it comes to accomplishing an ideal work-life balance. There can be some anxiety when it’s time to go back to the commuter lifestyle. 

So being giving the space to ease back into it is a fantastic opportunity for Nike staff. What is done with that time though is when you will see the benefit.

By taking time off from your remote work, you can use that mental space to make a plan for your future:

  • What do you want for your future work life balance? 
  • Is it obtainable?
  • How have you changed since working remotely? Socially and professionally.

These kinds of questions will give you a springboard to find success in the new lifestyle to come. 

Whether you have found balance with your remote life or not, going back into 9-5 can be a challenging process. So, consider your personal changes and expectations.

You may want to travel – or take a week-long break – to reset, but using that time to address what you are going back to is the key to making the most of that time.

What I hope is that Nike is the first of many to really consider what staff needs when it comes to their mental health. Not just when it is too late, but also general mental wellbeing.

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