Nike says employees must return to the office four days each week

Nike employees will soon be required to work in the office four days a week. Beth Nakamura/StaffLC-

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Nike employees will soon be required to work in the office four days a week, the company confirmed late Wednesday to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The mandate is an expansion of Nike’s current policy, which requires workers be in the office three days a week.

“We’ve seen the power and energy that comes from working together in person, and we aim to create more of that,” the company said in a statement.

Nike’s return-to-office policy is closely watched given its position as an industry leader and Oregon’s largest company. The change in Nike’s policy could spur other local companies to ramp up in-office requirements.

Nike’s new policy becomes effective in January. Previously, Nike allowed some technology employees more latitude in how often they worked in the office. The company didn’t say if those exceptions or any others apply to the new policy.

Nationwide, the Wall Street Journal this month reported return-to-office rates in September climbed to their highest point since the pandemic. But it also reported efforts to get more employees back to the office haven’t been effective at moving the rate higher.

Intel, Oregon’s largest corporate employer, told employees in May it wanted more “balance” between remote work and time in the office, including more face-time among employees, but CEO Pat Gelsinger left implementation of the new policy to individual departments.

Adidas, which has its North American headquarters in Portland, requires employees work from the office three days a week. It doesn’t specify the days. Employees also get 10 days of remote work per year.

Nike’s return-to-office plans have been debated by employees, with some saying the company needs workers in the office to collaborate on new products and others warning the company risks losing employees if it takes away flexibility.

Like many companies, Nike’s return-to-office policy has evolved.

Nike first targeted September 2021 for a limited return to its offices. But it delayed those plans in September 2021, and again in December 2021, during spikes in Covid cases.

In February 2022, the company announced its current three-day in-office policy, which became effective in May 2022. In April 2022, Nike modified the plan and gave office workers up to four weeks of fully remote work per year. It’s unclear if that policy remains in place.

Nike is one of Oregon’s largest employers, with 11,400 workers at its roughly 400-acre headquarters campus near Beaverton, according to its last annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It employs nearly 84,000 companywide.

This story has been updated with information about Adidas.

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