A large warehouse with the Zalando logo on the side against a blue sky at sunset.
Image: © Mike Mareen/Stock.adobe.com

Zalando to give staff a ‘collective break’ with an extra week off

4 Jun 2021

The online retailer is giving its 14,500 staff an extra five days off in August to allow them to recover from the increased pandemic workload.

German fashion e-commerce company Zalando is giving its staff a break in recognition of their performance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company’s chief people officer, Astrid Arndt, said in an internal post that its 14,500 employees can take five days off at the beginning of August as a “collective breather” to allow them to recover from the intense workload during the pandemic.

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“The pandemic has left its mark in the world and on us,” Arndt said. “It has changed the way we work and live. It has brought sadness and harm to many of our colleagues. We can be proud of what we achieved in these past months – standing together, supporting each other and driving the business while balancing many challenges inside and outside work.

“We want to pause and take time off collectively. We plan to take this ‘collective breather’ in the first week of August – five days without business as usual. This will allow us to recharge, enjoy additional time off, and start off fresh.”

The business will be maintained during this period by critical employees, such as warehouse teams, who will be able to take their five-day break at a different time.

At the end of 2020, Zalando gave each of its employees a one-time bonus of €500. At the time, co-CEO Robert Gentz said the bonus was given to recognise employees’ commitment and contribution. “The success of Zalando rests entirely on our teams who have shown exceptional performance during an unprecedented time,” he said.

The Berlin-based company recently reported that first-quarter sales rose to €2.24bn, following an incredibly strong performance throughout 2020. Online shopping as a whole has been soaring worldwide amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zalando was not unique in offering employee rewards during the pandemic. Earlier this year, Citi employees were given a company-wide holiday or ‘reset day’, as well as a new ‘Zoom-free Fridays’ policy to combat Zoom fatigue.

In the UK, BT gave a special bonus of £1,500 to nearly 60,000 frontline staff in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic.

While Zalando is giving its employees time off, other companies have been working out their plans for hybrid working.

Google boss Sundar Pichai recently announced the company’s new hybrid model, which will see 20pc of employees working from home full-time. Meanwhile, Microsoft has outlined its vision for hybrid working, allowing its employees to work from home less than 50pc of the time, depending on their role requirements.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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