Work-life- and health management


It is our goal to develop a culture that cherishes creativity, collaboration and confidence as well as high performance, the behaviors we deem to be crucial to the successful delivery of our strategy. In fact, our culture and people are a key to our new strategy ‘Own the Game’.

Work-life integration

We aim to harmonize the commercial interests of the company with the professional, private and family needs of our employees. Our Work-Life Integration initiatives and programs include the provision of flexible working times and locations, personal development and leadership competence related to work-life integration, as well as family-oriented services:

  • Childcare: In addition to providing flexible working opportunities such as work from home and sabbaticals, we cater for a family-friendly environment and infrastructure. At our headquarters in Herzogenaurach, we offer parent-child offices, and provide for a childcare facility, the ‘World of Kids’. It offers space for 270 children and includes an outdoor group and ad-hoc childcare to support parents in emergency situations or during transition phases and short-term assignments. During school holidays, kids’ camps are usually very popular and offered at various locations across the globe. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, we were forced to cancel these and other offers in 2020. Instead, new solutions were implemented to assist parents working from home in challenging times while catering for childcare and home-schooling. These included coronavirus hotlines for parents and caregivers, interactive online sessions, and presentations from experts as well as tutoring for pupils and digital offerings for kids with focus on movement, nature, and craft.
  • Parental leave: For parental leave and re-entry, programs are in place to provide employees with advice early on and options for their return to work, also taking into consideration flexible working hours and work locations. In Germany, we guarantee our employees on parental leave their positions, which are only filled temporarily. In the US, in addition to regular parental leave for new parents (up to 10 weeks at home, 70% of their salary), adidas offers an extra two weeks of paid parental leave for parents. Furthermore, adidas’ special parental bonding leave provides parents with the opportunity to stay home for up to six months within the first twelve months after the child’s birth or placement. While unpaid, it offers parents the opportunity to stay home longer and take care of their new arrival and new life together. Latin America has made significant amendments to improve work-life integration across the market. This includes an extended parental leave approach where mothers will be provided 24 paid weeks in total to spend with their children, and fathers/partners will be provided 20 paid days in total. On top of this, mothers are allowed to work fewer hours one month before and after their maternity leave period.
  • Flexible work: Continuing in Germany in 2020, every employee with an adidas AG contract whose working tasks can be carried out independently of campus facilities, campus equipment, and personal interaction on-site is eligible to work 20% of their total working time off-campus. This policy and agreement is based on our belief that results can be achieved in the same quality and quantity, regardless of people’s location. Positive feedback motivated us to roll out the approach globally and with Asia having joined in 2020, all markets are now fully on board. With this worldwide off-campus-working approach in place, adidas was well prepared and equipped for the transition to home-office mode during the pandemic.

Health management

We support our employees by aiming to provide the best possible conditions to ensure that they feel good and stay healthy. Our holistic approach includes people’s physical, mental, and social well-being, and focuses on four pillars: mindset, nutrition, movement and medical services. We provide employees access to various sports activities and facilities. Also, lockers and showers in many office buildings allow people to run or cycle to work. Employees in Herzogenaurach, Portland, Boston, Moscow, Gurgaon and Manchester, and at other locations across the globe, have access to a corporate gym. However, the coronavirus pandemic required us to close gyms, stop programs and focus on alternatives. Thus, digital offers were designed for employees to support a healthy lifestyle at home. This included an online sports program as well as broad virtual offerings on nutrition, mental health, and resilience. We offer Employee Assistance Programs in many countries (for instance in the US, Germany, and the UK). In 2020, Latin America introduced an equivalent program across the market.

Navigating through the coronavirus pandemic

Since the beginning of the covid-19 crisis, the safety and well-being of our employees, consumers and partners has been our top priority. In our offices, stores and warehouses around the globe, we have installed a variety of measures to ensure the ongoing safety of our people and limit the risk of infections at the workplace or while traveling. These measures include the extension of our hygiene concepts, the continuous monitoring of the development of the situation, transparent communication to our employees, and the establishment of strict rules of conduct. For example, we have increased workplace flexibility and temporarily given our employees theo opportunity to work up to 100% of their time remotely, depending on the development of cases in the respective countries.

  • Crisis management team: To be able to monitor and assess the impacts and potential spread of the coronavirus globally, we set up a dedicated Steering Committee in February. The task of this HR-led, cross-functional team is to provide guidance to our markets on emerging issues, standards and company policies to ensure alignment in the response to covid-19. The team also tracks internal covid-19 cases globally, and reports these to the Executive Board. This measure enables us to determine any actions needed at all locations globally. The Steering Committee meets up to three times per week to review employee case numbers, impacts to the business, emerging issues, and review current policies, guidelines and direction to the business and our workforce. Updates are provided to the Executive Board on a regular basis, at least twice per month.
  • HR training and alignment: To enable our HR Business Partners to report on cases, conduct contact tracing and manage any employee-related crisis issues, we introduced global trainings for our HR Business Partners. These trainings are repeated as often as necessary to ensure our partners are able to act upon the most recent developments at any time. To create alignment and awareness of new processes or emerging situations in the markets, we have also set up a weekly call for market HR leaders. In this meeting, any employee- and covid-19-related issues are discussed and decisions are made on necessary actions.
  • Retail: In our own-retail stores, hygiene concepts encompass distancing rules and the installation of plexiglass screens. Our retail staff was trained on hygiene measures, contact tracing and case reporting to guarantee sufficient response actions to ensure the safety of all employees and customers. In addition, we created so-called ,Retail Response Teams’ to ensure the implementation of regulations and standards in our stores.