Work-life- and Health Management


It is our goal to develop a culture that values the experience, well-being, and performance of our employees. Our people and our culture are key to delivering our ‘Own the Game’ strategy; and one of the ways we are supporting our people is by introducing six new values that will guide our behaviors. Our new values are: Ownership, Courage, and Innovation, as well as Team Play, Respect, and Integrity. In 2022, we will focus on implementing and embedding these values across our people policies and processes, including the way we hire, promote and evaluate performance.


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 very popular and offered at various locations across the globe. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic throughout 2021, we were forced to adjust well-established offers in many locations. Different 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.
  • 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 ten 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 provides for an extended parental leave approach across the market 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: Based on the good experience we have made with our worldwide off-campus-working approach, which allows our employees to work up to 40% of their working hours remotely, adidas has been well prepared and equipped for the transition to full home-office mode during the pandemic. At the same time, we experienced the importance of social and personal interaction first-hand during the pandemic. As we think about the future, we want to provide flexibility to support employees’ unique needs and experiences.


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, and 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, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic throughout 2021, we continued to follow a cautious approach and keep programs stopped and gyms closed where necessary. Our focus remained on digital offers for employees to support a healthy at home. This included an online sports program as well as broad virtual offerings on nutrition, mental health, remote work, and resilience. In addition, our Employee Assistance Programs were extended over the past months; the offering now fully covers nearly every market, including North and Latin America, Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific, and various countries in Europe.

Mental Health Week 2021: As part of our focus on holistic well-being and an inclusive culture, following World Mental Health Day, we provided employees worldwide with support, tools, and information to proactively recognize and manage their own mental health and that of those around them. ’Mental Health Week 2021’ had – based on the motto ‘Mind your mind’ – a focus on creating productive conversations, showing support, and giving a call to action for prevention and positivity with regard to mental health.


Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, 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.

  • Crisis management team: To monitor and assess the impacts and potential spread of the coronavirus globally, we have continued to work with a dedicated Steering Committee since February 2020. 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 our response to covid-19. The team also tracks internal covid-19 cases globally on an anonymous basis, 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 two 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 once a month.
  • Return to the office: In 2021, we slowly started to re-open some locations, with limited capacity according to local regulations, and attendance on site is on a voluntary basis. All regulations regarding safety protocols were extended, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and meeting room limitations. Additionally, we are continuously monitoring the development of the situation by market and keep transparent communication to our employees every week, as well as reinforcing the strict rules of conduct in place in our workplaces to ensure maximum safety levels.
  • Vaccination: We encouraged all employees who can to get vaccinated to protect themselves, our colleagues, families and friends. In Germany, we were able to have our own vaccination centers on site (available for corporate, retail, and distribution center employees) to accelerate the vaccination progress, as well as extending the flu shot campaign in some countries. When governments around the world asked for companies to facilitate and/or fund the vaccination of their employees, we readily did this and funded vaccination for our employees in the United States, Colombia, Russia, Ukraine, and India.
  • HR training and alignment: To enable our HR Business Partners to report on covid-19 cases, conduct contact tracing, and manage any employee-related crisis issues, we introduced global trainings for them. These trainings are repeated as often as necessary to ensure our HR Business 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, where any employee- or covid-19-related issues are discussed and decisions are made on necessary actions.
  • Retail: In our own-retail stores, safety protocols include social distancing rules and the installation of plexiglass screens. Our retail staff have been trained on these safety 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 in a timely manner.


Under the ‘Lifestyle’ category, we subsume all footwear, apparel, and ‘accessories and gear’ products that are born from sport and worn for style. ‘adidas Originals,’ which is inspired by sport and worn on the street, is at the heart of the ‘Lifestyle’ category.