National Work Life Week 2017

29 September 2017

National Work Life Week is an annual campaign to get both employers and employees talking about wellbeing at work and work life fit.

It’s an opportunity for employers to show their employees, and potential candidates, how their organisation is striving for a family friendly and flexible working culture.

National Work Life Week runs from 2 to 6 October 2017 and is run by Working Families, the UK’s work life balance charity, and sister organisation Family Friendly Working Scotland.

Working Families provide ideas for getting involved in National Work Life Week and have seven core themes to help employers plan a programme:

Senior Sponsorship

Lack of senior sponsorship is a key reason that change initiatives fail. On the other hand, a sponsor who has credibility, reputation and authority to demonstrate the urgency and need for work-life balance will catalyse and energise your organisation. Help your sponsor create and publicise a clear line of sight between work-life balance and your organisation’s vision and goals

Share what works

Change guru John Kotter wrote that people change what they do because of seeing real life truths that change their feelings NOT because of analysis that changes their thinking. Share case studies of what works in your organisation and use role models to inspire and catalyse change.

Go home on time

One of the most obvious ways to enable better work-life balance is to break the vicious cycle of presenteeism. There is very strong evidence that long work hours reduce decision quality and work performance, as well as squeezing the time for a healthy lifestyle and time with family and friends. Share this evidence, promote the role models and encourage your staff to go home on time.

Engage and educate

Raise awareness and provide practical tools that improve performance and work-life balance right now as well as providing the opportunity to step back and take a broader look at life and career. Working Families Consultancy and Training team are here to help you make a lasting difference with quickbite webinars and seminars, minibite e-learning and dedicated onsite work-life balance clinics.

Family and community time

Recognise that everyone has a life outside work, and that this brings vital skills back into the workplace eg leading and motivating others, resolving conflict, working to deadlines, prioritising or budget management. Enable staff to demonstrate pride they have in their work by bringing family to work, community or family fun days or a working party to help a local school or community group.


The business case for fit and healthy employees is proven: reduced absenteeism, increased emotional resilience, confidence and alertness. Encourage employees to take exercise and demonstrate how important it is, eg with on-site health checks, corporate gym membership, exercise facilities, walking or cycling to work or in break times.

Healthy eating

What we eat impacts our energy levels and ability to concentrate. What is more, there is very clear evidence that certain foods such as saturated fats negatively impact brain function, such as the ability to recall information, facts and figures. Other foods will energise and support alertness. Promote healthy eating eg by providing fruit mid-morning or afternoon.


if you hadn't planned to be involved, it isn't too late, you can still participate in National Work Life Week. Working Families’ toolkit has plenty of ideas.

Tweet @WorkingFamUK with your plans and use the hashtag #WorkLifeWeek.