With thanks to Working Families, who are championing the National Work / Life Week:
Monday 2nd October heralds the start of National Work Life Week, our 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.
There are 11 million working parents in the UK who make up more than a third of the workforce. But, too often, the way that jobs are designed, organised and advertised stops people with caring responsibilities from working to their full potential.
When we took the temperature of working parents earlier this year, eight out of ten mothers and seven out of ten fathers told us they would assess their childcare needs before taking a new job or promotion. Both mothers and fathers feel they might have to downgrade their career in order to care for their families. Half of parents say their work life balance is a source of stress.
And it’s not just working parents who want a better work life balance. Half of people in the UK want to work flexibly, but currently fewer than one in ten jobs is advertised flexibly. Employers who consider flexibility from the job design stage and in their recruitment advertising will open up their vacancies to more applications from people with the right skills and talents. We’ve developed the Happy to Talk Flexible Working strapline for employers who want to widen their talent pool and attract candidates who might otherwise not consider applying for a position.
All the evidence shows that the longer you work, the less productive you become. Burgeoning workloads aren’t just bad for families, they’re bad for business. And it’s no surprise that employers who go with the grain of their employees will have more loyal, motivated and productive people. It’s a real win-win situation.
Show how you are doing things differently this National Work Life Week.
- Write a blog highlighting some great examples of people working flexibly, whether it’s to take care of their family or to pursue outside interests.
- Put on a lunchtime event for employees on work life balance, flexible working, mindfulness, maximising energy and time, or career confidence for flexible workers
- Ask a senior manager to share their top tips on how they keep their work and home life in balance.
- Encourage all staff to use their ‘out of office’ more effectively to be ‘out and proud’ about their part time or flexible working hours.
- Showcase your family friendly policies in your newsletter and on your intranet
- Bring in fruit, organise lunchtime walks, offer free head massages.
- Leave work on time. Encourage your staff to leave work on time. Lead by example.
Let us know how you’re marking the week. Working Families would love to share your plans. Please tweet @workingfamuk using the #worklifeweek or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about National Work Life Week