National Work Life Week

14 October 2022 Aceel Dear

National Work Life Week is Working Families’ annual campaign to get both employers and employees talking about workplace wellbeing and encouraging people to speak openly about work-life balance and how we can take steps to achieve it.

Placehold Image

Since the pandemic, employers across the world, just like us, have changed the way they view a typical work-week.  Whilst the NEC Group is a live events business (and face-to-face is integral to how we operate), we, like many others, are looking for ways to embrace the advances in technology that now enable us to stay connected, even when we aren’t physically in our places of work. Hybrid working has become second nature to office-based staff and we are proud of the adjustments we have made to our working practices, with the 3:2 work-week set to be a part of our culture that is here to stay.  

Trying to achieve ‘balance’ when working in a 24/7 business isn’t easy,  but this week, we have shown support for National Work Life Week by sharing stories from staff around the business who manage to make their career work around their personal lives.  

Amazingly, we have staff who are able to live in different parts of the country and work remotely. We have people who work different hours to enable them to spend more time with family and even with pets. And we have lots of Casual and Zero hours employees who use the flexibility that these contracts offer to allow them to work around other jobs and university/college courses (for some extra money) or quite often, just to work around school pick-ups!   

Here are a few of our case studies:


Pat McLiddy, NEC Group IT


What does your role entail?

I lead the Architecture and Infrastructure functions for the NEC Group and have a great team to help me deliver them.  

How do you make your career work around your home life?

I have 4 young children! When they grow up, I want them to look back and remember that I was there for those big moments in their life.  Working for the NEC Group has allowed me to achieve this.

I have quite a busy life outside of work, having the support and flexibility of my line manager has enabled me to attend important events for my children, such as sports days, and award assemblies, which I never previously was able to attend.

My role requires me to work quite flexibly.  If we have an IT project deadline, I may have to work late to make sure everything is delivered and working.  I take back time in lieu and use it to work around the kids essentially.

Have any modifications been made to your role to accommodate your new working arrangements?

No real modifications just the support and understanding from my Line Management and the wider NEC Group.  It may mean I work late on evenings to catch back up but having a business that supports my home life and commitments outside of work is essential for me, and in return, when I am needed outside of the normal working hours, I am more than happy to commit.


Richard Mann, NEC Venue Sales

What kind of flexible work arrangements do you have Richard?

From the time I initially joined the NEC (a long time ago now!), I was fortunate enough to negotiate a flexible working pattern, where I usually spend two days a week in the office, and 3 days a week either working from home or out seeing customers.

How has this changed your life?

It enabled me to take the job at the NEC in the first place, because I was living in London at the time. The continuation of that arrangement has allowed me to stay in the South of the country (close to family) when I’ve subsequently got married and had 3 children.

Have any modifications been made to your role to accommodate your new working arrangements?

Not really, because my role has always involved a lot of customer interaction in their places of work, at competitor venues, so I’m out and about a fair bit.

The introduction of flexible hours since the business reopened fully is also making a difference in my team, where some start and finish earlier than I do because that works for their work/life balance. For the business, that means there’s usually at least one of us working from around 8am to 6pm most days.


Julia Clark, NEC Group HR

Tell us about your role.
I work in the Corporate HR team, looking after the HR Systems which is always busy keeping the systems up to date with latest legislation and workable for the business.

How do you make your career work around your home life?
I have always had slightly reduced working hours, but since the business introduced the 3:2 work week, I now spread-out my WFH hours and take a longer lunch break to allow us to walk our lovely dog, Zach.

How has this changed your life?

I first reduced my hours to share the end of day school pick-up and being able to spend that time with my son, however he is now in senior school and walks himself and obviously not quite so dependent. During the pandemic, we also moved to a different area, in south Derbyshire and have lots of lovely fields around us. So to make the most of the countryside, I have now adjusted my hours to take a longer lunch break to walk our dog. It splits up the day perfectly and works so well getting out for some fresh air and exercise, and the dog of course loves it.