‌Wellbeing and Work/Life Balance

Researchers lead busy, sometimes stressful lives. Since people spend a good deal of their time at work, it is particularly important for them to achieve a work/life balance. As part of Positive Research Environment, the University recognises that work/life balance is not only beneficial to individuals and their families, but also to the University as a whole.

University support

There are a number of ways in which staff are supported by the University to help them achieve a healthy work/life balance:

- Wellbeing Hub where you will find resources to support staff wellbeing.

- For mental health support - our Employee Assistance Programme is a confidential counselling and information service available to assist you with personal or work-related problems that may be affecting your health, wellbeing or performance. 

Family Friendly initiatives including flexible working arrangements, a generous annual leave entitlement, the possibility of a leave of absence for study or special leave. 

Researchers can also access the UKRSA Family Leave Leaflet for helpful tips.

Staff Benefits scheme offers discounts and special offers on shopping, restaurants, bars, leisure activities, health & beauty and much more.

- The University's Sports & Fitness Centre offers discounted membership to staff and has excellent facilities.

- An annual Research Staff Association (RSA) Summer Wellbeing Event started in 2019 with the theme of 'Resilience'.
The planned theme for the 2020 event is 'Wellbeing during a time of crisis' which will be facilitated online and designed to acknowledge issues raised by COVID-19. 

- An annual Wellbeing Week is organised for staff and students, a week-long series of events and activities to highlight the important role of wellbeing for everyone.

- As a part of Wellbeing Week 2019, a new University Campus Wellbeing Map was launched. The map covers Liverpool and Leahurst campuses and contains information for students and staff on where to find places to Be Active, to Connect, to find Support, To Take Time Out and to Eat Well. This includes where to find university support services, Walking for Health meeting points, accessible shower facilities, prayer rooms, health centres, bookshops and cafés and healthy eating options.

Local initiatives

Institute of Infection and Global Health (IGH)

In response to feedback IGH launched a Wellbeing Group in February 2019. Activities include:

  • Weekly coffee mornings
  • Monthly crafternoons
  • A wellbeing seminar series
  • A running group
  • A walking group at Leahurst

Institute of Integrative Biology (IIB)

IIB have successfully implemented a “Take a Break” initiative which involves a weekly 30-40 miniute walk around campus and nearby areas or a “Coffee, cake and chat” if the weather isn't good. It is aimed at PhD students and staff.

A Board Game meet-up is also organised every ~2 weeks in evenings at the Life Sciences Common Room.

School of Physical Sciences (SPS)

SPS provides and organises a number of wellbeing initiatives and activities:

  • A Wellbeing Room is available to all staff and students in the school who need a quiet and calming space to relax for a while. Regular craft and relaxation activities are held there including games, colouring, knitting and macrame
  • A running club for all abilities is hosted every Wednesday
  • An LGBT+ network hosts regular coffee and networking sessions.

Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM)

ITM hold weekly coffee mornings: ‘ITM Postgraduate Society / ITM Postdoc Coffee Morning’ hosted by and for PGRs and postdocs. On the first Friday of each month all staff are also welcome. The aim is to provide the opportunity to get to know colleagues, taking time out to have break and a chat together.

If you would like to implement initiatives in your workplace, please contact us at researcher@liverpool.ac.uk for support and guidance.

External Resources

The Balanced Researcher - A Vitae publication providing strategies for Researchers to achieve work/life balance.

Work-Life Balance - Vitae provide a number of strategies to help Researchers get the balance right.  

Business Balls - A number of tools and additional resources to help with achieving a work/life balance.

The Work Foundation - The Work Foundation (part of Lancaster University) has a variety of resources on work/life balance and flexible working, including related reports, news and blogs.

Tips for Work/Life Balance - Jobs.ac.uk provide 10 tips for getting a work/life balance

Work/Life Balance News - The Huffington Post provides a useful page displaying the latest news stories relating to work/life balance.

Working Families - Working Families, a charity to help working parents and carers achieve work/life balance. The website has a wealth of resources, including advice for parents on flexible working, tax credits and maternity & paternity leave.

Gingerbread - A charity for single parents that provides a number of useful resources, such as information on childcare and other practical issues facing single parent families.

Family Lives - A charity helping parents deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life.