The Working Life Prize was awarded for the last time this year. The theme of 2017’s open call was willpower. The experiences of the nine finalists have been collected to form a series of examples for reforming working life.


What’s going on?


Positive change in workplaces is possible


Recipes for reforming working life – lessons learned from Working Life Prize finalists


The last Working Life Prize attracts almost a hundred applications


Careers are extended with a will and a way


Investing in well-being at work improves productivity and quality


“For many people, flexibility at work can be a liberation.” Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Arts


The Finnish Working Life Prize aims to rouse work communities into looking at and developing their operations through inspiring examples. Persistent efforts to improve well-being at work increases productivity, improves the quality of products and services, and reduces the number of sickness-related absences in workplaces.

In 2017, the prize will be awarded to workplaces that have the willpower to promote well-being at work and in which people enjoy their work and problems are solved in a constructive manner. The award-winning workplaces will promote, for example, lifelong learning, the development of skills, ways of coping at work and thus longer working careers – whatever the age range of the staff. They may be recognised for a procedure, a best practice or a social innovation that the work community has managed to implement successfully in practice.

What do we do?

The Working Life Prize was be awarded for the last time 9 May 2017. The theme of the open call was willpower. Nine workplaces were presented with an award. The general public could also vote for the most inspiring work community. Each prize is worth a 10,000-15,000 euros.

Following the opinion of the Finnish Work Environment Fund, the decision on who received the prize was be made by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and Sitra, the founders of the Fund for the Working Life Prize. The President of Finland is the patron of the prize.

Where are we now?

The theme in 2017 was willpower. We were looking for examples of how people can successfully adjust to the changing world through their own action.

The criteria for the prize are as follows.


Who participates?

The Fund for the Working Life Prize was established by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and Sitra. The initial capital was 300,000 euros. Sitra and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have increased it in equal shares, and the Ministry allocated the amount of 150,000 euros, a grant to Finland by the Carl Bertelsmann foundation, to this prize. The funds are administrated by Sitra. The intention is to use the funds by the end of 2017.

What have we achieved?

Since 2008, the prize has been awarded four times to a work community or a person who has increased well-being at work among ageing employees and promoted longer working careers. The previous award-winning workplaces managed to sustain jobs and support ageing employees to continue working.

The previous recipients of the Working Life Prize are:


Päivi Sillanaukee
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Suvi Kiesiläinen
Specialist, Finance and Administration
Ismo Suksi
Ministerial Adviser, Ministry for Social Affairs and Health
Kirsti Kaustara
Kirsi Suomalainen
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

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