September 25, 2023

The subtle art of giving a f**k

Insight into the work culture at Continuous by someone who didn't make the rules



Marketing Manager, Alice Irving, shares a personal opinion piece that takes you deeper behind the scenes at our studio to the very heart of who we are and how we work with each other and our clients

Sign up



Let me start by saying that I’m no work culture expert, I don’t work in HR, and I’ve never been on an employee effectiveness course.

But I have experienced what almost everyone reading this has – good jobs, bad jobs, good managers, bad managers, good working environments, and ones that make you want to quit your job and move to a farm somewhere off-grid.

So, why am I writing this? Because – on a mission to speak up more – this is about people and people are important.

You, what matters to you, and what currently shapes your life are important.

And although it seems obvious to prioritise these things – actually prioritising them seems to be a lost art.

Alice Irving, Marketing Manager & Content Creator at Continuous

But caring – and to quote the title, I mean really, authentically giving a f*ck with all your might – is rare, especially in the workplace.

A place that, traditionally, we’ve been conditioned to think of as an emotionless zone. Don’t get personal. Definitely don’t talk about politics, religion, or money.

And no matter who died, whose mental or physical health is plummeting, or which part of the global sh*t show on the news is dragging you down – leave your feelings at the door.

But if all of us are simultaneously trying to hold it together in one place – among a complex, hierarchical mix of personalities up against deadlines, for eight hours, five days a week [breathe] – we create a pressure cooker.

Credit @humorous_resources on Instagram | @bodybytacobell on TikTok

And, on the contrary to what we’ve been taught, this might, ironically, make the workplace the most emotionally-charged zone in all of our lives.

So, relieving the pressure, what happens when work actually creates a little space for you to be human?

(And when I say ‘work’ – what I really mean is the people at the top. Because, if we’re being honest, there’s often a ripple effect from the top down which creates a very tough current to fight if you’re trying to make change from the bottom up).

Fortunately, in this chapter of my work life, I can tell you what happens when that space is created for you.

To start with, it’s not so much a space, as it is a pattern:

Step 01:

You share an issue that matters to you or is creating a negative impact on your work life. (Sometimes you don’t even have to explicitly share it, it might just be observed).

Step 02:

Your management team does whatever's in their power to create ease for you and anyone else who finds themselves in your position.

Step 03:

Repeat the first two steps whenever a new issue comes up.

CEO, Nick Howe, and COO, Michelle Ford, of Uniform Group – a family of close-knit, creative businesses including brand agency, Continuous

Here – going one step further – these solutions are then formally built into the official structure of our company, thanks to our CEO, Nick Howe, and COO, Michelle Ford.

For example, for those suffering with painful periods or related conditions – a menstrual health policy was created which allows absences that don’t count towards your sick leave. And the same goes for those going through menopause.

Team members with mental health difficulties can benefit from free therapy via The Circle Line (something which Nick has spoken openly to the Financial Times about using himself).

Those in mourning, experiencing pregnancy loss, or caring for a loved one don’t have to go through anything alone. There are defined policies where extra flexible working, counselling, and practical employee guidance are offered for each of these circumstances.

One of our well-being lunches where the whole company is gathered to discuss new well-being polices and other issues that matter over a healthy lunch at the studio

We have new mums and dads on the team who have benefitted from the option of enhanced maternity and paternity leave.

For people in need of a motivational boost – there are inspiration days, events, and travel opportunities to help bring back that spark that makes you fall in love with your craft all over again.

And when it comes to money – because, let’s face it, money matters and no amount of work culture benefits are going to help you pay your mortgage – there’s a clear commitment to fair pay.

Salaries are frequently reviewed against industry benchmarks to ensure everyone is being paid a fair and competitive rate, and performance-based bonus schemes are available, too.

A Uniform Group team day out in the Lake District over summer where everyone joined in with water activities

And that is just the start of it. It’s ongoing – and it’s supposed to be.

But the pattern is clear.

There’s a call, and there’s a response, and the relationship between the two is as fluid as music. That’s the art of it.

It’s about listening. It’s about being active, reactive, and proactive – all at the same time.

It’s about breaking the habit of doing what’s always been done, and continuously creating the space for opportunities to do better.

But it’s subtle. It’s not a performance or a big song and dance, there’s no virtue signalling, or seeking extra rewards for being a ‘modern’ workplace.

The reward is a team who feel trusted, valued, and empowered to do their best.

And doing your best, believe me, comes far more naturally when you’re working for a place that shows you time, and time, and time again that you matter.

If you'd like to find out more about Continuous, email


More news

Never stand still

When uncertainty and shifting expectations are the new normal, brands no longer need radical transformation. What’s needed is long-term thinking and the ability to adapt quickly.

Ready for change?
Let’s talk

Start with an email, and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours to organise a phone call, video chat, or face-to-face coffee – whatever works best for you.