We’re Laura and Jo, IF’s resident People, Studio & Culture Team, taking over the airwaves this month to share our greatest hits. (These are a little bit late, but also, these things happen.)

Baby, baby, baby, there was a family flavour to October

We now have a family policy at IF. One of our colleagues announced they are having a baby next year, so creating a family policy became a priority pretty quickly. The whole process and final guide was easy to put together (hurrah!) because we agree on how a company should show care for families.

It is an equal pay policy for both parents. It’s meant to support all types of family arrangements. It should provide career inspiration and opportunities for progression, as well as reassurance that IF supports colleagues when they need it most.

Laura also spoke at the You Equal Tech event about showing care for families. The headline was around how important it is to avoid an overly gendered policy. An individual approach is important to getting it right; companies need to be flexible and compassionate about how they approach making work practically work with family life.

Speaking about flexibility…IF now also has a flexible working guide for the whole studio. We are trialing flexible working weeks from November!

Mental health at work

Image by Mariela Pina, sourced from Dribbble

Mental health isn’t something that should only be discussed on mental health awareness days (or even weeks). And it isn’t “fixed” by the odd yoga session. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year, so it is something employers need to consider when looking at how to support wellbeing in the workplace. For World Mental Health Day we discussed:

  • Some of our personal stories to help normalise the conversation about mental health
  • Reminding the studio that our paid sick days policy can and should be used to support mental health
  • Reinforcing small habits that can help support mental wellbeing like meditation space, healthy lunches, breathing exercises, sleep routines
  • Both Jo and Laura are going to be doing mental health first aid training in the next few weeks, to be able to support team members who might be struggling with their mental health.

Reading and inspiration

The Raconteur newsletter speaks to a subject close to IF’s heart around building systems that people can trust and that show genuine care. People functions are often privy to sensitive information. Owning data and feedback that can transform to how a company grows. How this happens must be done in a responsible way.


Since I’ve joined IF, I’ve started asking for written feedback differently to how I did it before. That includes things like:

  • Removing ambiguous pronouns, so instead of “We would like”, trying to say “Laura would like” or “IF would like”.
  • Making sure the person who is being asked for feedback is clear exactly where the feedback is stored and exactly who has access to it

Things I’ve done for a while but are worth sharing:

  • Tell the person I’m asking exactly what the plan is for any written feedback
  • Ask for permission before any feedback is shared with others

Steps like these help build trust in the business and in particular people teams.

Listening to

Personal highlights from last month’s playlist included:

  • Destiny’s Child - Independent women (If you listened to the 2many djs version where it mixes into Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5…Pure joy.)
  • IAMDDB - Childsplay. A new introduction added by someone in the studio, and a perfect track while kicking back on the sofa.
  • Lizzo - Juice. What a great song, and massive respect for Lizzo for continuing to break pervasive stereotypes. High ten to that!
Destiny’s Child’s take on Charlie’s Angels via hellogiggles.com

This made us laugh

(Sent by a friend. You know who you are…)


Eating with colleagues is something we both always cherish. Quality time feasting on delicious food and conversation is simply the best. IF is committed to reducing our plastic waste too so when the studio provides lunch every month, we only use companies that use environmentally friendly packaging.

The IF team tucking into a potluck lunch (Image: IF, CC-BY)

We’re hiring! We have a couple of roles open: https://apply.workable.com/projectsbyif/

Thanks to Ella Fitzsimmons for editing and Georgina Bourke for technical support.