Is today the day you ask your boss to do some f******* work?

A new campaign today launched by Digital Mums looks to dispel the stigma surrounding flexible working for Britain's staff.

Many workers are now looking for new ways that managers can reward their efforts with benefits like dress-down Friday’s and company drinks. Most businesses struggle to financially manage these expectations in a meaningful way whilst also making their staff feel appreciated.

With this in mind, is it about time you asked your boss to do some f****** work?!

Flexible work campaigner Digital Mums is today launching the next stage of its #WorkThatWorks initiative, with ‘Clean Up The F Word’ – a national campaign aiming to change perceptions of flexible working in business.

Taking over OOH sites across the UK, the campaign on first glance seems to be censoring another well known ‘F word’ with questions such as ‘Is today the day you ask your boss to do some f******* work?’ and ‘Ever thought about f******* working?’. On closer inspection, it’s revealed that the topic in question isn’t quite what it seems, and is in fact, talking about flexible work.

A concept and campaign created by creative agency iris as part of a pro-bono partnership with Digital Mums, ‘Clean Up The F Word’ aims to drive social awareness amongst both employees and employers about the benefits of flexible work – and encourage people to pledge their support by petitioning the government to change how ‘flexible working’ is officially defined.

Nikki Cochrane, co-founder Digital Mums, says, “It is time we stopped seeing flexible working as an employee perk that is just available for the lucky few.  Flexibility is not a dirty word; it has huge business benefits including attracting and retaining the best talent. It’s time to change the culture around the way we work in the UK.  Thanks to working with partners like iris, 8 Outdoor Media and Naber Media, we are able to raise awareness of this important issue in a much more creative and impactful way.”

The current definition of flexible as outlined by the government, is focusing on the benefits to the employee; “A way of working that suits an employee’s needs, e.g having flexible start and finish times, or working from home.”

However, offering flexible hours has been linked with numerous business benefits, such as increased productivity, retaining and attracting talent across all levels and lower levels of absenteeism.

Amy Bryson, managing partner, says, “Flexible working is a positive thing – both for businesses and individuals. It’s what more and more people are wanting and needing – for a variety of reasons – and we all need to adapt how we work. We’re delighted to be working with such a dynamic organisation to help shift perceptions in the right direction.”

Elinor Vasiliou, Creative, adds, “The creative campaign uses look-twice lines to poke ridicule at the taboo around flexible working. Because the facts show, there are serious benefits up for grabs for both employees and employers when they embrace flexibility. We hope it gives people courage to drop the F-bomb and kickstart a culture shift”.

Earlier this year, Digital Mums commissioned exclusive research among over 2,000 adults in the UK, showing how employees (and millennials, in particular) would like flexible working.  It found seven in ten (68 per cent) UK employees want flexible work but over half fear it would be viewed negatively by their employer.  And only a tiny 12 per cent have actually asked their current employer for it.  The fear factor is most significant amongst millennials, with two-fifths (40 per cent) saying they’d be too nervous or worried to ask for flexible working hours despite eight in ten (77 per cent) wanting this way of working.

Digital mums hopes that in raising awareness of the issue, and the benefits to the employer as well as the employee – the campaign will succeed in creating a movement to get behind flexible working. People can support by signing the petition and can read more about it at

10,000 signatures guarantees a government response. 100,000 will spark a debate in parliament. It is currently at 3000 and growing.

The campaign will run across digital OOH across the UK, thanks to space provided by 8 Outdoor Media and digital advertising screens in post offices nationwide thanks to space provided by Naber Media.

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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