Employers Who Care For Their Team

Marketing Agency STORY22 threw the rule book out when they set up their business to ensure their team really have the best work life balance

When Sonya Whittam and Julie Firth set up their marketing agency, they knew that they wanted to do business differently. They pledged to give their clients the best experience possible while ensuring their team had an unrivalled work life balance.


Sonya Whittam, Director, STORY22 said, “I worked in the corporate world for many years and as a mother of two children had seen the different levels of flexibility that was afforded to not only parents, but every team member with responsibilities outside work. Some businesses I worked for were much better than others in supporting requests for time away from the office, but I always felt that there was a better way of working.”

Julie Firth, Director, STORY22 said, “As working mothers Sonya and I had many conversations about how we would get the best out of our team while  being able to fully support them to enjoy an enviable  work life balance. We wanted to offer total flexibility so there are no set hours, we don’t work 9-5 Monday to Friday so  if a member of our team prefers to work early mornings, evenings or weekends then those are the hours they work.”

Sonya continued, “I think the biggest difference is  that we don’t have a set number of annual paid holidays. If one of our team wants to take holiday, they can. There is no upper limit on paid holidays all we ask is that deadlines are met,  clients are not affected by time away and the team make the necessary cover arrangements. This policy always surprises everyone, but it hasn’t caused us any problems and it means that our staff can truly have the work life balance that some employees could only dream of. Recently I heard a discussion on BBC Radio 2 about whether it was acceptable to ask for time off during  a heatwave, at STORY22  we don’t need to know why you need the time off and we don’t need months’ notice. Things frequently  happen in life that  we cannot plan for, and people should not be penalised for not being able to prepare for time they may need away from work.”

Julie continued, “At the heart of all the decisions we have made about how the team will function, is wanting to be able to interview and employ new team members from the best possible pool of candidates. This means that although we are based in Kent our latest recruit lives and works in Athens. She was the best candidate for our vacancy and her location makes no difference to the skills she has and what she can deliver for STORY22.”

Sonya continued, “We know that there is a wealth of potential employees who could really strengthen teams but those with the responsibilities of  caring for children or an older relative or those who may need to work opposite hours to their partner often have their applications immediately disregarded by other employees because they don’t fit the usual 9-5 model. For us the family and personal circumstances of the best candidate is  not important, what they can bring to the table is. The STORY22 ethos of offering a true wellbeing and work life balance is allowing us to work with some very dedicated  marketers who appreciate this modern way of living.”

To find out more about STORY22 visit WWW.STORY22.CO.UK


About STORY22

Kent-based marketing agency STORY22 is owned and managed by experienced marketers Sonya Whittam and Julie Firth.

Sonya has 20 years’ marketing experience in high profile corporates including Enterprise and Three and has run her own acclaimed marketing agency in Kent since 2017. Sonya specialises in digital marketing strategy and implementation.

Julie has 25 years’ experience delivering compelling stories as an award-winning journalist and managing leading PR campaigns as head of marketing for non-profits. Julie specialises in copywriting and marketing strategy and has a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing.