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Episode 2 The Martini Principle

In this episode of Raising the roof we take on the future of the work debate. Our chat is centered around the ‘Martini Principle’ and the idea of working any time, any place, anywhere post-pandemic.

Our CEO and host Nick Atkin is joined by Yvonne Castle, CEO at Johnnie Johnson Housing, Jenny Hill, Director & Head of Commercial Interior Designer at Ingo Interiors, and Nina Evison, Head of People here at Yorkshire Housing.

Episode highlights

Yvonne discusses ‘My Lifestyle’, the new way of working at Johnnie Johnson Housing which has a real focus around people: “‘My Lifestyle’ is very much about understanding individual’s families and what they deal with on a day-to-day basis. It’s all around [the idea that] I can manage work commitments and my family life”. Yvonne goes on to explain: “The key with ‘My Lifestyle’ is it fits with the needs of the business, it’s putting customers first and what fits in with the team and with you”.

When asked about what the workspace looks like over the next few years, Jenny says: “I think even that question makes me feel excited about the future because I just think, imagine where we can go if this is where we’re at now. [Yorkshire Housing] and many other companies have fast-forwarded maybe three years and the projection has changed to ‘let’s do it now’ rather than wait for the future”.

Nina reflects on how Covid-19 has shifted the way we view traditional working hours: “For most people, before Covid came along and enforced the ‘work from home if you can’ rule, most people just hadn’t tried a different way of working. People had just spent years working 9-5 in an office. Daily commuting, the cost and time, the hassle, and all of the things we sort of look at now and go ‘really, we used to do that?'”

Links to useful resources linked to this episode:

Forget the office: social landlords should adopt the ‘Martini principle’ and work anytime, anyplace, anywhere – article by Nick Atkin


This episode is available on all usual podcast platforms. Listen on:

About the host

About the host

Nick Atkin, CEO at Yorkshire Housing

Nick has a track record of leading organisations through transformational change and driving performance improvement, with a focus on maximising the untapped potential from businesses and people.

Born and brought up in Doncaster he joined Yorkshire Housing in 2019. Since this time, he’s delivered transformational change throughout the business to meet the future opportunities and challenges.

About the guests

About the guests

Yvonne Castle, CEO at Johnnie Johnson Housing

Yvonne used to be an accountant but left the world of finance for the love of people. It’s people that get her out of bed everyday and inspire her to be the best she can be.

Although the pandemic brought about planned changes quicker than expected, Yvonne leads a team of forward-thinking colleagues at Johnnie Johnson with great ambitions and a willingness to try new things. They were quick to react to the new way of working and have had support from Board members along the way. 

Jenny Hill, Director & Head of Commercial Interior Designer at Ingo Interiors Ltd

Jenny is an award-winning interior designer specialising in flexible and agile working based office design. She set up Ingo Interiors 9 years ago after a career in TV production design and working as an interior designer for architects, building surveyors and fit-out firms. 

Since the pandemic hit, Jenny’s experience and approach to designing offices has come even more relevant. She has recently been appointed as the Creative Consultant for Canal & River Trust assisting them in transforming their office spaces into Flexible Working Hubs facilitating a hybrid working outlook for their colleagues. 

Nina Evison, Head of People at Yorkshire Housing

Since joining Yorkshire Housing in September 2019, Nina has focused on developing our People and Culture strategy, values and behaviours, and supporting us to become a fully flexible, innovative and forward-thinking employer. 

Nina recently led the rollout of new flexible employment contracts with the aim of giving colleagues more control over their work-life balance and to also benefit customers. At the moment, she’s working on mapping out how our new ‘hub, home, roam’ approach to work will work for colleagues as we emerge from the long lockdown.