As we all respond to the current health situation here in Aotearoa we thought we would take you behind the scenes and show you a little of the world of our co-founders and general manager during this Level 4, and Level 3 period of lockdown.
Today we chat with Dignity co-founder Miranda Hitchings!
Read on to find out what Miranda'’s lockdown rituals (and binge worthy tv shows) are, who makes up her ‘bubble’ and what she has been working on and thinking about during lockdown.
Q - Who is in your bubble this lockdown? and who would you love to have in your bubble if you could choose one more person and have them appear by magic?
Joining me in my bubble are my two flatmates and good friends Amy and Marie. We have lived together for 4-5 years so we’re very used to each other’s company now. Amy is a primary school teacher, and Marie is a consultant at KPMG. It’s been really fascinating to see them in their professional lives and what they get up to!
If I could have one more person in our bubble it would be chef Monique Fiso. I went to her restaurant Hiakai which specialises in Māori cuisine a few months ago and loved it, so it would be great to have a professional chef cook us our meals each night.
Q - As well as your ongoing involvement with Dignity, what does your workday look like and how has your work routine changed in response to the current lockdown restrictions?
My alarm goes off at around 7.30 but I probably won't get out of bed till a bit later (benefits of lockdown). I will make breakfast, give the house a quick clean (with three adults at home all day it gets a lot messier) and jump on my daily morning team zoom call. The rest of the day will consist of work meetings, the morning and afternoon stuff quiz, a walk at lunch time and paperwork.
It’s a lot different! I’m not the biggest fan of working from home as I like being around people and find it harder to concentrate but it’s good to be doing my bit and staying home. I work as a community investment specialist for NZ Post, and as an essential service our business must be at the frontline of the covid response, so some of my work programmes have changed as our business adapts. In level 3/2 I may be pulled in to help our frontline too, which is a shift from my usual corporate work. Last lockdown I helped at the processing centre and at the call centre. This time I may have to help as a courier. We’ll see how it goes!
Q - Do you have a dedicated work space or does it shift throughout the house? Describe for us your surroundings when WFH and what you like to have on your desk or at hand?
I have a dedicated space at our dining room table. My flatmate and I alternate when our meetings will be, or we may zip out of the room if there’s a clash.I’ve made sure to always have a range of teas on the go to get me through the day.
I’ve also got into the habit of buying flowers from the supermarket to give the space a bit colour and change which has been fun.
Q - What are your concerns regarding the community of Give Partners that Dignity supports during this time?
We know that last time the demand for period products grew exponentially. There were a range of reasons for this: some people couldn’t physically access products and for others there was increased financial uncertainty. There’s a high possibility this will be the case again, so we want to ensure we have the capacity to meet demand.
Q - What routines, hacks or daily rituals have you adopted this lockdown? Do you enjoy any virtual ‘social’ events with friends or colleagues?
My flatmates and I have been doing the daily stuff quiz. It makes me feel like we’re at work which is nice and gives a bit of structure to the day. I walk once or twice a day too and will usually call a friend or family member while doing this. We live in front of Mt Kaukau which makes for a great walk.
We’ve also started doing a bunch of flat activities in our down time, whether it be painting, presentation nights on random topics, or pancakes on the lawn. We were also were staying up to date with Love Island but sadly that’s finished now.
With my extended family we established a virtual drink on Friday nights which has been fun too!
Q - While lockdowns are a different experience for everyone they often provide unique moments of clarity and more time to pause and think. What hopes for Dignity and inspiring ideas or new vision have you had over the last week?
I’m a bit of an over-thinker, so times like this give me an opportunity to reflect on what’s important. Learning to not hold onto the small stresses that come with running a small business and focus on achieving the good stuff that we do has been a personal moment of clarity for me and this links to the importance of being empathetic with each other too.
Q - One day, when the borders open up again and it is safe to travel, where would you like to visit and what would be the first thing you would do there?
I would love to travel to Spain and walk the Camino de Santiago Trail! To do the trail you walk from one side of Spain to the other and it takes about six weeks. It’s been on my bucket list for about five years. Fingers crossed one day soon I’ll get to it.