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Update one—

Life during COVID-19 and beyond

A note from the Empathy team

Wow. We’re a couple of weeks into this project already. We are immensely grateful for the time you’ve taken to share your life with us — whether you’ve been on board since the start of this work or just getting set up.

You’re part of a growing group of scouts from all over New Zealand. At the moment there are around 65 of you.

You are team leaders, farmers, parents, drag performers, policy analysts, grandparents, yoga practitioners, students, teachers, sportspeople, business owners, hunters, fishers, job seekers — and so much more — from different regions, with different backgrounds, and different priorities.

Together, your experiences are helping us shape the way businesses and government organisations respond to COVID-19, and how they prepare for whatever comes next. You’re helping our clients learn about what’s going on for real people. And how they can help people like you as we endure this situation together, and eventually come to terms with a new way of life, post lockdown.

You are also helping us — MaiLynn, Emma, Ann, and Nik at Empathy — keep our research and analysis skills up to scratch while we work from home. Usually, we meet research participants in their homes, or at their workplaces. We have long, free-flowing conversations about what’s important to them, and why. We use tools like dscout as part of this, but not in the way we’re using it with you. Thank you for the opportunity to learn and explore.

[Images: Mai and cat Billie get some work done, Emma takes a call outside while her bubble mate takes one inside, Ann and her family on a mission to deliver supplies to Ann’s parents, Nik after a somewhat successful lockdown haircut.]

Project findings

When this project wraps, we’ll share our findings with you. To do that any sooner would influence the way you share with us. What you’re doing so far is awesome, and we don’t want to change that. Keep telling your stories the way that feels best for you. In a few weeks we’ll let you know what we learned. We hope our findings will help you plan for a positive, manageable return to whatever your new way of work, life, and being might be.

In the meantime, we can let you know we’ve learned a lot about what New Zealanders have been inspired (or required) to start or stop doing during lockdown. You’ve told us about exercise, spending, wairua, technology, relationships, business, and so much more. Some of these things are helping people, and folks will make an effort to continue when lockdown ends. Other things are hurting or hindering, and people can’t wait to return to some semblance of ‘normal’ so they can feel more at ease. 

We know this sounds a bit vague. Our conclusive findings will be specific and clear!

Thank you again. Being let into your lives is a privilege we don’t take for granted.



MaiLynn, Emma, Ann, and Nik