Kort-Butler's sunny respite earns Husker Home Office nod

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Kort-Butler's sunny respite earns Husker Home Office nod

A view of Lisa Kort-Butler's bright, cheerful backyard deck — complete with a chair that offers a respite from COVID-19 related stress — has earned the Husker Home Office honor for the week of May 1.
Lisa Kort-Butler | Sociology
A view of Lisa Kort-Butler's bright, cheerful backyard deck — complete with a chair that offers a respite from COVID-19 related stress — has earned the Husker Home Office honor for the week of May 1.

A home office view showcasing a family’s outlet for stress relief has earned Husker Home Office of the Week Honors.

From her home office at the kitchen table, Lisa Kort-Butler, associate professor of sociology, looks out on a sunny backyard deck that has — for the last couple of weeks — been home to a bright, cheerful cyan-painted chair.

“It was dubbed the ‘chair of depression’ by one of my younglings,” Kort-Butler said. “When someone needs a break or if they are feeling overwhelmed or down, they can sit in the warm sun and recharge.”

Kort-Butler said her dogs — a favorite part of her home office — deserve credit for the chair of respite.

“I think their joy of lounging in the morning sun is definitely the inspiration behind the chair,” Kort-Butler said.

The Husker Home Office of the Week award was launched April 10 to showcase how faculty and staff have adjusted to working from home as part of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s response to COVID-19.

The award repeats weekly until employees return to widespread working from offices on campus. Details on how to enter are below.

Lisa Kort-Butler is an associate professor of sociology. While varied, her research projects draw for her interests in criminology and medical sociology.

Kort-Butler has worked in the College of Arts and Sciences for 13 years. Here are her responses to questions on how working from home is progressing and some tips for other faculty and staff to consider.

What tips for a successful work-from-home day do you have for fellow employees?

During this time, we need to be kind to ourselves. This situation is not normal, yet there remains pressure to be productive, or even more productive, since it seems like we have more free time. All of our routines have been disrupted, we are trying to figure out workable solutions and the collective uncertainty of the moment occupies our head space. Adjusting expectations and having a space to refresh — and being intentional about doing so — is helpful.

What do you miss most about your campus space?

I don’t have to share an office! I also miss my morning routine: grabbing coffee at Dunkin’ and the short walk from the library to Oldfather, sighting Mueller Tower through the Richard Serra sculpture and breathing in the enchanting smell of the trees blossoming around Burnett.

Is there anything from this experience that you hope to integrate when you return to campus?

Our students, in some capacity, always work from home. My work-from-home experience — and the experiences students are sharing with me — has made me more mindful about what that may look like. It is far from settled and quiet, disruptions may be unavoidable, and resources may be constrained, all of which affect concentration and well-being. For all of us to do our best, we need to be considerate of different ways of learning and working.


To be considered for Husker Home Office of the Week, submit photos of your space via email to tfedderson@unl.edu along with answers to the questions below. The award winner will be notified on each Thursday, with their space appearing in the Friday edition of Nebraska Today. For more information, send email to tfedderson@unl.edu. See other Husker Home Office of the Week winners.

Entries must include your name, university position, home department, phone number (for contact, if necessary), years employed on campus, home address (to mail the award), and answers to at least three of these five questions:

- Why does this space work for you?

- What tips for a successful work-from-home day do you have for fellow employees?

- What is your favorite item in the home office space?

- What do you miss most about your campus space?

- Is there any process/concept/idea that you’ve experienced working from home that you hope to integrate when we return to campus?