Inspired by a chilly, snow-filled forecast closing out this week, the University Communication team couldn’t help but be drawn in by the miniature and very green jungle growing in Andrea Lopez’ multipurpose home office.
Her space — which features a variety of plants alongside her workspace, cat entertainment zone and storage — has been named the Husker Home Office of the Week. The 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 will repeat weekly until employees return to widespread working from offices on campus. Details on how to enter are below.
Lopez is a coordinator of business operations for housing contracts and student accounts with University Housing. She is in her fifth year working for the university.
Here are Lopez’ responses to how working from home is progressing and a few tips for other faculty and staff to consider.
What tips for a successful work-from-home day do you have for fellow employees?
First, if at all possible, find a space that is removed from busy spots like the kitchen or dining room. It’s easier to focus and makes it seem like a work space as opposed to a room in your home. Second, taking time to step away a couple times of day has been huge for me. I try to get a short workout in, clean up around the house or give my cats some loving. Third, I would say making time to Zoom, Skype, etc., with your team and coworkers to catch up, ask questions, and get briefed on happenings in your department. This has been especially important for us since things have been changing daily for us and our residents. Last, try picking a room where there isn’t a litter box.
What is your favorite item in the home office space?
I have so many items that I love in this space. Since I wouldn’t consider my cats items, I’d have to go with our largest jade plant. It has grown from a cutting my partner took from a jade plant on one of our dates years ago. He’s the reason why there’s so many plants in this room (and he also took these pictures).
What do you miss most about your campus space?
Definitely our Housing Contracts team. I’ve been working with most of them since I started as the receptionist when I was 19, so they’re like a second family to me. Not being able to have them in the same office just steps away has been difficult. But, we’ve been super supportive of each other, not only through the massive amounts of work that have been added to our plates, but also with our mental health. We like to take time in our Zoom meetings to see how each other is doing and that means the world to me.
To be considered for Husker Home Office of the Week, submit photos of your space via email to email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?