A sunny view with hope of what is to come has earned Husker Home Office of the Week honors for Becky Mullin.
A lecturer in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, Mullin has transitioned her work space to her back deck, where she can take in the sunshine and remind herself of the simple things that bring her joy.
“Although the pandemic is an unfortunate and sad event, it has granted me the awareness and reminder of the important things in life,” Mullin 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.
Read on for Mullin’s takes on how working from home is progressing and a few tips for other faculty and staff to consider.
Why does this space work for you?
I have been using my home office for my class Zoom meetings and grading, which worked well for me. But as the weather has become nicer, the sunny, mild days are reminding me how nice it would be to be out in my garden. So, to motivate myself, I have deemed there will be no planting until all of my grading is completed and grades are submitted into MyRed. To motivate me even more, I decided it is a much better idea to be working from the back deck and enjoying the view. My garden is just off to the right of this picture, a visual reminder of what is to come once I finish up my work.
What is your favorite item in your home office space?
Sunny days and sounds of spring! Once I started to work outside, it just made everything better. So, on those sunny days, you can find me working from the back deck, listening to the sounds of nature, kids complaining about homework, throwing the ball for the dog… enjoying our new temporary normal. I will take it — the appreciation for the simple things.
What do you miss most about your campus space?
Simply: MY STUDENTS! I have been a teacher since 2000, and in every role I have had, the best part, by far, is the students. What I have missed the last several years of teaching online is the personal connections with students. This semester, I have 13 students in my Family and Consumer Sciences Education methods and practicum courses. I was quickly reminded how much working with students is what I love most about teaching. Having to quickly end our weekly classes was difficult, as I have enjoyed our time together and watching them grow over the semester. Because I cannot see them in person, I am thankful I get to see them via Zoom. It may not be the same, but it was better than nothing.
Do you have a tip you’ve developed while working from home?
Being that I have essentially worked from home, albeit part-time, for the past nine years, I figured this transition would be pretty easy. It has been a relatively easy transition to online and integrating technology for my on-campus classes, which has given me some great ideas to implement into the online course I have taught for years.
Setting boundaries to balance work and home has been what I have struggled with. I am finding that setting daily work goals, as well as time limitations, is extremely important. Teaching is not a 9-to-5 job, at least if you want to do it right. I was finding that I was working well beyond the hours I normally would on campus, leaving less time for my family. This was causing both me and my family stress, and I quickly realized that these work goals and limits were important. The memories I want my children to have of this time are not that “Mom was stressed out and always working.” After a couple of weeks of stress, I started making changes: taking time to work outside and enjoy the weather, stopping when my kids need help — without guilt — and taking time for family time!
To be considered for the honor, submit photos of your custom space via email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with answers to the 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 email@example.com.
Entries for the “Husker Home Office of the Week” 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?