A space filled with meaningful trinkets and family mementos has earned Husker Home Office of the Week honors for Kara Mitchell Viesca.
An associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, Viesca carefully designed and crafted her home office space with the help of her husband to ensure it was comfortable, functional, beautiful and inspiring.
“Everything in my home office has significance and meaning to me, which also helps me love the space so much,” Viesca 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 campus. Details on how to enter are below.
Read on for Viesca’s takes on how working from home is progressing and a few tips for other faculty and staff to consider.
What is your favorite item in your home office space?
The trinkets on the shelves are family mementos or from meaningful travel experiences. The chair at the desk is a family heirloom. The braided sweetgrass above my door is a gift from an important friend and collaborator. The art is from my favorite Finnish design house, the pillowcases are from Denmark, and the couch was found after months of searching on a day when I learned about the death of my cousin’s baby. Even the shelves are special to me as my husband and I custom made them and the books on them represent my current thinking and learning. There isn’t anything in my office that isn’t deeply meaningful to me — even things that remind me of loss, including my dog who just died at the beginning of March. Working in a space that is so comprehensively me is truly wonderful.
What do you miss most about your campus space?
Do you have a tip you’ve developed while working from home?
Like many other professors, I have a long history of working from home as I prefer writing in a comfortable space with minimal distractions. But like many professors, I’ve struggled to put boundaries around my work to not be working all the time. It has really helped me to plan start and stop times for my work and stick to those as closely as possible so that I can enjoy my personal life at home without work always taking over.
Is there any process/concept/idea that you’ve experienced working from home that you hope to integrate when we return to campus?
I think we’ve learned about both the affordances and constraints regarding the use of online technologies for collaboration. I hope that we’ll continue using the tech tools that have kept us connected to expand accessibility and inclusivity in thoughtful ways across campus.
To be considered for the honor, submit photos of your custom space via email to email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?