Workspaces Revealed is a recurring column that gives a peek into the spaces and places HighEdWebbers do their magic. In this edition, we meet Genevieve Howard from the University of Missouri.
Genevieve Howard has almost two decades of experience in higher ed web, from writing HTML code to content strategy and editing. At the University of Missouri (Mizzou) since 2004, she’s been in her current role as web and social media strategist for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) since 2006. In her free time, Genevieve enjoys yarn craft, hot drinks and movies from ridiculous comedies to period pieces.
Creating a supportive work environment leads to greater happiness and productivity.
What one item would you grab if you had to vacate the office for an emergency?
I keep a backpack with emergency supplies in my desk that has extra glasses, good shoes, water, food, a poncho and a first aid kit, so I would grab that. (Thanks to my two years working at the Red Cross and living through the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake when I was only two miles away from the epicenter, I like to be prepared!)
Do you have an on-campus nook or cranny that serves as an extension of your office?
My second office is a specific table in a campus coffee shop that’s a short walk away. I actually get invitations from coworkers with “Gen’s second office” as the location in the meeting request!
Genevieve’s Workspace Revealed
People are always welcome to stop by my office, nicknamed Gen’s Zen Den, when they need to take a breath. I like to keep my office a supportive spot for meetings or visits—a sanctuary!
A little turtle reminds my coworkers that it’s OK to take it slow and enjoy our lives. It’ll all get done!
Seeing something living gives me joy and energy. The plants next to my screens don’t get enough light during the workweek but I put them in the window over the weekend. I keep creature comforts like tea, lotion and snacks at hand as well as treats for visitors. I wear dedicated computer glasses that are mid-distance focal length and anti-glare, perfect for screens. I use an ergonomic keyboard and vertical mouse. I’m right-handed but mouse left-handed to balance my hand workload. (Plus, it makes for good computer security when I’m away from my desk because it’s impossible for anyone to use my mouse!!)
I don’t turn on the overhead fluorescent lights, preferring lamps. I keep a kettle for tea and a bowl of rocks that visitors can explore. They like to pick a favorite during meetings. Offices can tend toward an industrial, hard-edged and anti-human aesthetic. I prefer to incorporate tactile and visual interest into the room.
Thanks for showing us around your warm and welcoming space, Genevieve! We love what you’ve done to the place!
Want to participate in Workspaces Revealed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of your workspace and a few words about why you’d like to be featured.