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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

May 5, 2020

Staying Healthy While Working Remotely

Submitted by Trudy Rice

The past two weeks we have focused on maintaining physical and mental health while working remotely. This week the focus is the impact working remotely can have on your financial health. It is important to take a step back and look at your budget versus actual expenditures for the last month. Depending on each person’s unique situation the impact could be a net gain/loss in any one of the different spending categories and overall monthly expenditures.

Remote work can produce the following savings over time:

• Commute- How many of you are now getting “one month to the gallon” related to miles per gallon of your commuting vehicle? The cost of commuting is different for each person but this can result in several thousand dollars of savings in a year.

• Wardrobe- The cost of a professional wardrobe is significantly reduced. A nice shirt or two is all that is required for most Zoom calls!

• Meals- It is easy to spend $10 - $20 a day on lunch and snacks when working away from home. That will buy a lot of groceries!

• Time- It is often said that “time is money” and working remotely can definitely save people a lot of time in commuting and sitting in long meetings.

However, there are always temptations:

• On-line Shopping- This is definitely a risk and can impact any savings that you might have related to not needing a professional wardrobe. You are in your home more time each day and can also be tempted by many other comfort and decorating items.

• Food- As you are now home for breakfast, lunch, and dinner there can be a spike in cost of food depending on what your food choices are and if you budget eating out as entertainment or food cost.

• Technology- We have all found ourselves spending more time behind the computer screen while working remotely. For some, this can trigger a need to have the latest and most unique technology gadgets that are not necessary but nice to have.

• Time- While a person saves time spent on commuting it is often difficult to “leave work at the office” when the office and home are the same place!

If your bank account balance has varied significantly during the past six weeks it could be the result of living a different workplace lifestyle than in the past. As we transition to different workplace models it is important to think about what expenses are really necessary and what newly acquired spending habits would be beneficial to keep. To quote a fellow Extension professional: “Looking at my bank account balance last month, I must have been spending a whole lot more on food and clothes in the past than I realized!”

For more information to assist you with your finances please visit the following website and scroll down to finances:


Most of you have discovered what does and does not work in this suddenly imposed remote work environment and have done a great job of adapting to it! As we enter into phase one of Governor Kelly’s plan to re-open Kansas and the news from President Meyers in K-State Today this week on potential plans to re-open campus for the fall there are still many uncertainties ahead. In the future this article will include opportunities for all of us to learn together during this next transition phase. Please send to trice@ksu.edu your success stories, challenges, or best practices related to remote work so that everyone can benefit from the experiences we all are having today, tomorrow, and in the future. The frequency of this article will be determined by your response. We are in this together!

In this issue

From the Director for Extension
From KSRE Administration
Health and Wellness
Extension Professional Trainings
Publications Update
Program Updates
New Hires/Exits
Calendar of Events