Work–life balance

Work–life balance

Listen to a radio interview about maintaining a good work–life balance to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Presenter: Good morning, everyone. On today's show, we've got Chris Svensson with us, the author of No more nine to five, the new best-selling book about work–life balance in the current working world. Good morning, Chris. Thanks for coming.

Chris: Thanks for having me, Anna.

Presenter: So, Chris, tell us about your book and how the concept of a work–life balance has been changing?

Chris: Well, in the more traditional workplaces, people's working lives and their private lives are, or were, clearly divided. People often work from nine in the morning until five or six in the evening. People sometimes stay late in the office and work in the evenings. This is called working overtime.

Presenter: OK, and what else?

Chris: Well, in these environments it isn't common for people to work at the weekend or while they're on holiday. They can clearly separate their working lives and their private lives. And the evenings, weekends and holidays are free to focus on non-work areas of life, such as hobbies, interests, sports, spending time with the family and friends, and so on. It's important and healthy not to spend all your time just working, right?

Presenter: Right! So what has changed? How are things different now?

Chris: Well, for a start, most people can now access their work emails from their mobile phones. So they are more likely to quickly reply to an important mail in the evening or at the weekend. The same goes for laptops. It's easier to access your work in the evenings from home or even from your hotel when you're on holiday.

Presenter: That doesn't sound like much of a work–life balance. It sounds like all work.

Chris: Exactly, but this new mobility brings a lot of advantages with it. More people are now able to work flexibly, so if they need to leave the office early one afternoon to be with their family, they can catch up on work that evening from home or somewhere else.

Presenter: That sounds good. So, what you're saying is that although traditional divisions between work and life are fading, many employees now have more freedom to do their work from different locations and at different times.

Chris: Yes, that's it.

Task 1

Task 2


Worksheet92.63 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (66 votes)

Submitted by Sahar93 on Tue, 02/04/2019 - 14:15

Working in modern work place seems nice because of flexibility, on the other hand you need to be ready to work all the time even 2 am! For example people who work in telecom maintenance.

Submitted by NKCHI on Tue, 02/04/2019 - 05:18

HI, I am little bit confused about this sentence: "This is called working overtime" why is "working" used after "call"?. I think it must be a noun. Could someone explain? thanks.
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 02/04/2019 - 07:06

In reply to by NKCHI

Hi NKCHI, 'Working' here is a gerund, which is a verb form which functions as a noun. So, as you say, it is effectively a noun. You can read more about -ing forms (including gerunds) on this page: ~ Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Catalina Pazmiño on Wed, 02/10/2019 - 07:11

In reply to by NKCHI

Hi NKCHI. "This is called working overtime." It's a sentence in passive voice, and it refers to the action of stay late in the office and work in the evenings. To make a passive voice you need: This + is + called + working overtime Subject + the verb. To be + past participle of the main verb + complement

Submitted by spicyspuds on Thu, 28/03/2019 - 11:35

Hello! These materials are very helpful, could they be made downloadable please?
Hello spicyspuds We are working on creating downloadable PDFs for all of these pages, but I'm afraid we don't have one for this page just yet. But please check again in a week or two, as we are hard at work and it won't be too long. You are welcome to download the audio -- just right-click or press and hold to see the option to download it. All the best Kirk The LearnEnglish Team