Work–life balance

Work–life balance

Read what four people have to say about their working hours to practise and improve your reading skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.


Reading text


I work in a fairly traditional office environment doing a typical nine-to-five job. I like my job, but it's annoying that my commute to work takes an hour and a half each way and most of my work could really be done online from home. But my boss doesn't seem to trust that we will get any work done if left to our own devices, and everyone in the company has to clock in and out every day. It's frustrating that they feel the need to monitor what we do so closely instead of judging us based on our task performance, like most companies do these days.


I used to do a typical five-day week, but after I came out of my parental leave, I decided that I wanted to spend more time with my children before they start school. After negotiating with my boss, we decided to cut my working week down to a three-day work week. This of course meant a significant cut in my pay too, as I'm paid on a pro-rata basis. I've since noticed, though, that my workload hasn't decreased in the slightest! I'm now doing five days' worth of work in three days, but getting paid much less for it! I find myself having to take work home just so that I can meet the deadlines. It's wearing me out trying to juggle work with looking after my children and my family, but I don’t dare to bring this up with my boss because I think he feels as if he's made a huge concession letting me come in only three days a week.


I work for a global IT company, but because their headquarters is in the States, I do all my work online from home. That means that I don't waste time commuting or making idle chit-chat with colleagues. I work on a project basis, and this flexibility is very valuable to me because it means that I can easily take some time off when my children need me to go to their school performances or if I need to schedule an appointment with the dentist. The downside is that without clear office hours, I tend to work well into the evening, sometimes skipping dinner to finish a task. It can also get quite lonely working on my own, and I sometimes miss sharing ideas with colleagues.


I'm a freelancer and work for myself. This is great because I am in control of what I do and how I spend my time. At first, I was working from home, but I found it really hard to concentrate. There were just too many distractions around: housework that needed doing, another cup of tea, my family members wanting my attention for various things. So I started to go to a nearby café to work, but the Wi-Fi connection wasn't ideal and I found myself drinking too much coffee. In the end, I decided to rent a desk in a co-working space with five other freelancers like myself. I liked getting dressed to go to work in the morning and being able to focus in an office environment. The other freelancers do similar kinds of web-based work to me and so it's nice to have workmates to bounce ideas off as well.

Task 1

Task 2


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Language level

Average: 4.5 (43 votes)
Profile picture for user Oksi1001

Submitted by Oksi1001 on Fri, 06/12/2019 - 19:13

Hi there! I've been working in the hotel for 3 month and the best in my job- my schedule 1/3. Also i have opportunity to sleep at night, not always all night, but nonetheless it's cool. I've got 3 days off in a row and i'm glad about it. Before i worked 9 to 6 and it wasn't my dream.. work week was so long and boring, and i was along in my office most of the time.. Generly speaking it was dull job. Now, i' m not keen of my job, but i go here only 1 or 2 times a week, and it's not difficult job. And i don't lose hope get really pleasure from job in the future. I think in my way it should be my own business
Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 08:49

My working situation is quite common as many people do and I enjoy my work without much stress, except (bloody) commuting rush hours!

Submitted by DmitryLeniv on Wed, 06/11/2019 - 11:49

I work in subway from midnight to 6 a.m. five nights per week. I like only some moments in my job, my commute to work takes 20 minutes, after working I sleep to 1-2 p.m. thus, it takes me more free time, which I can to spend on self-development and different entertainment, but on the other hand I always want to sleep. I will try to replace my job, but now, maybe somebody of you could give me advice, as I can get on my work-life balance.

Submitted by araheem on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:34

My office place is very close to my home. Thus, it saves time and transportation. On the other hand, the work stations are not in good condition. If I would get a chance then I will replace the existing work stations with good quality.

Submitted by Janurian10 on Fri, 18/10/2019 - 14:40

Since my workplace is closed to my house, i can take care of my toddler son when i have no patients is great advantage for me. Since lived close to hospital and whenever emergencies patients are come your medic keep calling me is the disadvantage the you work the whole day and need to get up for emergency patients. I would prefer one doctor who can do the night shift to cover for emergency patients.

Submitted by Wahiba on Wed, 02/10/2019 - 07:59

I have a five weekly work, I do a nine to six job in my own office. I spend all the time take care of people I have to listen to them exam them and give them prescriptions and explain then how they use the drugs. I don’t wast Time making idle chit chat. My job even though make me really tired every day it stills interesting and human. It gives me a huge satisfaction et make me happy. I like my job and I hope to be able to do it. until my death.

Submitted by Ongia on Sun, 02/06/2019 - 15:14

Thank you so much. I found it really so much helpful.

Submitted by mahmoud_abdulh… on Sat, 18/05/2019 - 12:19

I am freelancer and I find my situations is similar to Lily's so i find the solution of renting a co-working space is very suitable for me .