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.

Transcript

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.

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Discussion

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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by Asni on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 22:28

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I'am of the opinion that flexibility is an advantage and that technology improvements have greatly improved our life in that sense. However, this way of managing work-life balance is not always viable; it clearly depends on the company regulations and the area and nature of the job in question. For example, an IT employee or an accountant may work from home seamlessly while for a laboratory technician, this is far away from being a possible option.

Submitted by Miho Watanabe on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 08:23

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These days, I can not manage my work-life balance. Because I study with using computer at home due to corona virus, so I have to do a lot of assignments every day. And I have to work a part-time job weekend. I don't have any time to refresh, of course, I want to play some sports with my friends, meet my friends, or go shopping, but I cannot do that. So my work-life balance is destroyed now. If I have a time, I would like to increase time of my hobbies.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 18:57

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It depends on the rules of the company you work in. In my previous job, I had to work 12-14 a day plus all the weekends. It was horrible, I felt exhausted all the time. And the funny thing about this, it didn't make any sense because of the worse project management ever. We just wasted our time at work without achieving any goals. The most stupid work I've ever done. I quit after two months. Still don't know why I even went there. Where was my mind? Anyway, the bad experience is also experience ))
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 13:34

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Nowadays, it’s good that I don’t have to waste time and energy going back and forth between work and home. Feel less stressed. ;)

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 07:26

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I accept the author's idea. After emergence the new technology and using it, workplaces have completely changed. Worklife has changed after using Internet and tools of transforming information. I remember when I newly started a job, I had to work lately when I had something important to do. Moreover, I sometimes worked in the weekends by showing up in the office. Now my work hours are more flexible. I can preferably adjust my work lives. I receive or reply to email via phone or I do something important from home. So, now I have more time in the office. The amount of workload is less than before. I sometimes do my duties in the evening or at night. For example, making presentations, marking papers, data entries, reviewing home works and so on are things that I can do them at home or in another places. On the hand, during quarantine season in a lot of countries and in most popular companies people do their duties from home. I think this is the result of using Internet and it makes more easy to do some duties from home. We all know that using Internet increases very fast. It is virtually globalized at the moment. Thanks, Tayyebi

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Wed, 15/07/2020 - 06:49

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Hi Sir/ Madam: I haven't access to the audios since yesterday morning. Please help me. Thanks in advance.

Hello Sharif Tayyebi,

There is a technical problem with our audio. I'm sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for telling us. We are working on a solution and hopefully the audio will be working soon.

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Tue, 14/07/2020 - 15:04

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Dear administer of site, I haven't reached to audios since this morning. I hope to solve my problem. Thank you

Hello Sharif Tayyebi,

There is a technical problem with our audio. I'm sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for telling us. We are working on a solution and hopefully the audio will be working soon.

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Tea

Submitted by wahbi baklouti on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 20:20

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in my opinion, I think to manage your work-life balance when you master how you organize your day. and what're the priorities about your life and your work. what you should to do now and it's relevant to the situation you live

Submitted by Fernando Belmonte on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 16:23

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Im agree with iiirx6 because if you follow those habits and manage your time frequently you will have good results so you don´t get frustrated easily with extra-time hours of work. As he/she said you should writte a work schedule. Perhaps what you are looking for is not the right way to react. An important fact of following these tips includes this condition: If you clean your work stand possibly you don´t get stress.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 17/06/2020 - 13:02

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The cooler, the more sleepy. :)

Submitted by iiiirx6 on Wed, 17/06/2020 - 10:05

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if you want a balanced life follow these tips; - make schedule for your assignments - keep your phone away to accomplish your work on time - the rest of day you must chill out

Submitted by Nguyễn Cường on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 09:39

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Nowsaday to get the success, we have to work more even though you're at home or on holiday. We have to develope ourself to adapt the standard in modern life.

Submitted by mouna99 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 15:26

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I manage my life-work balance by writing down my to do lists

Submitted by IBRAHIM HAMID on Sat, 09/05/2020 - 14:10

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I think I'm abled to manage my work- life balance, because i'm feeling comfortable, although I'm working sometimes evening, weekends, and in a holidays,but for my private life I give most rest of time to my family, and I am contact my friends through the different occasions, social media.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 15:42

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I found one of the ways to reduce stress is to clear out my mind by watching a funny drama or comedy which makes me LOL!

Submitted by mostafa mohamm… on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 06:20

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i'm in my last year in the college, didn't work until now , but i think its so important to separate between working lives and private lives , so important to have a time staying with families and practice your hobbies , i wish i could do this when in the near future

Submitted by Vincent_MARTIN… on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 14:20

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The work flexibly is a bad beheavor for work life and private life. Cause we aren't able to focus on all tasks at same time, so that's a wrong way for work and that's the worst situation for our close familly! We have to care about our familly life more than our work, not up side down!

Submitted by micaela on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 03:07

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How do you manage your work–life balance? I always try to do my tasks according the schedule of the day. In fact, I really achieve it but some days there are many workload.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:51

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I manage my work-life balance by combining the traditional and modern approach.

Submitted by vilma caram on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 21:10

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I think you should be your free time : all free Maybe sometimes you respond messages if it are important or urgent my free time is untouchable.

Submitted by JOSEFINA on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 02:47

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today we carry out exercises Reported verbs Reported Speech Future Plans

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Wed, 25/03/2020 - 22:40

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Currently, I work fixed hours, my working hours are from 9.30 to 17.30. But, this schedule is my decision because I have my own business, so in many cases I have so many tasks that I end up working hard from home or from anywhere every day.

Submitted by Crunch01 on Fri, 13/03/2020 - 12:01

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Work-life balance is important when you have many children. I work hard at office or at plant but I forbid myself to work at home. Like that I spend a lot of time with my family, it's very precious for me.

Submitted by shahhoseini on Fri, 06/03/2020 - 06:35

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My job is a modern-work type. This style is acceptable for me but maybe it can be sometimes is boring for my family.

Submitted by Rodrigo Gabriel on Tue, 25/02/2020 - 01:01

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Muy bueno esto! I love!
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Submitted by mehrazin on Sun, 09/02/2020 - 17:38

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Unfortunately its not easy for me to manage work-life balance as my work place is a full service job and it necessitates our presence physically but the modern technology has got helpful advantages with it and that’s a wonderful approach to make us so comfortable and have an easy access to work live whenever we are at weekends or while we are on holiday . I respond the work emails and provide our clients needs via whats app on my mobile phone.

Submitted by lio_2028 on Fri, 24/01/2020 - 16:37

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hmm ..how i can manage my time ? actually as i work as programmer , so i can be work as freelancer so that's should i schedule my time alone ,however i have some restricted time from manager everyday like 5 hours each day, i should finished hours thats what should i do to make business work well.
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Submitted by Smiley1 on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:01

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I’m sometimes snowed under and feel stressed, but since I like my job which is enjoyable, I can’t help but control myself and try to strike the balance.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 04/10/2019 - 14:38

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How do you manage your work–life balance? Oh.... it's a tough question for me at the momen! ੈ✩‧₊˚₍ᐢ⸝⸝› ̫ ‹⸝⸝ᐢ₎

Submitted by LKARINAM on Tue, 24/09/2019 - 01:05

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I work nine hours per day, however my boss is flexible with my working hours. He allows me take time for other things like make personal paperwork, travel and other personal moments. I have my mail in my phone and forever I response the important mail of my job no matter the day of the week.

Submitted by popo1011 on Sat, 21/09/2019 - 06:43

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I work fixed hours, my work hours is between 7.30 to 14.30. then I go to home and I am with my children. I try to be with my family or do my favorite workings such as reading, swimming, shopping at the weekends.

Submitted by Aiman Naim on Thu, 19/09/2019 - 07:55

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I have completed the following lessons of Work-life balance. The level that I chose was Intermediate B1 Listening
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Sun, 15/09/2019 - 18:27

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Unfortunately I do not manage my work life balance very well . I often stay in work till 8 pm and reach home late at 9 pm . just eat and sleep . At the weekend I just lies on the couch all the day .
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Submitted by kamicounciler on Fri, 13/09/2019 - 19:35

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i do believe that work-life balance is one of the most important things we should care about in order to be successful,so i always try to do every thing within an order.i think that work hours must be predefined and there must be a commitment to do the job things exactly as much as those hours in a day.not more and not less.and then we should have our free times to be ready to go on our work next day.in my free times i try to include different things that i think i need them in my life.although one important thing that can always help is flexibility, for example we can do part of our work in the evening or night and have our free time in the morning or afternoon , this needs a little of scheduling skills that one can achieve during life.

Submitted by starfish2019 on Tue, 13/08/2019 - 21:43

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How do you manage your work–life balance? At Shipping and Logistics Industry, we have long working hours and it is more like mixed Traditional and Modern Working environments. For example, if our shipments are not very important or customers give us flexible timing and schedule then we can be flexible, can take works to our home with Laptops. But when the shipments are urgent and very important, or we have the meetings with our Top Level Management, then we have to do overtime working, even we need to work on the weekend and holidays, until the important shipments are done and problems solved. But we can also delegate some of our tasks to the team, so we can take the leave turn by turn basis. Normally, we have weekend off days and I try to take complete rest and off the grid myself, if things are not too important and urgent.

Submitted by Claudette Ndenzako on Sat, 13/07/2019 - 10:16

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I work fixed hours. I never work at the week end, public holidays or my annual holiday. I never take work home.

Submitted by Kinza123 on Tue, 25/06/2019 - 16:55

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Work is important but if we can't keep up balance between work and other activities than this will indirectly put harmful effects on our work so we must have to look up to all other activities which promote health and brain growth and keep our behaviour good which inturn will create good effect on our work. So if we have to consider this important point in mind that work and such activities are related to each other

Submitted by liaben on Sun, 19/05/2019 - 19:23

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At my workplace we have a day with remote job. It really is usefull.

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

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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

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

In reply to by NKCHI

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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: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar/ing-forms ~ Peter The LearnEnglish Team

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

In reply to by NKCHI

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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

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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