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.

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Submitted by danisep on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 02:36

I don't have job for now, so I’m trying to spare all day focus in studies, but sometimes I don’t feel really focus and that put me angry, I prefer modern workplaces but sometimes that kind of works at the end require more time because is based on results and not just go to the office and work doing the same every days.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Tue, 01/09/2020 - 08:29

I hope I would follow in Traditional workplaces because I prefer running at weekends and in the day I have fixed working hours. Modern workplaces can be used by others I hope flexible working hours would be fine for students because they can manage their time, or even at weekends or while the holiday you could work.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 13:23

I manage my work-life balance by spending about 12 hours for work and sleep about 12 hours per day. A good work-life balance, isn't it? ;)

Submitted by Zolymar Oliveras on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 01:00

It can be said that in these times it is very difficult since we are in a peculiar situation but we have to take what we have and find what to do to enjoy our time to relax.

Submitted by senes19 on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 21:06

Firstly I must say to establish work-life balance is not very easily theme. Particularly in the traditional work places, if you desire to fix your work hours, it will be misunderstood. I mean, when your working hours is over , however you may still look at chef's face to leave. How can I manage? I think you can adjust your working hour if you have a good relationship with boss and there is a trust between you and your boss. You must induce your chef to your arriving to the house doesn't mean that you will lost with your job. You can follow your important documents and your interviews.

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

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

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.