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.


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Average: 4.3 (30 votes)

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Mon, 27/12/2021 - 22:20


The advantages of my working situation are meeting with many people and traveling to different areas. The disadvantages of my working situation are some jobs are big and take more time when doing alone , it is too hard to handle heavy load. I would introduce more group work to help my colleagues , which could help the jobs to be completed quicker.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Fri, 22/10/2021 - 10:07


One advantage of my work is it's too flexible. I do everything on my own time. I have no tension about work. One disadvantage is that in this time I'm sleeping too much about 10 hours or more. I think this is not very good for me about future. I think I should do hard work.

Submitted by brabitom on Sat, 16/10/2021 - 19:55


I'm happy at work. I work from the office, but I can work from home at any time. The ability to work from home is good for a family. My office is close to my home, so I can walk to the office. I go to the office mainly for social contacts with colleagues. I lead two teams that are in separate offices, so I often go from one office to another. I'd rather have one common office for both my teams.

Submitted by In on Fri, 02/07/2021 - 04:21

In my case, I am an entrepreneur I enjoy my job working by myself and having a flexible schedule. The only thing after three years is that every week is different, the income is very variable and I miss having coworkers.

Submitted by Kastillo on Fri, 19/03/2021 - 23:50

From my experience, owing to several changes, I've seen me obligated to leave my job, nevertheless, I could start my own business and now, I travel around the near towns to my home, looking for new clients, but, I hope to restart my search, for a good job at home, I'm aware of the risk to travel could be a dangerous commute, I rather stay at home and enjoy my family. Otherwise, I would like to continue with my new entrepreneurship.

Submitted by Gabriel Rojas Esté on Sat, 30/01/2021 - 16:38

My working situation is almost perfect. I am a freelancer lawyer and work for my own. I can juggle my work tasks with my family. I rented an office and it location is marvelous. Nevertheless, with the Covid pandemic registries, notaries and courts are open for five business days and, afther that, locked down during a week. So, It's a little annoying. I hope we can overcome the pandemic soon.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 19/01/2021 - 09:36

My work has many advantages such as being close to home, suitable working conditions, good colleagues, and etc. Disadvantages included fixed working hours and low monthly salary.

Submitted by Liosha228 on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 14:44

I'd like this stories, thanks

I am still a high schooler though. However, to discuss, the working policy in my country is needed to be enhanced, such as the salary and working hour. I find that the typical employees do not earn enough - only $200 per month. The well paid work in other countries, of course engineers and medical doctors, typically get around $500 per month in my country. I assume that the rate of salary is very low but the working hours don't differ from other countries - from 9 to 5. The equal access or at least fair amount of salaries should be provided as there are many employees who are talented and enthusiastic out there to upgrade the country's GDP. To strongly agrue, it is not worth to work in like those countries and should migrate to other countries in order to gain better income and knowledge.