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


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Submitted by Olena999 on Thu, 27/06/2024 - 16:57


In a period of covid-19 expansion our company management gave us possibility to work from home. One of the advantage is flexibility, working from home can be not so easy although. There are distractions, such as children, or it may be difficult to concentrate when you are at home.

Submitted by Natali_li on Wed, 15/05/2024 - 15:58


Balancing work and personal life helps improve the quality of our lives. Planning the workday helps me effectively manage time, reduce stress, and increase productivity. However, it is also important to remember about my free time and dedicate it to self-care, developing hobbies. These moments allow me to relax, and enjoy life.

Submitted by thuvan272002 on Wed, 03/04/2024 - 10:33


In this interview, the author of the book did not focus on work-life balance, but he talked about the difference between traditional and modern workplaces. Nowadays, we have  more flexible working environments. This is mainly due to the development of science and technology.

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Submitted by on Thu, 08/02/2024 - 21:12


I work in a shop, so for me it is impossible to use the flexibility explained in the interview. I think that for people who work in an office, flexibility can be a good thing if concerns the possibility to choose to start working from 8 to 9 a.m. and finish earlier or later. However, I believe everyone should be feel free to decide if working at home, because it could be sound as if you were always working. The result could be negative psychological effects and
as a consequence worsen working performances.

Submitted by dhuha on Fri, 17/11/2023 - 04:20


how to download the audio file

Hello dhuha,

If you're using a computer, you can right-click on the audio player and choose 'Save as' to download the audio in mp3 format. If you're using a phone or tablet, it depends on what kind you have, but you should be able to download the audio there too.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by pikanov on Mon, 23/10/2023 - 03:11


My opinion about work-life balance is we must organize our time, sometimes at work, and the rest of our lives. Working from anywhere or at home sometimes means we can work anywhere at any time instead of prioritizing flexibility.

Submitted by Safe_Mode on Wed, 18/10/2023 - 09:25


I like to work in the evenings because during the day when it's warm and sunny I like to walk a bit or for example ride the bike or make some deals while some organizations I need working. Sometimes I work at the weekend if I didn't have time to do some tasks on weekdays

Submitted by marcialopes on Tue, 29/08/2023 - 21:28


As someone from the healthcare industry, I often found it challenging to balance my work and personal life. Weekends and national holidays were typically not available to me, and I even had to work on Christmas and New Year's Eve. This made it difficult to spend time with my loved ones and participate in sports activities. Additionally, my work schedule from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. disrupted my circadian rhythm and added to the struggle of achieving a work-life balance. Although I am no longer in that job, I shared this example to illustrate how deeply my work impacted my life outside of work.

Submitted by isamorandi on Wed, 14/06/2023 - 13:59


I'm a university student, and I'm trying to balance my study routine and my free time. Sometimes, especially on week test, I struggle a lot with it, however, I try my best to rest and do the things I want during this period.