You are here

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 maternity 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.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


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.

I think one advantage is that I can direct my schedule.
I think a disadvantage is that I can't do my job well because the students don't have devices or internet.
I would like to go to school soon.

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.

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.

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.

I'd like this stories, thanks

I am fine, thanks and you?

Working from home is an advantage, because it saves time and money taking long journeys to get early. It can use our time on our own way, take a break in the afternoon and go for a coffee, but also stay all day at home can be exhausting. stay all day in the same place without talking to anyone; sometimes an idle chit-chat is necessary. For example when it lives alone, talking to colleagues and getting appointments to drink or do something different to work is necessary too.

The are many advantages of my current job, I have a job that is close to home, allowing me spend less in gasoline and sleep longer, also at lunchtime I can go home, eat and stay with my family, in addition to my boss is in France, so I can deal with my daily tasks as I want with no pressure.

On the downside, there are not many people in my office and I am the only one in my department, so I miss share my opinion with other colleagues.

i am working in office building. So i either work, share my ideas with my colleagues or make idle chit-chat with friends next door sometimes. So i think it is fun and help my work more effective. But i must spend time driving from my home to my office, getting traffic jam everyday. I must spend my money on office clothes, shoes etc...