Work–life balance

Read what four people have to say about their working hours to practise and improve your reading skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

Ronan

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.

Jo

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.

Marcus

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.

Lily

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.

Discussion

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Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 18/11/2020 - 18:15

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Ronan, Jo, Marcus and Lily have explained the advantages and disadvantages of the different working situation well. I think that many human resources managers, both in public and private sphere, are still reluctant to "smart working", that is means not only working at home or in other places different from the traditional office, but working autonomously and be judged based on own task performance.

Submitted by Máira Gazzola Arroyo on Tue, 10/11/2020 - 23:28

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The advantages is that I´m letf to do my own devices and the majority of the collegues are very nice. My boss is very nice too, but sometimes he doesn´t have time to talk to me about the problems that I couldn´t find a solution. The disadvantages is that I have to work on Saturdays and there is a lot of things to do in a short time. I need a specialist in the area to guide me in the tasks and solve my doubts.

Submitted by Bimble on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 16:59

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In this pandemic situation, I've been forced to work from home as a bunch of people. I am a dance teacher so it was quite stressful and hard to get used to this new way to work, because the touch is a very relevant aspect of teaching. Also, I am on an hourly basis paid job, but the amount of tasks to do increased significantly because of the recorded classes. Besides preparing the classes, I have to record, edit and post the videos, and it takes so much more time than before. In the other hand, I have the possibility to wake up a little bit later and somehow, It is a more flexible time. However, I definitely prefer to work at school, with a face to face teaching and interacting with other teachers. At least, I learned that the school is not made only by students and teachers, but several components that facilitate the learning process.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 27/10/2020 - 16:53

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My working situation is quite simple - I'm in me maternity leave so I don't work at all )) Of course, it doesn't mean I spend my time lying on the couch, I'm always busy with all that homework stuff: feeding, washing, cleaning, cooking, playing, parting my fighting kids, shopping, walking in the park or on the playground and all over again. Honestly, I've never been so tired at work like in that "leave". In both mentally and physically ways. Well, if you have kids, you know what I mean. But, someone has to do that why not me? At the same time, I'm trying to get a new profession (the old one doesn't satisfy me any more). For this reason, I study a lot via different online courses, when I have free time, mostly when my wife comes home from work. I want to change my profession when I will get back from my leave.

Submitted by anwarrasool on Sun, 18/10/2020 - 09:36

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Hello friends My professional obligation requires regular attendance to office, I engage 5 to 8 five days a week. Being managerial position my incoming timing could be late by few minutes, but leaving office generally needs additional time from formal hours. Although, I don’t support stay late in office unless some emergency, but a few offices follow the culture to please their bosses. I consider performing your duty on time shows your ability to manage your job with smartness. This should be appreciated and encouraged by management so employees can finish their task on time. It will not only keep staff happy, but also help to reduce the unnecessary overtime cost.

Submitted by Ventola on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 15:28

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i found out that home office for me has more advantages compared to disadvantages. Namely, i have more free time for me and my family. I don't waste a time commuting. I am well organized and i try to obey fixed working hours regardless i am at home. It is better because of everyday online comunication with my workmates and i am aware that is better to separate worktime and free time and to make better balance between work and pleasure.

Submitted by Eswar on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 04:12

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In this Pandemic situation working from home is good . but i prefer working at office only . advantages of Working from home is to reduce the transport cost easily do other works also when we have time disadvantages is lack of communication with boss and collegues . easily we wil get into distraction

Submitted by Camilo on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 00:10

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I work selling eggs by buying them dirty with some hen waste at first, we wash them at home and then we sell them in mainstream price. The downside of this work is that you have to put up with large journeys since the owner of the eggs is about fifty kilometres far, and also washing them is sort of a burden. But the advantage is that you are not alone; despite all of this situation, you're accompanied with your relatives and they help you with several tasks you're not likely to deal with them altogether alone. A nice way to enhance the productivity is by innovating a straightforward device which helps you to wash the eggs effortlessly.

Submitted by Roblox on Fri, 11/09/2020 - 17:09

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The advantages are I have a lot of coworkers friends, I'm unbored because I attend to different offices in my end, and they pay me well.