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.

Task 1

Task 2


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Language level

Average: 4.5 (43 votes)
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Submitted by lily30 on Thu, 14/04/2022 - 09:21


I am a freelance translator and I only work online from home. It has both positive and negative perspectives. First of all, I want to share the advantages of working translation from home. One good point is that I don't need to waste time commuting or making idle chit-chat with colleagues. I can have more family time. I am also left to my own devices. It's also easy to find a new job since most of my time are not occupied. However, there are also drawbacks in my job. Since I don't have a clear office hour, I have no regular relax time. I have to standby online as I don't know when the project comes to me. Usually, the work time is between 11-1 pm, I can't go to bed early and that's why I can never become a morning person. I just have to stay in the life of a night owl.

Submitted by Niloofarsaboori on Sun, 27/03/2022 - 07:45


Frankly,I have a part time job from 9 a.m. till 2 o' clock.Neverthless,it wears me out specially because of commuting for 2 hours.I commute from London to Brighton every single day merely for a part time job.That's a shame because I'm not left to my own devices.My boss is grumpy all along and I remember that one day I forgot to clock in.He became really cross with me and he didn't stop blaming me.If I wanted to change sth definitely It would be my job.The salary is really low that I hardly ever have money at the end of month.I'm interested in singing and acting however,the situation isn't provided.If only I had my dream job

I am still pupil but I told for my mom job. She is a dressmaker and she works from 8 to 5. I start with some disadvantages. Firstly, I think 9 hours work is very much for woman. Of course they have a break for afternoon but only half hour and this is not enough. Maybe the system should to be change. For example the job to start in 9 to 5 and break to be 1 hour. However there are also and advantages. For instance in the job place they have a free lunch due to they dont need to purchace a food.

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.