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Work-Life Balance

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Work-life balance refers to the balance between a person's career and his personal life. Many people work longer hours and use fewer vacation days, in part because of globalization, outsourcing, and a loss of job security. As a result, employees have less time for personal interests, personal development, and family. Reduced productivity, depression, high levels of stress, and burnout result from such an imbalance.

Although the employee makes the choice to work longer hours, the corporate culture is also responsible. Companies should educate their workers on the importance of a healthy work-life balance. It's also helpful to provide flex time, maternity and paternity leave, telecommuting, or even recreation or exercise facilities. If they don't, people will become money-rich, time-poor.


Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. How many hours do you work each week? Is this a lot? Why do/don't you think so?

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. People work longer hours because they are worried about their jobs.  T / F
  2. Employees might ignore personal interests if there is a poor work-life balance. T / F
  3. Only the company is responsible for overwork. T/F
  4. All employees should have flex time and recreation facilities. T/F

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. Were you surprised by any of the information in the article? Why/not?
  2. What are the working conditions at your office/place of employment?
  3. What would make your play of employment a more enjoyable place to work?

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