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Business English – Work-Life Balance

Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:04 PM
posted by Jo

Work-life balance refers to the balance between a person's career and his or her personal life. Many people work longer hours and have fewer holidays and days off, in part because of globalization, outsourcing, and a loss of job security. As a result, employees have less time for personal interests, friends and family. Such an imbalance can lead to reduced productivity, depression and high levels of stress.  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.


Listen for the following expressions being used in the video. What do you think they mean?

  • I’m going to be out of pocket for a while
  • Later in life I’m going to reap the benefits of it.
  • You’re working your tail off
  • We’re going to scale back

Do you agree with the view that sometimes we need to be off-balance in order to have a successful career? 


Nouns Adjectives Verbs
Holiday leave


























  • Pace of life – “I really can’t keep up with the pace of life in London, I think I will move to the country and try to get a job there”
  • Rat race – “I think I will try to leave this rat race and start up my own business from home”
  • Progress up the corporate ladder – “If I keep working hard, eventually I should be able to progress up the corporate ladder”
  • To take time off – “I’ve been working so many long hours lately, I really need to take some time off to relax”.
  • All work and no play – “You must take a holiday soon, life is not just all work and no play”

Conversation Questions

  • Do you have a good balance between your work and personal life? If yes, how do you achieve it?
  • Do you like working under pressure?
  • What deadlines do you have to meet in your daily life?
  • Are you good at managing your time?
  • Do you ever delegate tasks when you get too busy?
  • Have you ever worked over the weekend to meet a deadline?
  • Have you ever missed an important social or family event because of work?
  • Some people say they would like to ‘leave the rat race’. What do you think they mean?
  • Do you prefer a slow or fast pace of life?
  • How do you think flexible working helps to achieve a healthy work-life balance?
  • Do you think companies should have policies relating to work-life balance?
  • What things can people do to achieve good work-life balance?
  • Do you think people need to give up work-life balance in order to progress up the corporate ladder?
  • What can companies do to ensure their staff have good work-life balance?
  • Why do you think some people become workaholics?
  • Do you think it is harder for men or women to achieve a work-life balance? Why?
  • Nowadays, more people are taking time off work because of stress. Why do you think this is?
  • What do you think contributes to stress in the workplace?
  • How do you think people can balance having children and achieving their professional goals?
  • Do you think quality of work performance is linked to quantity of work performance?
  • What advice would you give someone who had poor work-life balance?
  • Do you think that enjoying life outside work can enhance your ability in your job?
  • What can you do to change the work culture?
  • Who do you think is responsible for overwork – the company or the employee?
  • What are the working conditions at your office/place of employment?
  • What would make your place of employment a more enjoyable place to work?
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