Keep a good balance between working and living and enjoying life

Daily English Reading - work and life

Maura: Hi, Harp, you are Chinese, so today we are going to talk about the workplace in North America.

Harp: Yes. We’re gonna start with talking about the work-life balance, then we’re going to talk about some perks that companies are offering, and we’re going to end with talking about how people change jobs.

Maura: Right. So we’re gonna focus on different trends that are happening in Canada and the US in English in the workplace.

Harp: Let’s get started.

Maura: All right. So first we’re going to talk about the work-life balance. And I think this is so important.

Harp: Definitely. I think it’s so important to keep a good balance between working and living and enjoying life.

Maura: Right. And that’s pretty much exactly what it is. It is knowing that you have to go to work and work is important, but it’s also important to spend time doing the things that you like, and relaxing and enjoying yourself. So you have to have a balance between these two things.

Harp: Yeah, definitely. It’s important not to be a workaholic and spend 60, 70, 80 hours in the office or doing work. It’s important to have a good balance.

Maura: Right. We do have a lot of workaholics though, especially with technology and having a smartphone with you all the time. But more and more, people are realizing that it’s not healthy for you to work that much. You have to have a little bit of play time.

Harp: Exactly. You have to have downtime, time to relax and just enjoy life and not think about work.

Maura: Now, I know that there are some things that the workplace, or someone’s particular place of employment, is doing to make it easier for people to have a better balance between their work and their personal life.

Harp: Well, companies are doing a great job of encouraging work-life balance. One of the big things they’re doing is allowing for flexible time, or flex time. And basically what this means is that there are core business hours. So depending on the company, it can vary between 10 o’clock in the morning to 4 o’clock in the afternoon or a little bit of a variation, but those are the core business hours; everyone has to be there for that time. But employees are allowed to choose what time they start and if they start really early, they can finish early. If they start later, they can finish later. So that helps people avoid traffic. That helps people if there’s something that comes up in their life with maybe their kids and a babysitter or daycare. They’re able to manage it better.

Maura: Really, it makes so much sense, because when you have employees that get to choose something like that, it just makes them feel more appreciated at work and more responsible for the work they’re going to do when they’re there.

Harp: For sure. My company has flex time and I love it. If I have something, maybe a dentist appointment, to go to in the morning, I don’t need to tell anyone. I get there by 10 o’clock and I do my work and I finish later and it allows for more flexibility. No one’s watching what time I get there, what time I leave. I’m responsible for myself. It gives me a feeling of independence.

Maura: For sure. Now, another trend that’s happening is that sometimes people are able to work from home on occasion.

Learn English: 真正有意义的生活 A meaningful life