Issue 271 - Changing workplaces

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Basic

Vocabulary: In an office

Look and listen.

 

Can you remember? Choose the correct option.

 

 

Changing workplaces

Listen to the podcast and read.

Changing workplaces

The way we work has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Office workers are now dividing their time between the office, home and also a third option, a shared workspace. This is not a new trend, but it is becoming more popular for a number of reasons.

Firstly, during the lockdown, many of us realised how much time we spent travelling to and from work. We saw that we could use this time to spend with our family and friends, on our interests, and for relaxing. We probably felt isolated too, working alone all day at home.

The development of chat, channels, and virtual meeting platforms have made it much easier for people to communicate and collaborate remotely. As a result, the need to have an office is reduced. Changing from a full-time office to a shared workspace can save on transport costs and time, and also in office rental and maintenance.

Of course, an office is still important for face-to-face collaboration and socialising with colleagues. This can also happen in a shared workspace. A shared workspace is not appropriate for all work contexts, but for many organisations it is a more flexible and economical office solution.

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Intermediate

 

Changing workplaces

Listen to the podcast and read. Then answer the questions in the Comprehension section.

Changing workplaces

The way we work may never be the same again. The needs, habits and the idea of what a workplace is, have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, hybrid work is becoming more common. Office workers are dividing their time between the office, home and also now a third option, a shared workspace. This is not a new trend, but it is becoming more popular for a number of reasons.

Firstly, while working at home during lockdown, many of us realised how much time we spent travelling to and from work. We saw how we could use this time to spend with our loved ones, on our interests, and for relaxing. We also probably felt a certain amount of isolation, working alone all day at home.

Now there is a third option, that of a shared workspace. The development of chat, channels, and virtual meeting platforms have made it much easier for people to communicate and collaborate remotely. As a result, the need to have an actual office is reduced.

Changing from a full-time office to a shared workspace can save on transport costs and time, and also in office rental and maintenance. There could also be a change in attitude brought about by stepping out of the home or office. It really can be like a breath of fresh air.

Of course, the office still provides the important opportunity to collaborate face-to-face with colleagues and to socialise. A shared workspace can also make this possible. However, a shared workspace is not appropriate for all work contexts, but for many organisations this is a more flexible, workable and economical office solution.

Now answer the questions in the Comprehension section.

Comprehension: Check your understanding

Choose the best option.

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Advanced

 

Changing workplaces

Listen to the podcast and read. Then answer the questions in the Comprehension section.

Changing workplaces

The way we work may never be the same again. The needs, habits and the idea of what a workplace is, have shifted dramatically since the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have entered a new era where hybrid work is becoming the norm. Office workers are now splitting their time between the office, home and also now a third option, an alternative workspace. This is not a new trend, but it is certainly gaining momentum for a number of reasons.

Firstly, while working at home during lockdown, many of us realised just how much time we spent commuting. Suddenly we saw how this time could be much better employed; spending time with our loved ones, engaging our interests, and even just relaxing. We also probably felt a certain amount of isolation, alone all day at home, despite the extensive use of meeting platforms such as Zoom and Teams.

During the pandemic, living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens had to multi-purpose, to serve as an office as well. Of course, now there is a third option, that of a shared workspace. The development of chat, channels, and virtual meeting platforms have made it so much easier for people to communicate and collaborate remotely. As a result, the need to have an actual office is reduced.

The savings from switching from a full-time office to a shared workspace can be considerable; in transport costs and time, as well as in office rental and maintenance. But that’s not all. There could also be a change in attitude brought about by stepping out of the home or office. It really can be like a breath of fresh air.

Of course, the office, or at least some kind of office, still provides important opportunities to collaborate face-to-face and socialise with colleagues. These aspects of office life cannot be undervalued, and a shared workspace can also make this possible. However, a shared workspace is obviously not appropriate for all work contexts, like those where there is direct contact with the public, or where working onsite is imperative.

The fact is, this is a great opportunity for organisations to embrace change and move away from outmoded models, from seas of desks or cubicles to more flexible and workable office solutions.

Now answer the questions in the Comprehension section.

Comprehension: Check your understanding

Choose the best option.

Interview: listen to more about the topic

Think about your answers to the following questions. Then listen to somebody answering the same questions. Were your answers similar?

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