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Weisure Time

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The traditional lines between work and leisure have blurred significantly in recent years, forcing businesses and individuals to reevaluate the nine-to-five workday. In lieu of the stereotypical office drudgery, work invades leisure time and leisure time invades work. The phenomenon has been called "weisure time" by sociologist Dalton Conley, and the concept represents the next step in the evolving balance between adults' personal and professional spheres.

In part, one reason for weisure time comes from the simple fact that people work more than ever before. As such, people keep in touch with colleagues and business associates while hanging out with their families on the weekends. Yet a lot of work relies on creativity and valuable input these days, which means employees keep in touch out of obligation and desire. In short, people enjoy their jobs more, and so tend to be increasingly willing to mix both sides of their lives.

The computer and social networks also play a significant role in weisure time too. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media services coax people to stay connected during business hours. Social technology stimulates a pleasure response in people's brains, so people crave the connections with friends. It makes the business day move much faster. What's more, it encourages people to maintain connections with their colleagues during off time.

At some point, explains Conley, there could be a backlash, simply because there is much less time to relax. Although people see weisure time as a solution at present, they may not always be willing to mix the personal and professional. At the moment, though, the mantra "work, work, work" fuels the need for weisure time.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. I work too much.
  2. People work more now than ever before.
  3. I regularly exchange business emails and phone calls on the weekend.
  4. I regularly send private emails and use social media sites like Facebook at work.
  5. I love my job.

True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. Personal and professional time has become less clear recently.
  2. People keep in touch with colleagues because there's too much work.
  3. According to the article, people consider business colleagues as friends.
  4. People use Facebook and Twitter to talk with business colleagues after work.
  5. People will always be willing to mix personal and professional time in the future.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. What do you think of weisure time? Please explain.
  2. How regularly do you mix professional time during evenings and weekends? Why?
  3. How regularly do you mix personal time during business hours? Why?
  4. What is your office like? How would you describe it?
  5. What is the future of work? Why do you think so?

Google Search: Type "weisure time" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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