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Extreme Employees

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Some countries like France and Australia have experimented with vacation time. Businesses in these countries give employees more time off because they understand work and personal happiness must have some balance. But the trend in many other countries is the opposite. Employees are working longer and longer hours in recent years. "Extreme employees" are the result.

Researchers examined more than two million surveys of high-salaried employees in the US. They concluded that people must work long hours if they want to climb the corporate ladder. However, the extreme employees are unusually dedicated to the company. With their commute and the hours at the office, extreme employees might work 70 hours or more. They are also available for clients and office emergencies every day of the week, including weekends. Lastly, they take far fewer vacation days.

The researchers also discovered that most extreme employees are very unhappy. These employees would be healthier with less work. They also don't spend enough time with their spouse or children, which could be one reason for their unhappiness.

Experts suggest the seventy-hour workweek should drop to forty-five hours, if possible. And despite the trend, some companies like American Express and Johnson & Johnson are trying to reduce the pressure and stress on managers.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Discuss: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. People work too much nowadays.
  2. I should work harder for my company.
  3. People who work less than 40 hours per week are lazy.
  4. In the future, it will be normal for everyone to work more than 60 hours per week.
  5. I love my job!!

Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.

  1. Businesses in these countries give employees more time off because...
  2. Researchers examined more than two million surveys of...
  3. The researchers also discovered that...
  4. They also don't spend enough time with their spouse or children, which...

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

  1. How many hours do your work per week? Is this too much, too little, or just right?
  2. Would you take a high-paying position if you had to work 70 hours per week?
  3. Would you take a 50% salary cut if it meant working only 25 hours per week?
  4. Why do you think people work so much if they hate it? Please explain.
  5. Could you do more for your company? Should you do more? Why/not?

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

Download the lesson:

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