Vacations and Mini-Retirements
- Parent Category: Lower-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Business Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
Employees need vacations to stay productive and get rid of stress from the office. Some countries agree with this concept. In France, for example, the work week is only thirty-five hours to improve people's lives. And in Germany, one month vacations are common.
Other countries do the opposite. Japanese employees take only short vacations because they want to help their coworkers. In the US, work habits continue to change. Fewer employees take all of their vacation days, which equals about nine days per year. Because of the economy, many employees are worried about losing their jobs. As a result, they want to be viewed as hard workers who don't need time off.
But an increasing number of people support mini-retirements. Rather than take a short vacation every year, the mini-retirement is similar to an extended vacation. The idea lets employees follow dreams and achieve personal goals when they are younger instead of when they are older. With technology, Internet cafes, and free Wi-Fi, it's even possible to stay up to date with the office.
Life should be more than work, money, and savings. Hopefully, more offices around the world will encourage vacations, and if possible, mini-retirements too.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- Move to a foreign country and travel a lot.
- Open a small restaurant in an area visited by tourists and make many new friends.
- Volunteer at a community center and help people.
- Sit at home, read, and watch TV.
- Take up many new hobbies that you couldn't do when you were younger.
Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
- Japanese employees take only short vacations because...
- Because of the economy, many employees are...
- Rather than take a short vacation every year, the mini-retirement is...
- Life should be more than...
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Do you think that you work too much? Why/not?
- What do you think about the idea of mini-retirements versus regular vacations?
- What are the pluses and minuses of mini-retirements for an employer?
- What are the pluses and minuses of mini-retirements for an employee
- What is the balance between work, vacations, and retirement in your country?
Google Search: Type "mini-retirement" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.