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The coronavirus has altered many aspects of daily life around the world. One of the main changes for many people has been that they are now working 100% from home. While it isn’t possible for all jobs to be done from home, companies whose work can be carried out remotely have been working to set up systems for employees to do so. There have been some kinks to work out in the early stages but many workers are finding that they are able to do their jobs in almost exactly the same way as if they were in an office.

Since the invention of smartphones and the ubiquity of high-speed internet in many countries, working from home has technically been possible. However, technology has progressed faster than business-culture. While many companies have been letting employees work from home for a few years, the vast majority of businesses have been averse to having employees not attend a physical workplace. Many business owners and bosses believe that their staff will not work as efficiently if they are working from home. There is a persistent belief that workers will get distracted and do other things if they are not being watched like they are in a physical workplace.

The coronavirus crisis has forced the hand of companies around the world. Businesses in multiple countries have been forced to close as countries lockdown and practice social distancing. As such, employees and companies have been trying to come up with creative solutions to continue their regular work. Meetings are being held over apps like Zoom and Skype, American late-night TV shows are being recorded on iPhones from the homes of the hosts and companies are finding other apps and services that cater to their workflow. In March, Zoom has been one of the most downloaded apps in the world. It has been used by governments and workers around the world to stay in contact. One particular use has been for teachers who are continuing to educate their students via apps like Zoom. While the situation for teachers has been more difficult, they are trying their best to continue instructing their pupils.

The sudden shift to working from home has led many to question whether they can continue working from home after the Covid-19 situation is resolved. Working from home has many benefits for workers who don’t have to commute and can work how they like. Not all workers wish to continue working from home, for many people the social aspect of meeting coworkers in a workplace is important and some people struggle to work as efficiently in their own home. The question now is whether the working culture of the world has permanently changed. In the future, we could see a lot more people opting to work either full or part-time from their own homes.

Difficult words

Altered (adj): Changed in some way.

Remotely (adj): To be done from a distance.

Kink (n): A flaw or obstacle in a plan.

Ubiquity (n): Something appearing everywhere.

Averse (adj): Having a strong dislike for someone.

Cater (v): To serve someone’s needs.

Workflow (n): How someone works.

Pupil (n): A person who is taught by another person.

Opting (v): Making a choice.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

1. Altered A. Everywhere
2. Remotely B. Working
3. Kink C. Serve
4. Ubiquity D. Distantly
5. Averse E. Student
6. Cater F. Opposed
7. Workflow G. Changed
8. Pupil H. Choosing
9. Opting I. Obstacle

True or False?

1. Nobody has changed to working 100% from home. T / F

2. It’s possible for most jobs to be done remotely.  T / F

3. Most companies already had systems in place for people to work from home. T / F

4. Nobody has been able to work exactly the same at home as they do in the office. T / F

5. High-speed internet is not ubiquitous enough for people to work from home. T / F

6. Some bosses have not been partial to letting their employees work from home. T / F

7.  Most bosses believe their employees are just as efficient working from home. T / F

8.   Businesses around the world have been forced to close. T / F

9.  Zoom was the most downloaded app in March. T / F

10.  Some people like the social aspect of going to work.T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. altered / of / The / aspects / daily / many / life / has / coronavirus

2. have / out / kinks / in / the / early stages / There / to / work / been some

3. belief / There / a / will / get distracted / persistent / is / that workers

4. benefits / from / has / workers / for / Working / many / home

5. home / all / wish / continue / Not / to / from / workers / working

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Efficiently Distancing Stages
Coworkers Recorded Aspects
Technically Particular Commute

The coronavirus has altered many (1)__________ of daily life around the world. One of the main changes for many people has been that they are now working 100% from home. While it isn’t possible for all jobs to be done from home, companies whose work can be carried out remotely have been working to set up systems for employees to do so. There have been some kinks to work out in the early (2)__________ but many workers are finding that they are able to do their jobs in almost exactly the same way as if they were in an office.

Since the invention of smartphones and the ubiquity of high-speed internet in many countries, working from home has (3)______________ been possible. However, technology has progressed faster than business-culture. While many companies have been letting employees work from home for a few years, the vast majority of businesses have been averse to having employees not attend a physical workplace. Many business owners and bosses believe that their staff will not work as (4)______________ if they are working from home. There is a persistent belief that workers will get distracted and do other things if they are not being watched like they are in a physical workplace.

The coronavirus crisis has forced the hand of companies around the world. Businesses in multiple countries have been forced to close as countries lockdown and practice social (5)______________. As such, employees and companies have been trying to come up with creative solutions to continue their regular work. Meetings are being held over apps like Zoom and Skype, American late-night TV shows are being (6)______________ on iPhones from the homes of the hosts and companies are finding other apps and services that cater to their workflow. In March, Zoom has been one of the most downloaded apps in the world. It has been used by governments and workers around the world to stay in contact. One (7)_______________ use has been for teachers who are continuing to educate their students via apps like Zoom. While the situation for teachers has been more difficult, they are trying their best to continue instructing their pupils.

The sudden shift to working from home has led many to question whether they can continue working from home after the Covid-19 situation is resolved. Working from home has many benefits for workers who don’t have to (8)_____________ and can work how they like. Not all workers wish to continue working from home, for many people the social aspect of meeting (9)_____________ in a workplace is important and some people struggle to work as efficiently in their own home. The question now is whether the working culture of the world has permanently changed. In the future, we could see a lot more people opting to work either full or part-time from their own homes.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Are you working from home?
5. Would you prefer to work from home or in an office?
6. Is your job able to be done from home?
7. Do you think people are just as efficient working from home as they are in an office?
8. Does work culture in your country easily allow people to work from home?
9. Is there anything that you would like to change about work culture in your country?
10. Have TV shows in your country changed the way they film their shows?
11. Have you used any video chatting apps more frequently recently?
12. How are children being educated in your country?
13. Is socialising an important part of going to work?
14. Do you have a long commute to work?
15. Would you be willing to work from home to help the environment?
16. Do you think work-culture will permanently change once this crisis is over?
17. What jobs do you think should never be done from home?
18. Has your company reacted well to the Covid-19 crisis?
19. Is it possible to successfully work from home with family?
20. Is it important to have a strong separation between work-life and home-life?