Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- poll / poʊl / (n.) – the act of asking people to share their opinion or to vote about something
The company did a poll about what employees would like to do at the year-end party.
- alternate / ˈɔl tər nɪt / (adj.) – describing something that follows a repeated pattern where something happens, then doesn’t happen, then happens again, etc.
Rica teaches at the university on alternate weekdays. She has classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- knock-off time / ˈnɒkˌɔf taɪm / (n.) – the time when one’s work is done
My knock-off time is 6:00 p.m., so let’s meet for dinner around 6:30 p.m.
- topsy-turvy / ˈtɒp siˈtɜr vi / (adj.) – in a state where something is confusing and not organized
After I suddenly lost my job, my life became topsy-turvy.
- anecdote / ˈæn ɪkˌdoʊt / (n.) – an interesting or funny story
Our professor likes to share anecdotes about his own experiences during his lectures.
Read the text below.
Continued from Part 1…
I did a casual poll of my friends and most of them have begun to return to the workplace during alternate weeks or a few days every week. Some welcome it because they concentrate better in the office. Others like to have a clear knock-off time since working from home often means working late into the night. But for many working parents, working from home allows them more flexibility in planning their day and completing their tasks.
A friend lamented that she will have to wake up at 5:45 a.m. again to get her daughter ready for school before getting herself ready for work, and then commuting an hour to get to the office. She was used to this before COVID turned our lives topsy-turvy. But having worked from home for more than a year, it is difficult to go back to a less desirable option.
Flexible work arrangements would definitely be welcome. But according to media reports and anecdotes from several friends, most employers prefer to go back to the old way of working. Some managers find it difficult to keep track of what everyone is doing without actually seeing them at their desks. I wonder if this speaks more about their management style than their staff’s productivity. If COVID has shown us that we can indeed transform the workplace when the situation calls for it, should we not take this opportunity to make the good changes last? (Tan Ying Zhen)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
- According to the article, working at the office helps some people concentrate better and have a clearer “knock-off time.” Do you think these things can still be possible even for people who are working from home? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Working from home allows many parents more flexibility in planning their day and completing their tasks. Do you think companies should consider allowing parents to continue to work from home? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Some managers find it difficult to keep track of what everyone is doing without actually seeing them at their desks. The writer wonders if that speaks more about their management style than their staff’s productivity. What do you think of this? Why? Discuss.
- Most employers seem to go back to the old style of working, but the author feels that we should use this opportunity to make the good changes last. How do you feel? Why? Discuss.