a coat hanger a filing cabinet a post-it note a projector a sofa a water cooler a work station an exercise ball 7. 8.

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1 A A BUSINESS ISSUES Lesson code: J9M9-DQKC-VEHA PRE-INTERMEDIATE 1 In the office Match the words to the images: a coat hanger a filing cabinet a post-it note a projector a sofa a water cooler a work station an exercise ball Which of these things do you have in your place of work? 2 Reading You are going to read a text on office design. Put T (True) or F (False) next to each statement then read the text to check your answers. 1. Open-plan offices are generally good for business. 2. Open-plan offices are cheaper. 3. People communicate better in closed offices. 4. Closed offices make businesses more innovative. 5. It s easier to concentrate on your work in a closed office. 6. Employees who work in closed offices are absent more often. You can review this worksheet online at 1/4

2 Open-plan vs. closed offices Which are better? 1 For most companies, the design of the office space is very important. The office space should help employees to work more efficiently, concentrate on their work and work better in a team. There are two common designs closed offices and open offices. 2 Open offices are good for companies for a number of reasons. Firstly, they cost less because they use less space and use less electricity to heat or cool. In addition, businesses can save on equipment because people are sharing resources such as printers and photocopiers. Since there are no walls or barriers between work stations, staff can learn from each other and interact more efficiently. For example, when you work in an open office you can get feedback on your work instantly and you can ask questions without needing to knock on doors. Increased collaboration between employees can also result in business innovation. 3 On the other hand, many employees prefer closed offices, mainly because there is less noise and it s easier to concentrate. With a busy open-plan office, the high level of noise can make it difficult for employees to focus on their work. Another advantage for business is lower absenteeism. When people work in an open environment, there is a greater risk of catching a disease when somebody is ill. And when employees are absent, the company is less productive. 3 Talking point Discuss the questions below with a partner. 1. What kind of office do you prefer? 2. What do you think of open-plan offices? 3. Would you like to work in a different office? Why? You can review this worksheet online at 2/4

3 4 Phrases in the text Match the verbs on the left with the words on the right to form phrases from the text. 1. save on a. a disease 2. share b. doors 3. get c. equipment 4. knock on d. feedback on your work 5. focus e. on your work 6. catch f. resources Make sentences about closed and open offices using the phrases above. 5 Linking words and phrases Look at the words and phrases below. Complete the text and check your answers. on the other hand because firstly since in addition for example Open-plan vs. closed offices Which are better? 1 For most companies, the design of the office space is very important. The office space should help employees to work more efficiently, concentrate on their work and work better in a team. There are two common designs closed offices and open offices. 2 Open offices are good for companies for a number of reasons. 1, they cost less because they use less space and use less electricity to heat or cool. 2, businesses can save on equipment 3 people are sharing resources such as printers and photocopiers. 4 there are no walls or barriers between work stations, staff can learn from each other and interact more efficiently. 5, when you work in an open office you can get feedback on your work instantly and you can ask questions without needing to knock on doors. Increased collaboration between employees can also result in business innovation. 3 6, many employees prefer closed offices, mainly because there is less noise and it s easier to concentrate. With a busy open-plan office, the high level of noise can make it difficult for employees to focus on their work. Another advantage for business is lower absenteeism. When people work in an open environment, there is a greater risk of catching a disease when somebody is ill. And when employees are absent, the company is less productive. You can review this worksheet online at 3/4

4 Here are some more linking words you can use in a discussion: Good for speaking: on top of that, what s more, Good for writing: however, furthermore, for instance, In pairs, discuss the pros and cons of any of the issues below. 1. working fixed hours vs. working flexitime 2. commuting by car vs. commuting by bike 3. using vs. talking on the phone 6 Homework Choose a topic below to write about. 1. working in an office vs. working at home 2. teamwork vs. solo work 3. working for a multinational firm vs working for a small business You can review this worksheet online at 4/4

5 - Key 1- In the office Students can work alone or in pairs. 1. a water cooler 2. a work station 3. a post-it note 4. a filing cabinet 5. an exercise ball 6. a coat hanger 7. a projector 8. a sofa 2- Reading Students can work alone or in pairs. Go through the answers with the class. You may want to pre-teach difficult or unfamiliar vocabulary, e.g. resources, barriers, interact, noise, absenteeism. 1. T 2. T 3. F 4. F 5. T 6. F 4- Phrases in the text 1. c 2. f 3. d 4. b 5. e 6. a 5- Linking words and phrases Go through the linking words. Present any additional connectors that you think might be helpful. Encourage students to use the vocabulary to develop their arguments. 1. Firstly 2. In addition 3. because 4. Since 5. For example 6. On the other hand You can review this worksheet online at i

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