IELTS speaking vocabulary: talking about working from home

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IELTS speaking part 1

Examiner: Do you prefer to work from home or at an office?

Flavia: I most certainly prefer working from home. It gives me flexibility I would never have in an office environment. Plus, my work-life balance has never been better; I can get in a workout in the morning, pick my daughter up from school, plus I don’t have to spend time and money commuting to an office.

There may be some added distractions at home while I should be working but overall working from home has kept me from office burnout. To be honest, I found more distractions when I work from an office!

Examiner: Why do you think some people prefer to work in an office?

Polina: Well, there are definitely benefits! For one, you develop a sense of community with your colleagues. There is the banter, the camaraderie… even the gossip! You have an atmosphere of teamwork in a conventional work environment whereas working from home can really lead to isolation.

Examiner: Do you think more people will work from home in the future?

Thuy: The global pandemic forced many people to work from home – for some it was successful and for others less so. So I think that future trends will depend on what outcomes we see from the shift to wfh during COVID-19. IF institutions found it worked for them without a drop in productivity or an increase in costs then we may see the home as the workplace of the future.

IELTS speaking part 2 (cue card)

Describe your ideal job 

You should say

  • What the job is
  • What skills are necessary to do the job
  • Where the job is done

And why you think this job would be interesting to do

The job I think would be interesting to do would definitely be something involving writing. I have always loved to write but what makes it ideal is that this job allows a tremendous amount of flexibility.

A writer can work either in an office or remotely. One day you might be writing from Paris and the next day from New York! Your office is wherever you are and thanks to modern technology, telecommuting works like a breeze!

Furthermore, you’re not tied to a desk 9 to 5. A writer can create a schedule that works for him or her. Personally, I am a night owl so I like working late into the night – you couldn’t do that in an office job!

IELTS speaking part 3

Examiner: Many people believe that for companies to improve their carbon footprint they should allow more employees to work from home. Do you agree?

Jorge: Working from home does have a number of sustainability benefits. When employees work from home, there is a reduction in carbon monoxide emissions from cars, so in that sense, working from home is environmentally friendly.

Also, everything must be done electronically – so there’s no unnecessary waste of paper by printing work documents. Plus, businesses can move into smaller spaces that use fewer resources like heat, water and electricity, so it’s also really financially viable.

Examiner: Why do you think some employees resist working from home?

Salima: To be honest, it can be a challenge to feel motivated when you are working without any supervision so it’s easy to slack off and some employees might not want that.

Another issue is that there is no separation of your home and work life so that might lead to burnout.

In some professions, working from home is difficult because they may not have the office equipment required to do their job properly. Of course, we can’t forget the social component of the workplace which is paramount for lots of people.

Examiner: How do you predict work will change in the future?

Min: Well, I think lockdowns have taught us a number of lessons that we will take with us into the future. For example, I think we’ll start seeing hybrid work become more common.

This would involve working both from home and from an office on certain days of the week, for certain functions, like meetings or events.

If this does happen, I think it will be a wonderful development as it really embraces the needs of the employee as an individual, different personal obligations, working styles, timetables and so on.

We’re realizing the Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 model does not fit everyone so I think embracing hybrid work more will give people the autonomy to create a work schedule that works for them, resulting in higher productivity and happier employees – and happier companies.

Vocabulary list: 

  • Flexibility: being able to change or be changed depending on circumstances
  • Work-life balance: the time spent at your job in comparison to the time spent on your personal life
  • Distraction: something that takes away your attention from something else
  • Burnout: fatigue or tiredness from being overworked
  • Sense of community: when members of a group have a feeling of belonging and that they matter to one another
  • Colleagues: people you work with
  • Camaraderie: the feeling of friendship and trust that people who work together or spend time together share
  • Teamwork: when people work together to accomplish a goal
  • Isolation: the feeling or state of being separated from others
  • Productivity: how much you work you produce in relation to how much time you spend
  • Workplace: any location where a person performs a job
  • Work remotely or remote work: when an employee works from home rather than an office and uses the phone and/or computer to communication
  • Telecommute: same as “remote work”
  • Chained to a desk: when someone feels forced or obligated to work exclusively from their desk
  • 9 to 5: the typical hours of work in many countries. Also can mean normal sometimes boring or mundane jobs.
  • Carbon footprint: how much carbon dioxide someone/ somethings actions create
  • Sustainability benefits: the results of protecting the environment through less waste and less pollution
  • Environmentally friendly: describes things or activities that do not harm the environment
  • Financially viable: describes something that allows companies to generate income, fulfill responsibilities and continue to grow
  • Supervision: when someone manages a person or department to make sure rules are followed and work is done correctly
  • Lockdown: when people are not allowed to leave an area as a security measure
  • Hybrid work: work from both home and office
  • Autonomy: when you make decisions for yourself without the control of others

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