IELTS Listening 8 - Section 4

IELTS Study Tip

  • Use the reading time to familiarize yourself with the types of answers expected; for example, a number, letter, word or time.
  • Pay special attention to the first question, so that you know when to begin.
  • If the question asks for answers with one word only, be careful not to add any extra word or letter by mistake. Pay special attention when choosing between similar numbers or clock times.
  • Copy your answers to the answer sheet exactly as you have written them. Make sure that your answers are written alongside the correct question numbers.

Section 4: You are going to hear a lecture on life at work which has been given as a part of a series of lectures on productivity and work practices. First you have some time to look at Questions 31-35.

Now Listen carefully and answer Questions 31 to 35:

Questions 31-35

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D.

31The total number of lectures mentioned by the lecturer is

32The lunch break of the average British worker is

33Which graph shows the change as regards sick leave?

34There will be another lecture on stress in work and study

35Which of the following is mentioned?

Now look at Questions 36 to 40:

Questions 36-39

Complete the table below, using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Employees now working physically and mentally
Productivity up in many
In 2002, local car plant vehicle per employee on rise to
Car industry once though to be

Question 40

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D.

40Dr Butt asks those students to see him who

CHECK ANSWERS

Questions 31-35

Good afternoon, my name is Dr Charles Butt and I shall be giving you a series of lectures on productivity and work practices over the coming weeks. There will be ten lectures in the mornings as part of this course and, in addition, there will be three lectures in the evenings from six to eight which will be given by outside speakers.

I would like first to look at a recent report on life at work. The report shows that the average British worker takes less than half an hour for lunch, 27 minutes to be precise, and that sick leave is on the increase. The drop in the length of time spent on lunch was nine minutes when compared to last year, down from 36 minutes. According to the report, this is the first time that the average lunch break has fallen below half an hour.

As regards sick leave, you can see that the average figure is ten days per year, that's up by one day in 2002 compared to 2001. While physical illness was given as the most common reason for absence in the case of non-manual workers, stress was the most common cause of long-term absence. It's worth noting here that nine out of ten workers claim that stress is a problem in their organization and that eight out of ten bosses are feeling more stressed than ever before. I would just like to say here that we will be looking at the stress in work and study at a later date. And we will be looking particularly at ways of dealing with it in studying, particularly for exams. You can see from the calendar that Professor Appleyard will be giving a lecture on this topic the week after next.

The report also says that just below 50% of workers claim that they were taking less time off for holidays than they were entitled to. I am not sure that this will be believed by the employers. Previous surveys have suggested that about one-third of days that have been taken by workers as days off sick were regarded by bosses as not being the result of genuine illness. Some more hard data is required to corroborate both these claims.

Questions 36-40

All this suggests that employers are driving their workers too hard. The effects of over-working mean that workers are now being stretched beyond their limits both physically and mentally. This is borne out by the increase in sick leave. However, looked at from the employers' point of view, the picture may not be the same. Employers say that workers protest too much, but bearing in mind the data about the number of bosses feeling much more stress than before, we need to think about this carefully. It's interesting to note that productivity has gone up in many areas of industry. In 2001, the local car plant had one of the sharpest increases in average productivity with the number of vehicles per employee rising by over 30% a year. A new assembly line came into operation at the beginning of 2002, affecting productivity which increased to the 100-vehicles-per-worker mark by the end of the year. This is a stunning achievement for an industry which was not long ago considered to be collapsing.

It would be interesting to do a survey of the work life at the plant. Those of you who have opted to do the project and reduce the number of essays you have to do may want to look into this. Please see me at the end of the lecture. Right now, let us move on ... .


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