The British use the lounge or dining room while the French prefer the bedroom. Location is not the only difference between Britons and the rest of Europe when it comes to choosing a place to work for a company from home and not at the office.
There is more paranoia in the ranks of British homeworkers about working from home while colleagues are confined to the office, the evidence suggests. Half of the British homeworkers, according to a survey, said they e-mailed or telephoned a colleague early in the morning to prove they were working, while only 14 per cent of German homeworkers felt it necessary to check in and demonstrate they were working hard.
There are also national differences in the motivation for homeworking. The French see it as a way to a healthier lifestyle with an emphasis on more regular exercise and enjoying the benefits of home cooking at the expense of junk food. For the Spanish, the interaction with the family is a principal reason for homeworking, while for the Germans it is the opportunity to increase their income. Overall, fewer British work from home than in the rest of Europe, although more would like the opportunity to do so, and less stress is seen as one of the main reasons for making the switch. The study predicts that by 2005 around 11 per cent (16millions) of the European Union workforce will be working from home either permanently or for part of the working day.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) People in Spain don't like working from home because they don't like being with their relatives.
b) The number of British who would prefer working from home is increasing.
- TRUE. "Overall, fewer British work from home than in the rest of Europe, although more would like the opportunity to do so, (...)"
2. In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions.
a) How do the British feel about working away from the office?
- They are nervous, they like to show that they are working. They contact their firms as soon as they start working.
b) What are the motivations for the French to work from home?
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3. Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) selecting (paragraph 1): choosing
- b) study (paragraph 2): survey
- c) chance (paragraph 3): opportunity
- d) change (paragraph 3): switch
4. Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) I have worked/have been working (work) as a waitress during the past year at 5€ an/per hour.
- b) I don't think my pay is very good but I'm desperate for/to get a job to pay for my studies.
- c) I've been to six agencies. They accepted/have accepted (accept) my CV but all their jobs were taken (take)
- d) "For many firms and many workers homeworking will be a way to reduce costs."
- The minister remarked that homeworking would (be a way to) reduce costs for many firms and many workers.