HomeIELTS WritingWriting Task 2Writing Task 2: Shorter Work Week: Benefits for Workers (C.19)

Writing Task 2: Shorter Work Week: Benefits for Workers (C.19)

You have approximately 40 minutes to complete this task.  

You need to write an essay addressing the topic below:

The working week should be shorter and workers should have a longer weekend.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Your essay should comprise a minimum of 250 words.

Type: Opinion.

Keywords: working week, shorter, workers, longer weekend.

Sample Answer:

In recent years, the idea of reducing the working week and extending the weekend has gained significant attention. I completely agree that a shorter working week coupled with a longer weekend would be highly beneficial.

Firstly, a shorter working week can significantly enhance employee well-being. With extended weekends, workers have more time to rest, pursue hobbies, and spend quality time with family and friends. This can reduce burnout and stress levels, leading to better mental health. In countries like Sweden, trials of a six-hour workday have shown that employees are happier, healthier, and more productive. The increased personal time allows individuals to recharge, which can translate into more focused and efficient work during office hours.

Secondly, a reduced working week can improve productivity. Contrary to the traditional belief that longer hours equate to higher output, evidence suggests that overworking can lead to diminished returns. The phenomenon known as “diminishing productivity” indicates that after a certain point, the quality and quantity of work produced in longer hours begin to decline. In fact, a study conducted by Microsoft Japan found that a four-day workweek led to a 40% increase in productivity. This suggests that when employees are well-rested and motivated, they can achieve more in less time.

Additionally, a shorter working week can contribute to a more sustainable work environment. Fewer working days can reduce commuting, leading to lower carbon emissions and less traffic congestion. This is beneficial not only for the environment but also for the overall quality of life in urban areas. Moreover, companies may experience cost savings on utilities and operational expenses with reduced office usage.

However, it is important to acknowledge potential challenges. Certain industries, such as healthcare and emergency services, may find it difficult to implement a shorter working week without compromising service quality. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be feasible, and adaptations might be necessary depending on the sector.

In conclusion, while there are challenges to implementing a shorter working week, the potential benefits to employee well-being, productivity, environmental sustainability, and gender equality make it a compelling proposal. Companies and governments should consider flexible approaches to adapt to different industry needs while striving to improve work-life balance for all.

Total: 361 words


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