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The end of the office? 未来办公室会消失吗?

在各国经历新冠肺炎疫情期间,有许多人都居家办公。雇主和雇员们都意识到,也许未来人们不再需要办公室。本文讨论办公室的终结是否会来到,以及这为什么对于人们来说是几家欢喜几家愁。

词汇:work 工作

For many white-collar workers around the world, the recent pandemic has meant having to work from home. Their usual office location has been out of bounds. This means different working practices, which have advantages and disadvantages for employees. But the big question is, will they ever see their offices again?

Home working has made people realise what tasks they can perform at home, rather than enduring a commute to the office to do the same thing. It has given them more time with the family; they’ve been sleeping better and have saved money by not travelling or buying lunches on the go. And recent research suggests the majority of people working from home are just as productive.

For some people, this could be a permanent arrangement. In the UK, fifty of the biggest employers questioned by the BBC, have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future. Of course, one main reason is that firms couldn’t see a way of accommodating large numbers of staff while social distancing regulations were still in place. But the BBC also heard from some smaller businesses who are deciding to abandon their offices altogether.

Other bigger companies are also looking at shutting offices to save money as many jobs can be performed remotely. Peter Cheese, head of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told the BBC: “We’re at a moment of real change in the world of work, driven by big existential crises.”

But this isn’t great news for everyone. Some employees can feel isolated at home, and there’s less opportunity to network or learn from other people, especially if they’re a new recruit. Also, city centres may suffer most from a change in working habits. Shops and cafes rely on the footfall of office workers, and without them, they face closure. The future is still uncertain, which is why it may be too early to say where our desks will be permanently located. But the office of the future may be your home.

词汇表

white-collar worker 白领工人,从事脑力劳动的人
work from home 居家办公
out of bounds 禁止入内
working practice 工作惯例
employee 员工
home working 在家工作
task 工作,任务
commute 上下班往返,通勤
productive 有效率的
permanent arrangement 长久之计
employer 雇主
staff 全体员工
full-time 全日制的,全天的
firm 公司
social distancing 社交距离
business 商业机构
remotely 远程地
existential 生存的,存在的
network 建立人脉
new recruit 新员工

测验与练习

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. What do some workers not have to ‘endure’ by working at home?

2. Why has it been difficult for some businesses to accommodate everyone in the office?

3. When will people working at home be returning to the office?

4. True or false? Without office workers, cafes and shops in city centres may have to close.

5. What might you miss out on by permanently working from home?

2. 选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1.I always find I am most _______ in the mornings after drinking a strong cup of coffee.

productive                     production                     productives              producing

2. The island is _______ located. It’s off the west coast of Scotland.

remote                          remoteness                   remotely                   remoted

3. If you want to get on in your career, you need to _______.

commute                       social distance              network                    recruit

4. It’s good _______ to turn the power off on your TV before going to bed.

practices                        practicing                      practise                    practice  

5. My new job is great; I get paid more and there’s just a short _______ to the office.

footfall                           commute                       existential                 tasks

答案

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。  

1. What do some workers not have to 'endure' by working at home?
Home workers do not have to endure commuting to work.

2. Why has it been difficult for some businesses to accommodate everyone in the office?
They are finding it hard accommodating large numbers of staff while social distancing regulations were still in place.

3. When will people working at home be returning to the office?
The future is still uncertain, which is why it may be too early to say where our desks will be permanently located.

4. True or false? Without office workers, cafes and shops in city centres may have to close.
True. Shops and cafes rely on the footfall of office workers, and without them, they face closure.

5. What might you miss out on by permanently working from home?
Some employees can feel isolated working at home and there’s less opportunity to network or learn from other people, especially if they’re a new recruit.

2.  选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. I always find I am most productive in the mornings after drinking a strong cup of coffee.

2. The island is remotely located. It’s off the west coast of Scotland.

3. If you want to get on in your career, you need to network.

4. It’s good practice to turn the power off on your TV before going to bed.                 

5. My new job is great; I get paid more and there’s just a short commute to the office.


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