The end of the office? 未來辦公室會消失嗎?

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在各國經歷新冠肺炎疫情期間,有許多人都居家辦公。僱主和僱員們都意識到,也許未來人們不再需要辦公室。本文討論辦公室的終結是否會來到,以及這為什麼對於人們來說是幾家歡喜幾家愁。

詞彙: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.

詞彙表

white-collar worker 白領工人,從事腦力勞動的人
work from home 居家辦公
out of bounds 禁止入內
working practice 工作慣例
employee 員工
home working 在家工作
task 工作,任務
commute 上下班往返,通勤
productive 有效率的
permanent arrangement 長久之計
employer 僱主
staff 全體員工
full-time 全日制的,全天的
firm 公司
social distancing 社交距離
business 商業機構
remotely 遠程地
existential 生存的,存在的
network 建立人脈
new recruit 新員工

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

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. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

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.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

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.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

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.