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Summer Holidays Stress Workers Out (23rd July, 2010)


 

A new report reveals that going on summer holiday may be more stressful than working. The study, by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), questioned 2,500 of its members about attitudes towards long summer breaks. It found forty per cent of managers do not come back from a holiday feeling relaxed. A worrying finding was that many workers came back from a holiday more stressed than when they left. Many in lower- and upper-management positions actually work while they are on vacation. The researchers discovered that 80 per cent of those surveyed answer work-related e-mails, around 50 per cent make and take business-related phone calls and 10 per cent go into the office. Over 90 per cent of managers worried about returning to hundreds of e-mails.

Information technology and the weakened global economy are the main causes of managers being unable to de-stress while on holiday. Penny de Valk, chief executive of the ILM, said: "Gone are the days when people cut off contact with work for a fortnight over the summer and made a complete break. While technology means that it is easier than ever to work remotely, it also makes it extremely hard to switch off. Uncertain economic times also mean that many UK employees are keeping one eye on their job at all times, when what they really need is time away from the office to rest and re-energise.” The study also revealed that on average, it takes two days and seventeen hours into a holiday to totally unwind. Ten per cent of managers said it took them up to a week to fully get into holiday mode.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. STRESS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about stress. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

reports / stressful / attitudes / feeling relaxed / management positions / vacation / information technology / de-stress / cut off contact / work remotely / switch off

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. STRESSED: What makes you stressed? Complete this table and talk about it with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard. Change and share again.

 

Stress

How to deal with it

English

 

 

Partners

 

 

Family

 

 

People

 

 

Technology

 

 

Shopping

 

 

4. STRESS OUT: Students A strongly believe scientists will make stress disappear one day; Students B strongly believe our lives will always be full of stress.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
5. UNWIND: Which of these things are best to de-stress? Rank them and share your rankings with your partner. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • music
  • talking to friends
  • alcohol
  • sport
  • going for a walk
  • sleep
  • watching a movie
  • going online

6. HOLIDAY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘holiday’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING


1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).


a.

New research shows it is less stressful to take no holidays.

T / F

b.

Around four in ten managers do not find holidays relaxing.

T / F

c.

Very few managers answer e-mails while they are on vacation.

T / F

d.

Hundreds of managers worry about returning to ninety e-mails.

T / F

e.

Long flights and packing suitcases are the biggest causes of stress.

T / F

f.

The article says it is harder for people to totally disconnect for 2 weeks.

T / F

g.

Many British workers worry about job security while on holiday.

T / F

h.

It takes the average worker over 48 hours to get into holiday mode.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.


1.

reveals

a.

major

2.

questioned

b.

connected

3.

attitudes

c.

de-stress

4.

related

d.

surveyed

5.

returning

e.

disconnected

6.

main

f.

shows

7.

cut off

g.

from afar

8.

remotely

h.

totally

9.

unwind

i.

opinions

10.

fully

j.

coming back

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)


1.

more stressful

a.

feeling relaxed

2.

attitudes towards long

b.

unwind

3.

come back from a holiday

c.

hundreds of e-mails

4.

came back from a holiday more

d.

economy

5.

returning to

e.

with work

6.

the weakened global

f.

than working

7.

cut off contact

g.

mode

8.

Uncertain economic

h.

summer breaks

9.

totally

i.

times

10.

fully get into holiday

j.

stressed


WHILE READING / LISTENING


GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.


A new report ____________ that going on summer holiday may be more stressful than working. The study, by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), questioned 2,500 of its members about ____________ towards long summer breaks. It found forty per cent of managers do not come back from a holiday ____________ relaxed. A worrying finding was that many workers came back from a holiday more stressed than when they ____________. Many in lower- and upper-management positions ____________ work while they are on vacation. The researchers discovered that 80 per cent of those ____________ answer work-related e-mails, around 50 per cent make and take business-____________ phone calls and 10 per cent go into the office. Over 90 per cent of managers worried about ____________ to hundreds of e-mails.

 

 

surveyed
returning
attitudes
left
reveals
related
feeling
actually

Information technology and the ____________ global economy are the main causes of managers being ____________ to de-stress while on holiday. Penny de Valk, chief executive of the ILM, said: "Gone are the days when people ____________ off contact with work for a fortnight over the summer and made a ____________ break. While technology means that it is easier than ever to work remotely, it also makes it extremely hard to ____________ off. Uncertain economic times also mean that many UK employees are keeping one ____________ on their job at all times, when what they really need is time away from the office to rest and re-energise.” The study also revealed that on ____________, it takes two days and seventeen hours into a holiday to totally unwind. Ten per cent of managers said it took them up to a week to ____________ get into holiday mode.

 

 

switch
fully
unable
complete
average
weakened
eye
cut

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps


A new report ______________________ summer holiday may be more stressful than working. The study, by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), questioned 2,500 ______________________ attitudes towards long summer breaks. It found forty per cent of managers do not ______________________ holiday feeling relaxed. A worrying finding was that many workers ______________________ holiday more stressed than when they left. Many in lower- and upper-management positions actually work while they are on vacation. The researchers discovered that 80 per cent ________________________ work-related e-mails, around 50 per cent make and take business-related phone calls and 10 per cent go into the office. Over 90 per cent of managers ______________________ to hundreds of e-mails.
Information technology and the weakened global economy ______________________ of managers being unable to de-stress while on holiday. Penny de Valk, chief executive of the ILM, said: "______________________ when people cut off contact with work for a fortnight over the summer and ______________________. While technology means that it is easier than ever to work remotely, it also makes it extremely ______________________. Uncertain economic times also mean that many UK employees are keeping one eye on their job at all times, when what they ______________________ away from the office to rest and re-energise.” The study also revealed that on average, it takes two days and seventeen hours into a holiday to totally unwind. Ten per cent of managers said it took them ______________________ get into holiday mode.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING


1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘summer’ and ‘holiday’.


summer

holiday
 
 
 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?
4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.
5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • reveals
  • 2,500
  • back
  • lower
  • 80
  • hundreds
  • weakened
  • while
  • complete
  • switch
  • rest
  • unwind

STUDENT STRESS SURVEY


Write five GOOD questions about stress in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.
When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1
_____________

STUDENT 2
_____________

STUDENT 3
_____________

Q.1.
 

 

 

 

Q.2.
 

 

 

 

Q.3.
 

 

 

 

Q.4.
 

 

 

 

Q.5.
 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

STRESS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)


a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘stress’?

c)

What kinds of things stress you out?

d)

Do you think holidays are stressful?

e)

What do you think of managers who can’t stop working even when they’re on holiday?

f)

What are the best ways to reduce stress?

g)

Is stress dangerous?

h)

Should bosses tell managers to totally disconnect while on holiday?

i)

Should workers get paid if they answer phone calls and mails on vacation?


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Does information technology add to or reduce your stress?

c)

Do you find it hard to switch off from e-mail and computers?

d)

What should companies do to make employees take a proper break?

e)

How long does it take you to unwind?

f)

What do you know about stress and its dangers?

g)

What would you say to someone who worked while you were on holiday with them?

h)

Do you ever worry about a full e-mail InBox?

i)

What questions would you like to ask a manager who works on holiday?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE


A new report (1) ____ that going on summer holiday may be more stressful than working. The study, by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), questioned 2,500 of its members about attitudes (2) ____ long summer breaks. It found forty per cent of managers do not come back from a holiday (3) ____ relaxed. A worrying finding was that many workers came back from a holiday more stressed than when they left. Many in lower- and upper-management positions actually work while they are (4) ____ vacation. The researchers discovered that 80 per cent of those surveyed answer work-(5) ____ e-mails, around 50 per cent make and (6) ____ business-related phone calls and 10 per cent go into the office. Over 90 per cent of managers worried about returning to hundreds of e-mails.
Information technology and the weakened global economy are the main (7) ____ of managers being unable to de-stress while on holiday. Penny de Valk, chief executive of the ILM, said: "(8) ____ are the days when people cut off contact with work for a fortnight over the summer and made a complete (9) ____. While technology means that it is easier than ever to work remotely, it also makes it extremely hard to switch off. Uncertain economic times also mean that many UK employees are keeping one (10) ____ on their job at all times, when what they really need is time away from the office to rest and re-energise.” The study also revealed that (11) ____ average, it takes two days and seventeen hours into a holiday to totally unwind. Ten per cent of managers said it took them (12) ____ to a week to fully get into holiday mode.
Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.


1.

(a)

revealing

(b)

reveal

(c)

revealed

(d)

reveals

2.

(a)

towards

(b)

for

(c)

from

(d)

by

3.

(a)

feels

(b)

feeling

(c)

felt

(d)

feel

4.

(a)

in

(b)

at

(c)

on

(d)

by

5.

(a)

relation

(b)

relations

(c)

related

(d)

relationship

6.

(a)

carry

(b)

take

(c)

find

(d)

create

7.

(a)

cause

(b)

caused

(c)

causing

(d)

causes

8.

(a)

Gone

(b)

Come

(c)

Went

(d)

Arrived

9.

(a)

broken

(b)

break

(c)

breaks

(d)

breaking

10.

(a)

leg

(b)

foot

(c)

hand

(d)

eye

11.

(a)

in

(b)

by

(c)

on

(d)

to

12.

(a)

up

(b)

down

(c)

in

(d)

on

WRITING


Write about stress for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about stress. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
3. STRESS: Make a poster about stress. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
4. HOLIDAY STRESS: Write a magazine article about a worker who can’t stop working, even when on holiday. Include imaginary interviews with the worker and his friends.
Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
5. LETTER: Write a letter to a stressed worker. Ask him/her three questions about stress. Give him/her three opinions on stress and how to reduce it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:


a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:


1.

reveals

a.

shows

2.

questioned

b.

surveyed

3.

attitudes

c.

opinions

4.

related

d.

connected

5.

returning

e.

coming back

6.

main

f.

major

7.

cut off

g.

disconnected

8.

remotely

h.

from afar

9.

unwind

i.

de-stress

10.

fully

j.

totally

PHRASE MATCH:


1.

more stressful

a.

than working

2.

attitudes towards long

b.

summer breaks

3.

come back from a holiday

c.

feeling relaxed

4.

came back from a holiday more

d.

stressed

5.

returning to

e.

hundreds of e-mails

6.

the weakened global

f.

economy

7.

cut off contact

g.

with work

8.

Uncertain economic

h.

times

9.

totally

i.

unwind

10.

fully get into holiday

j.

mode

GAP FILL:

Summer holidays stress workers out

A new report reveals that going on summer holiday may be more stressful than working. The study, by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), questioned 2,500 of its members about attitudes towards long summer breaks. It found forty per cent of managers do not come back from a holiday feeling relaxed. A worrying finding was that many workers came back from a holiday more stressed than when they left. Many in lower- and upper-management positions actually work while they are on vacation. The researchers discovered that 80 per cent of those surveyed answer work-related e-mails, around 50 per cent make and take business-related phone calls and 10 per cent go into the office. Over 90 per cent of managers worried about returning to hundreds of e-mails.
Information technology and the weakened global economy are the main causes of managers being unable to de-stress while on holiday. Penny de Valk, chief executive of the ILM, said: "Gone are the days when people cut off contact with work for a fortnight over the summer and made a complete break. While technology means that it is easier than ever to work remotely, it also makes it extremely hard to switch off. Uncertain economic times also mean that many UK employees are keeping one eye on their job at all times, when what they really need is time away from the office to rest and re-energise.” The study also revealed that on average, it takes two days and seventeen hours into a holiday to totally unwind. Ten per cent of managers said it took them up to a week to fully get into holiday mode.
LANGUAGE WORK


1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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