Business English
Module 1 Business topic

  1.1 Ways of working
  1.2 Making contacts

  1.1 Ways of working
Different ways of working
How to job-share
Working from home

  1.1 Ways of working A mini-presentation
Different ways of working

  1. How do you study most effectively? By working…
* at the same time every day/ at different times of the day? * early in the morning/ late at night? * on your own/ with others? * at home/ at your place of study (school or college)?

  2. Match these ways of working 1-8 to definitions A-I. Do you work in any of these ways?
A You work during different parts of the day (eg. nights).
0 freelance 1 teleworking 2 job-sharing 3 shift-work 4 part-time 5 temping 6 consultancy 7 flexitime 8 hot-desking
B You sell your work or services to a number of different companies. C You work for different companies for a short time without a permanent contract. D You work a number of hours per week or month but you decide when you start or finish. E You don’t have a permanent place or office to work at, but you find a place to work when you arrive. F You work for a company from home via email, phone or the Internet. G You only work for some of the week (not full-time). H You do your job for part of the week and another person does it for the other part. I You aren’t employed by a company, but are paid to give specialist advice.

  3. Work in pairs. Think of some advantages or disadvantages for each way of working in exercise
Ways of working freelance teleworking job-sharing shift-work part-time temping consultancy flexitime hot-desking Possible advantages you choose the job organize your work time more free time gives you your days free more free time lots of variety well paid good for work-life balance saves the company money Possible disadvantages no job security you need to be good at self-organization need to coordinate with other person tiring less money hard to progress your career no job security not good for people who like routine disruptive to employees

  4. Read about job-sharing. Write these headings into each paragraph.
Get organized Open your mind Set your limits Plan for disaster Put pen to paper Find the perfect partner Two become one Don’t feel guilty
How to job-share
Wouldn’t it be nice if the working week finished on Wednesday? With a job-share it can. Here’s the essential guide to making it work. (
  0) Find the perfect partner. Find someone you like. ‘Be prepared to communicate and share credit and blame,’ says Carol Savage, the managing director of Flexecutive, a flexible working consultancy.
Open your mind (
Bosses should consider requests for flexible working from employees with children under six. So embrace the benefits: ‘ Twice as much experience, skills, brainpower and energy,’ Savage says.
Plan for disaster (
Always discuss the worst-case scenarios. When Margaret Mills, a teacher, lost her jobshare partner because of a family illness, a return to full-time work seemed inevitable. ‘We had been over-optimistic. I did manage to find someone else who fitted in with me, but I was very lucky.
  3) Plan the system for handing work over carefully and play to each other’s different strengths. Delegate the workload according to each other’s particular skills and qualities.
Get organized
Set your limits (
Manager should clarify what they expect in terms of hours, availability and results, and employees should manage their employer’s expectations. Sue Osborn, a jobsharer for 21 years, says, ‘We’re often asked to do five-day weeks. Eventually you just have to say no.’
Put pen to paper (
Agree in writing arrangements for holidays, parental leave, retirement, etc. everyone should know where they stand from the beginning.
Don’t feel guilty (
Do not work until 1am at home to make up for not being in the office every day. (
  7) Two become one Clients may not like having to deal with two people working closely together. As Savage says: ‘A job-share should be like a marriage one voice, one unit.’

  1.You will hear a woman called Michela talking about working from home.
  1) What does she say is important when working from home? Have a timetable and stick to it.
  2) What does she think are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this way of working? Advantages: - you spend more time with the children - more flexibility - the company saves money on office space - no commuting Disadvantages: - sometimes you work in the evening - you miss people and office news
2 Listen again and answer the following.
  1) Complete the notes about Michela’s typical day. 7:00 ? get up, get the kids ready 8:30 ? take kids to school 9:00 ? start work 12:00 ? have lunch 14:30 ? finish work
  2) How long has she been with her current employer? How long has she been home-working? She’s been with her current employer since she left school, but she’s been home-working for five years.
  3) Is she doing anything different from normal this week? She’s going to the office every day to meet visitors.
Listening script
I=Interviewer M=Michela I: OK, Michela. You work from home now. Can you tell me about a typical day? M: Sure, I always get up around seven and the first thing I do is get the kids ready for school. I take them at eight thirty and then I always start work at home. I: Do you ever have a day where you decide to have the morning off and start work later? M: No, you can’t do that. It’s important with home-working to have a timetable and stick to it. If you end up watching TV or doing the cleaning then it isn’t for you. So I have lunch at twelve and finish work at two thirty to get the children. I: Was that why you gave up you office job? M: Yes, I wanted to spend more time with the children. It gives me more flexibility. Sometimes I need to work in the evening but usually it isn’t a problem. I: So how long have you been doing this kind of work? M: For about five years. I’ve been with the same company since I left school, but with the Internet and technology it’s easy now to be at home. I: So your employer doesn’t mind.
M: No. It means the company saves money on office space and as long as I get the work done, they’re happy. Sometimes I still go into work to meet clients and so on. For example, I’m going in nearly every day this week because we have visitors from another company and I can’t really invite them over to my house. Besides, it’s nice to go in every so often. I like to see people and catch up on the gossip and the news with my colleagues. I miss that side of going into work every day. I: Is there anything else you miss? M: Ermm. No, not really. And I’ll tell you what I really don’t miss and that’s having to spend two hours commuting on the bus and train every day…
A mini-presentation
A: What is important when …? Job-sharing ? Find someone you like. ? Organize and plan how you share the work. ? ? B: What is important when…? Working from home ? Set up an office space in the house. ? Plan your working hours and your breaks. ? ?

  1.2 Making contacts
Starting a conversation Vocabulary Listening Job responsibilities Reading Speaking Life’s all about making connections Developing a conversation Writing Business correspondence
Job responsibilities
? Tell your partner about your job. Use these expressions and choose the correct preposition. I work of/ for/ about… I’m responsible for/ of/ about… I usually report up/ at/ to… I specialize about/ in/ for I’m involved in/ of/ for… I deal for/ with/ of… I’m in charge for/ of/ to…
Life’s all about making connections
Read the article below about some new networking groups specifically for businesswomen. Choose the best word A, B or C to fill the gaps 1-
  1. A. attending B. going C. meeting
  2. A. ideas B. sugar C. money
  3. A. department B. company C. group
  4. A. work B. charge C. responsible
  5. A. to B. in C. about
To you, networking might mean (
  1) a conference or trade fair event to meet new clients or partners. Or it could be the coffee break at work where you share (
  2) with colleagues in other departments. But nowadays networking has become an event in itself. For example, Pricewaterhouse Coopers offer its female staff a formal networking (
  3) called PwCwomen. With 900 members, it organizes events ranging from informal drinks evenings to coaching events. Tina Hallet, who is (
  4) for the group, says that she got involved (
  5) networking

  6. A. run B. control C. produce
  8. A. do B. see C. make
  10. A. talk B. with C. success

  7. A. speak B. know C. be
  9. A. socializing B. work C. extra
Because ‘I’d got to a reasonably senior level and I wanted to help other people to maximize their potential.’ You don’t have to be senior to (
  6) a network though. Vicky Wood and Sally Hopkins had the idea for the City Girls Network when they first moved into London’s corporate world and wondered how to get to (
  7) other women. ‘We couldn’t find anything for people with no experience. So we thought we’d start our own.’ From twelve friends meeting regularly, it rapidly grew to 250 members from many different organizations. It’s a great way to (
  8) useful contacts and bring in potential business. Fiona Clutterbuck is co-chair of a network for the bank ABN AMRO. ‘Women tend to think of networking as (
  9) and give it low priority.’ but given the chance, women will network ? as the bank’s last ‘speed networking’ event demonstrated. ‘With over100 women and men, it was a great (
  10). It is amazing how many people you get to meet from different parts of the organization.’
Starting a conversation
Listen to four people starting conversations. In each conversation decide where the speakers are making contact. Conversation 1: C A Conversation 2: D Conversation 3: B Conversation 4: A. At a conference B. Over dinner C. In someone’s office D. On a training course
Match the expressions on the left to the responses on the right.

  0. I’d like to introduce you to Mark.
  1. Nice to meet you at last.
  2. Do you two know each other already?
  3. Would you like a coffee?
  4. So have you enjoyed this morning?
  5. Is this your first time at one of these events?
  6. May I join you?
  7. You’re a colleague of Martin Obach, aren’t you?
  8. How do you know him?
  9. How many children do you have?
  10. Have you always lived in Lille?
  11. I know your company is looking for a partner on this Thai project. A. Yes, it is. And you? B. Hello, Marek. How do you do? C. Thanks. D. Pleased to meet you too. E. Sure. F. Two. Twins. G. Yes, most of my life. H. Yes. Is that something you might be interested in …? I. Well, we’ve spoken on the phone a few times. J. Yes, it was very interesting. K. That’s right. He works in our Barcelona office. L. We were both at Elcotil together.
Developing a conversation
Work as a class or in large groups. You are at a networking event, so stand up and walk around. Meet one person and have the conversation below. At the end, move on to a new person.
introduce yourself greet the other person
describe your job
find a reason for doing business in the future
meet another person
talk about the event
talk about where you come from
introduce your partner to someone else
Business correspondence
备忘录(memo),电子邮件(email),普通信件(letter)和便条 (post-it note) 备忘录:是商务信函中的一种,主要用于公司内部对公司的职员、 部门通报信息,如会议安排、情况报告、问题处理等。在英语中称 之为interoffice memorandum,其复数为memoranda,简称memo。 除了可以采用书面形式之外,备忘录也可以通过email发出。英文备 忘录的一般格式如下:
To: From: Date: Subject: Body
Body即内容是备忘录的主要部分,写作应该力求简明、确切。首先 应直入主题,列出最重要的信息,然后可以具体说明事由、情况, 提出意见和建议等,最后可以根据具体情况或重申主题或表示医院 或感谢。需要指出的是,备忘录得末尾不需要签名。

  1. Read the correspondence on Evelyn’s desk and answer these questions.
  1) Is it all related to her work?
  2) Which is formal? What is it about the content and language which tells you this?
  3) Which is ‘international communication’? Did anyone else receive it?
  4) How is the memo different to the letter and the email? Think about the following: - the layout - the beginning and the end - the paragraphs
  5) Find abbreviations which mean the following? - telephone number - as soon as possible - at - Subject (or) With reference to Answer
To: All Staff From: Ray Bonner Date: 24th June Subject: Trial of flexitime system Further to our previous meeting, we are pleased to be able to confirm that the new flexitime system will come into operation as from 1st August. The system applies to all administrative and office staff. May I remind you that any production staff on the current shift system remain unaffected by these changes.
From: evelyn@larbonner.c


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