BOX SET: 6 Minute English - 'Business & Work 2' English mega-class! 30 minutes of new vocabulary!

BOX SET: 6 Minute English - 'Business & Work 2' English mega-class! 30 minutes of new vocabulary!

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Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English.  I’m Neil. And I’m Sam - still working from home,  as you can hear. But for many, 

the return to the office has begun. And to make things safe,  new thermal cameras are being installed in some workplaces.  They measure body temperature to screen for coronavirus. After weeks of working at home the return to the office is slowly  getting underway in a number of countries. But workplaces are having to change in this coronavirus era. 

Lots of companies are rushing to install technology to  make offices and workplaces safer. Sensors that monitor our movements,  smartphone apps that alert us if we get too close to workmates  and even devices that take our temperature could all  become the new normal – that's a phrase we hear  a lot these days, meaning a previously unfamiliar  situation that has become usual and expected. In this programme, we’ll take a look at how this  technology works and ask if it really is the answer  we’re looking for. But first, today’s quiz question. The thermal cameras I mentioned  screen for coronavirus by recording skin temperature  in the area of the body which most closely resembles  the internal body temperature - but which area is that? Is it: a) the eye b) the ear, or  c) the nose? I’ll say a) the eye. OK, Sam. We’ll find out later if you were right. 

Now, as employees slowly return to work, tech companies are busy finding ways for  them to do so safely. One such company, ‘Microshare’,  is managed by Charles Paumelle. He spoke to BBC World Service programme  Tech Tent to explain a possible solution. The technology that we are offering is using Bluetooth wristbands or  tags that people are wearing within the workplace which detect  proximity events. When the proximity event has been recorded, it's been 

saved by the company in case they need to, further down the line,  retrace the steps of a certain person who has been declared as  infected and inform anyone else they may have been in contact with. One important way to control coronavirus involves contact tracing.  This means that someone who tests positive for the disease informs everyone else  they’ve been in contact with. Microshare’s system for  this uses Bluetooth - technology that allows computers,  mobile phones and other devices to communicate with each other without  being connected by wires. Employees wear Bluetooth wristbands which register when workers  come into close proximity – how near a person is to another person. Anyone who has been close to a workmate will then know they have to take action  if that person is found to have  coronavirus later down the line – in the future.

Wearing wristbands, monitoring data on smartphones  and being recorded by cameras – it all feels like quite a big  invasion of privacy, doesn’t it? It certainly does, and although some argue  that such measures are necessary in these unprecedented times,  others are worried about the possible consequences.  Here’s human rights lawyer, Ravi Naik, with a warning: From a human rights perspective, you have to try to ask,  are you trying to use tech for tech’s sake is this actually going to facilitate  an understanding of who is safe to go back to work or not?  And if not, what’s the necessity  of this because it’s such a significant interference with basic human rights.  There has to be a high level of evidential justification to deploy  this type of technology and I just don't think it's there. Ravi questions whether these devices will actually help identify who can  return to work, or whether the technology  is being used for its own sake – an expression meaning doing something  because it is interesting and enjoyable, not because you need to. Ravi’s work as a lawyer involves finding proof that  something is right or wrong. If people’s human rights are being  interfered with, he thinks there has to be evidential justification –  explanation of the reasons why something is the right thing to do,  based on evidence. Like the evidence from screening body temperature…

…which bring us back to today’s quiz  question. Remember I asked you which part of the body is scanned  by thermal cameras to measure body temperature. And I said a) the eye.

And you were absolutely right! There’s a small area of the eye  close to the tear ducts which is the most accurate part of the  skin for measuring body temperature. Well, there you go. We’ve been discussing how thermal cameras  and other workplace devices being used to prevent coronavirus are becoming  the new normal – a previously unfamiliar situation that is becoming normalised. Some of these devices are wristbands with Bluetooth – technology allowing  computers and smartphones to communicate remotely without wires. They can  identify work colleagues who have been in close proximity – in other words,  near to each other.

That will be helpful if one of them tests positive  for coronavirus further down the line – at some point in the future. The coronavirus pandemic has caused massive changes  in workplaces around the world  but some critics are concerned that contact tracing technology  is being used for its own sake - because it is interesting and  enjoyable to do, rather than being absolutely necessary. And since much of the new tech invades personal privacy  it should only be introduced with evidential justification –  explanation of why it is the right thing to do, based on evidence.

Unfortunately, that’s all we’ve got time for,  but remember to join us again. Bye for now! Bye! Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English.  I’m Georgina. And I’m Rob. Rob, what’s the best job you’ve ever had? Err well, this one, of course! It’s very creative,  with lots of variety. OK, any other reasons? Well, yes – it’s a permanent job - a staff job - with regular  income and a pension.

Yes, these things can be important, but have you  ever been freelance – by that I mean, working  for yourself and selling  your skills and services to different businesses? Well, I worked as a paperboy once – delivering newspapers.  But not really – it’s a risky way to earn an income. It can be Rob. But many people choose to, or have to work as  a freelancer to survive.  And that’s what we’re talking about in this programme.  But let’s start with a question for you, Rob.

OK. This is about job titles back in the 19th Century,  what kind of job was a drummer? Were they… a)  someone who played the drums, b) a travelling salesman  or c) a music publicist – who drums up –  meaning encourages, support for a band? Well, it’s got to be  someone who plays the drums - t hat’s my kind of job! OK, Rob, we’ll find out if that’s right at the  end of the programme. But let’s talk more about  work now. Long gone are the days of a job 

for life, where you spent your adult life working  your way up the career ladder at the same company. Yes, that’s right. We work in many different ways  now because the needs of businesses change frequently and  it needs to be agile – changing the size and type  of work force in order to meet demand.

So, people need to adapt and some choose to work  for themselves, offering their skills to different  businesses as and when they are needed. But it can  also be a lifestyle choice, as we’re about to find out. Yes, some people have chosen to become self-employed –  working for themselves - but also, because of the  recent coronavirus pandemic, some people have been forced  into this situation. Let’s hear from Carla Barker, who set up  her own business after giving up her regular job. 

She told BBC Radio 4’s programme You and Yours how she felt… You know the idea of giving up a solid, permanent, full-time,  paid, comfortable, role is a bit petrifying… It is super-scary  because … you then have that fear of ‘oh my goodness can we  do this’? You also have things creeping in that say you know  like self-sabotage – are you good enough to do this?  Are people going to want to take me on as a business? So, Carla decided to go it alone – an informal way of saying work  for herself. She described giving up a full-time job as petrifying  – so frightening you can’t speak or move. She may have been  exaggerating slightly but she also said it was ‘super-scary’! I guess working for yourself must be scary as you’re  solely responsible for your own success. It’s no surprise  Carla had feelings of self-sabotage – having doubts  and fears that stopped her achieving something.

Luckily, she persisted and things went well. And many other people  who have become self-employed or freelance have overcome the  fear and discovered the benefits. Like Fiona Thomas, who’s the author of a book called ‘Ditch the 9 to 5  and be your Own Boss’. She also spoke to the BBC’s You and  Yours programme and explained why she gave up the 9 to 5 – the regular,  full-time staff job – and how it helped her… A kind of combination of wanting  some creative fulfilment from a job, compared to the job that I was  in before, which was very much customer based and working face-to-face  in hospitality. But I also wanted the flexibility to accommodate my mental  health because I suffer from depression and anxiety and I found working in a  rigid schedule and being in front of a lot of people all the time really  exacerbated a lot of my symptoms. And I also wanted the financial freedom 

to be able to, over time, increase my income without just having to wait  on being promoted or getting a pay rise in traditional employment. So, working for herself gave Fiona a good feeling that she achieved something  she wanted to do – it gave her creative fulfilment. It also meant she  could work more flexibly and that helped her with her mental health  because she didn’t have to follow a fixed rota of tasks. And it gave her financial freedom – meaning the money she earned was  not controlled by someone else,  and she didn’t have to wait for someone else to give her a  pay rise. Of course, that can be risky too.

Let’s get back to my quiz question now, Rob. Earlier I asked you  if you knew what job a drummer used to do back in the 19th Century? And obviously, a drummer plays the drums! Well, you are sort of right but a  drummer also used to be an informal way of describing  a travelling salesperson – because their job was to  drum up business for a company – meaning they tried  to increase sales. Ahh very interesting, although I know which drummer I  would rather be – a freelance drummer in a rock band! And freelance is one of the words we’ve mentioned today. 

To freelance means to work for yourself, selling your  skills or services to different businesses. Becoming self-employed can be petrifying – frightening, so you can’t speak  or move. And starting out on your own can lead to self-sabotage –  having doubts and fears that stop you achieving something.

But it can also give you fulfilment – a good feeling of achieving  something for yourself. And having financial freedom means  being able to control how you earn and use your money. That’s it for this programme. We have plenty more 6 Minute English  programmes to enjoy on our website at 

And check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Bye for now. Goodbye. Hello. This is 6 Minute English. I'm Sam. And I'm Rob. Before you got your first job, Rob, did you do any work experience? I think I may have done a day or two at some companies,  just shadowing, watching how they did things – but nothing  much more than that.

Some companies offer students or recent graduates what they call  internships. These are extended periods of work experience where  someone can be working full-time without an actual contract and  in many cases without even being paid. Ah – yes. This is a bit of a problem, isn’t it? Some companies are being 

accused of using students and graduates as cheap or free labour. Yes, although the counter argument is that internships are valuable experience  for people who need it before they can get a ‘real’ job. Well, we’ll look  at this topic a little more after this week’s quiz question. On the topic of 

business and companies, which is the oldest stock exchange in the world? Is it: A: Bombay  B: New York C: Amsterdam What do you think, Rob? Tricky, because I was expecting London on that list. I’m going to take a guess  then at Amsterdam. OK. Well, I will reveal the answer later in the programme. James Turner is the  chief executive of an education charity. Recently he took part in a discussion on the  BBC radio programme You and Yours, on the topic of internships. What does 

he think is a big issue with unpaid internships? In many careers we’re now seeing that it’s almost as an expectation  that a young person does an internship before they stand a chance of getting  that first full-time job in that profession, and the issue with that  from a sort of social mobility point  of view is that a substantial proportion of those internships are unpaid and that  effectively rules out those who can’t afford to work for free. So what is the problem with unpaid internships, Rob? Well, if you can’t afford to work for free, it makes it very difficult to  do an internship – particularly in expensive cities like London.  This excludes, or rules out a lot  of people from the benefits of an internship. This is bad for social mobility, which is the ability of people to move  to higher, better paid levels in society. So the poorer you are the more 

difficult it can be to get a good job, even if you have the ability. Could you afford to work for free here in London, Sam? No, I can barely afford to live in London as it is, so the idea  of doing an unpaid internship would not appeal to me at all.  Turner goes on to talk about other issues that are also  problematic in internship programmes.

Too often internships are open to those with established connections  in the professions and again that rules out those young people who  don’t have the well-connected families  or friends who can open those doors for them. So what are these other issues? Rob In many cases he says that  internship opportunities are only available to those with  established connections to the company or industry. This means they have some  pre-existing link with the  company, for example, through family or friends’ families.

Yes, it’s a lot easier if your family is well-connected,  if it has a lot of contacts and links to a particular company  or important people in that company. These links make it easier to open doors to the opportunity.  To open doors is an expression that means to get access to. So it seems that to be able to do an unpaid internships  you need to have a fair bit of money and to get an internship  in the first place you may need to have a previous link  to the company through a family connection, for example. So the system would seem to be difficult for poorer families and make it more  difficult for students without those resources or connections  to get on the job ladder. Here’s James Turner again.

Too often internships are open  to those with established connections in the professions and again that rules  out those young people who don’t have the well-connected families  or friends who can open those doors for them. Right, time now to answer this week’s question. which is the oldest  stock exchange in the world? Is it:  A: Bombay B: New York  C: Amsterdam Rob, what did you say? I went for Amsterdam.

Well done, that’s correct.  Congratulations to everyone who go that right and  xtra bonus points if you know the date. Rob? Haven’t a clue! 1750? Actually it’s a lot earlier, 1602. Wow, that’s much earlier than I thought. Right, let’s have a look again at today’s vocabulary. We’ve been talking about  internships which are periods of work at companies as a way for students  or new graduates to get experience in a particular field.

If they are unpaid it can make social mobility very difficult.  This is the movement from a lower social level to a higher one and  it’s difficult as poorer candidates can’t afford to work for free. Yes, the cost rules them out, it excludes them from the opportunity.

What helps is if you have established connections with a company.  This refers to previous or pre-existing links with a company. And also if your family is well-connected, if it has  good connections,  for example if your father plays golf with the CEO,  it can open doors, or in other words,  it can make it easier to get into the company. So Sam, are you well-connected? No, only to my smartphone! Same here – but we still made  it to BBC Learning English and you can find more from us online,  on social media and on our app. But for now, that’s all  from 6 Minute English. See you again soon. Bye bye!

Bye everyone! Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English.  I’m Neil. And I’m Georgina. After working together at BBC Learning English for many  years, Georgina, you and  I have a good working relationship, don’t we? Sure, I think we make a great team! But have you ever had a boss who you just couldn’t work with? Oh, you mean a bad boss – someone you just can’t get on with,  no matter how hard you try.  Yes, I’ve had one or two over the years – not you of course, Neil! I'm glad to hear it, Georgina! Often this happens because  workers feel they aren’t listened to by managers. 

Or it might be because most  companies are hierarchies - systems of organising people  according to their level of importance. Managers on top, workers down below. But in this programme we hear from companies who’ve got rid  of managers and say it has helped them do a better job,  made them happier and saved money. We’ll meet a self-managing company which isn’t hierarchical and has  no boss. And of course we’ll be learning some new vocabulary  along the way. But first, today’s quiz question. One of the biggest problems 

in hierarchies is the excess cost of management and  bureaucracy. But how much is that estimated to cost the US economy  every year? Is it: a) 3 million dollars,  b) 3 billion dollar, or c) 3 trillion dollars? I’ll say c) 3 trillion dollars – that’s one followed by   twelve zeros - a lot of money! OK, Georgina, we’ll find out later if you’re right. Now, one of  the first companies to experiment successfully with self-management  was Californian tomato grower Morning Star. 

Here’s one of their employees, Doug Kirkpatrick, talking to Dina  Newman for the BBC World Service programme, People Fixing the World: The first principle was that human beings should not use force or coercion  against other human beings. And the second principle was that people should  keep the commitments they make to each other and so we adopted  them as pretty much the entire governance of the enterprise. Because Morning Star has no bosses, decisions are made by all employees  equally without coercion – the use of force to persuade  someone to do something they do not want to do. As self-managers, employees can’t tell other employees what to do.  Everything is based on requesting someone to act and them responding. This motivates and empowers workers but also means they must keep  their commitments - promises or firm decisions to do something  when requested.

This way of working is great for some – they feel  listened to and have a voice in how the company is run. But Dina questions whether this is true for everybody  working at Morning Star: Would it be true to say that a self-managed company like  yours empowers people who are already very good and it  leaves behind those who are not so good? I’m not sure I accept the phrase ‘left behind’. There are some  people who take full advantage of this environment; others  take less advantage but they do benefit because  their voice is respected, when they do propose something  it must be listened to, they are not subject to  force and coercion and if they don’t act according  to their commitments they can be held accountable by anyone. Having no bosses sounds great,  but the extra responsibility can create more work and stress. 

Different workers respond to this in different ways  and some employees may be left behind - remain at a lower level  than others because they are not as quick to develop. However other workers enjoy managing themselves and take  full advantage of the system - make good use of the opportunity  to improve and achieve their goals. No matter whether employees are good self-managers or not,  ultimately they are held accountable for their work  performance – asked to accept responsibility for the  consequences of their actions. So, although having no boss sounds good, if things  go wrong, there’s no-one to blame but yourself! So maybe we do need those managers after all – which  reminds me of our quiz question.

You asked me to estimate how much the US economy loses  in excess bureaucracy and managerial costs every year. And you said? c) 3 trillion dollars. Which was absolutely right! Well done! And the cost keeps rising because, of course, the more managers  there are, the more managers you need to manage the managers! Today we’ve been looking at the world of self-management -  companies run without bosses, which, unlike most businesses,  are not based on a hierarchy – system of organising people  according to their level of importance. Instead companies like San Francisco’s Morning Star allow employees to  make their own commitments – promises to act, rather than  using coercion – or forceful   persuasion – to get results. Many employees react positively to this working environment  and take full advantage of it - make good use of the  opportunity to progress or achieve their goals.

However, there is a risk that others who are more comfortable  being managed may get left behind - remain at a lower level than  others because they are not as quick to improve and adapt. But whatever their job role or feelings about self-management,  all workers are held accountable – asked to accept responsibility  for their performance at work. Meaning they take can the credit for when things go well… …but have nobody to hide behind when things go badly! That’s all from us today, but remember to join us again  soon for more topical discussion and related vocabulary here at  6 Minute English, from BBC Learning English. Bye for now. Bye.

Hello. This is 6 Minute English with me, Neil. And me, Sam. Today, we’re talking rubbish. Ooh, that’s a bit harsh – I thought it was  going to be interesting. I mean our topic is about rubbish, not that we are rubbish.

I see. Do go on. Thank you. So the amount of waste  we produce around the world is huge and it’s a growing problem. But, there are some things that we can do, like recycling.  Where I live, I can recycle a lot, and I’m always very careful  to separate - to split my rubbish into paper,  metal, food, plastic and so on.

But is that enough, even if we all do it? We’ll look a  little more at this topic shortly, but first,  as always, a question. Which country recycles  the highest percentage of its waste? Is it: A: Sweden B: Germany  C: New Zealand What do you think, Sam? I’m not sure, but I think it could be  Germany so I’m going to go with that - Germany. OK. We’ll see if you’re right a little bit later on.  The BBC radio programme, Business Daily, recently  tackled this topic. They spoke to Alexandre Lemille, 

an expert in this area. Does he think recycling  is the answer? Let’s hear what he said. Recycling is not the answer to waste from an efficient point of  view because we are not able to get all the waste  separated properly and therefore treated  in the background. The main objective of our model  is to hide waste so we don’t see as urban citizens,  or rural citizens, we don’t see the waste,  it is out of sight and therefore out of mind. What’s his view of recycling? I was a bit surprised, because he said recycling  wasn’t the answer. One reason is that it’s 

not always possible to separate waste you can  recycle from waste you can’t recycle, and that  makes treating it very difficult. Treating means handling  it and using different processes, so it can be used again. And the result is a lot of waste, including  waste that could be recycled but which is  just hidden. And as long as we don’t see it,  we don’t think about it. And he uses a good phrase  to describe this – out of sight, out of mind.  And that’s true, at least for me. 

My rubbish and recycling is collected and I don’t really  think about what happens to it after that. Is as  much of it recycled as I think, or is it just buried,  burned or even sent to other countries?  It’s not in front of my house, so I don’t really  think about it – out of sight, out of mind. Let’s listen again Recycling is not the answer to waste from an efficient  point of view because we are not able to get all the waste  separated properly and therefore treated in the  background. The main objective of our model is to hide waste 

so we don’t see as urban citizens,  or rural citizens, we don’t see the waste, it is out of  sight and therefore out of mind. One possible solution  to this problem is to develop what is called a circular economy. Here’s the presenter of Business Daily, Manuela Saragosa,   explaining what that means. The idea then at the core of a circular economic and business  model is that a product, like say a washing machine  or even a broom, can always be returned to the manufacturer  to be reused or repaired before then sold on again. The point 

is the manufacturer retains responsibility for the  lifecycle of the product it produces rather than  the consumer assuming that responsibility when he or she buys it. So it seems like a simple idea – though maybe very difficult to do. Yes, the idea is that the company that makes a product,  the manufacturer, is responsible for the product, not the  person who bought it, the consumer. So, if the product breaks or reaches the end of its  useful life, its lifecycle, then the manufacturer has to  take it back and fix, refurbish or have it recycled. I guess this would make manufacturers try to make  their products last longer! It certainly would. Let’s listen again.

The idea then at the core of a circular economic and business  model is that a product, like say a washing machine or even a  broom, can always be returned to the manufacturer to be reused  or repaired before then sold on again. The point is the  manufacturer retains  responsibility for the lifecycle of the product  it produces rather than the consumer assuming  that responsibility when he or she buys it. That’s just about all  we have time for in this programme. Before we recycle the vocabulary …

Oh very good, Neil! Before we - thank you, Sam - before we recycle the vocabulary,  we need to get the answer to today’s question.  Which country recycles the highest percentage of its  waste? Is it:  A: Sweden B: Germany  C: New Zealand Sam, what did you say? I think it’s Germany. Well I would like to offer you congratulations because  Germany is the correct answer. Now let’s go over the vocabulary. Of course. To separate means to divide or split  different things, for example,  separate your plastic from your paper for recycling.

Treating is the word for dealing with, for example,  recycled waste. The phrase out of sight, out of mind, means ignoring  something or a situation you can’t see. A manufacturer is the person or company that makes something  and the consumer is the person who buys that thing. And the length of time  you can expect a product to work for is known as its lifecycle.

Well the lifecycle of this programme  is 6 minutes, and as we are there, or thereabouts,  it’s time for us to head off. Thanks for your company and  hope you can join us again soon. Until then, there is  plenty more to enjoy from BBC Learning English online,  on social media and on our app. Bye for now.


2022-09-22 04:51

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