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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam on the topic of spending more time in the workplace.

Click here to get my full essay PDFs, here for my online courses, and here for my corrections service.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay General Training: Workplace Hours

In many countries, people are spending more time in their workplace.

Why is this?

Is this a negative or positive development?

Real Past IELTS Writing Exam

More and more employees find themselves worker long hours these days. This is chiefly due to the evolving nature of work in the 21st century and it is decidedly not a positive change.

Younger generations today cannot expect to work a traditional 9 to 5 and receive good compensation. In the past, a person collected the majority of their income from salary and was able to afford a car, a home, and a stable family life. Nowadays, salaries are lower relative to living expenses, many good jobs have disappeared as technology improves and companies become more efficient, and investing capital now makes up the major share of income. This shift means the average worker often has to work long hours or take a second job to strive for the same standard of living they remember from childhood. It is unsurprising that many today are therefore discontent with their work-life balance.

This is typically a negative development because it leads to mental health problems. The exception is when an individual has a passion for their job, but few today have the luxury of working in their chosen field. Instead, most must accept jobs they do not love with low salaries. Working long hours, making little money, and not having passion for work can result in the formation of an unhealthy mental state. This ranges according to the individual from mild unhappiness and restlessness to more extreme manifestations such as depression and panic attacks. Many people today have begun self-medicating with alcohol and drugs or turning to a therapist who is only too happy to prescribe mood-altering pharmaceuticals to address the symptoms rooted in large-scale societal problems.

In conclusion, many people work too much today because of lower overall salaries and this worsens mental health. It is important for individuals today to cut back on living expenses to lead a happy life with less money.

Analysis

1. More and more employees find themselves worker long hours these days. 2. This is chiefly due to the evolving nature of work in the 21st century and it is decidedly not a positive change.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear answer to each of the two questions. Read more here about two-part questions.

1. Younger generations today cannot expect to work a traditional 9 to 5 and receive good compensation. 2. In the past, a person collected the majority of their income from salary and was able to afford a car, a home, and a stable family life. 3. Nowadays, salaries are lower relative to living expenses, many good jobs have disappeared as technology improves and companies become more efficient, and investing capital now makes up the major share of income. 4. This shift means the average worker often has to work long hours or take a second job to strive for the same standard of living they remember from childhood. 5. It is unsurprising that many today are therefore discontent with their work-life balance.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Starting by comparing to the past is a good approach.
  3. Use specific details and examples to support your main idea.
  4. State the results.
  5. Finish by relating it back to the overall question.

1. This is typically a negative development because it leads to mental health problems. 2. The exception is when an individual has a passion for their job, but few today have the luxury of working in their chosen field. 3. Instead, most must accept jobs they do not love with low salaries. 4. Working long hours, making little money, and not having passion for work can result in the formation of an unhealthy mental state. 5. This ranges according to the individual from mild unhappiness and restlessness to more extreme manifestations such as depression and panic attacks. 6. Many people today have begun self-medicating with alcohol and drugs or turning to a therapist who is only too happy to prescribe mood-altering pharmaceuticals to address the symptoms rooted in large-scale societal problems.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. You can start with an exception.
  3. Then explain your main idea.
  4. Develop it with specific support.
  5. Give clera specific examples.
  6. Conclude with a strong statement and the fullest possible results.

1. In conclusion, many people work too much today because of lower overall salaries and this worsens mental health. 2. It is important for individuals today to cut back on living expenses to lead a happy life with less money.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought/detail.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

More and more employees find themselves worker long hours these days. This is chiefly due to the evolving nature of work in the 21st century and it is decidedly not a positive change.

Younger generations today cannot expect to work a traditional 9 to 5 and receive good compensation. In the past, a person collected the majority of their income from salary and was able to afford a car, a home, and a stable family life. Nowadays, salaries are lower relative to living expenses, many good jobs have disappeared as technology improves and companies become more efficient, and investing capital now makes up the major share of income. This shift means the average worker often has to work long hours or take a second job to strive for the same standard of living they remember from childhood. It is unsurprising that many today are therefore discontent with their work-life balance.

This is typically a negative development because it leads to mental health problems. The exception is when an individual has a passion for their job, but few today have the luxury of working in their chosen field. Instead, most must accept jobs they do not love with low salaries. Working long hours, making little money, and not having passion for work can result in the formation of an unhealthy mental state. This ranges according to the individual from mild unhappiness and restlessness to more extreme manifestations such as depression and panic attacks. Many people today have begun self-medicating with alcohol and drugs or turning to a therapist who is only too happy to prescribe mood-altering pharmaceuticals to address the symptoms rooted in large-scale societal problems.

In conclusion, many people work too much today because of lower overall salaries and this worsens mental health. It is important for individuals today to cut back on living expenses to lead a happy life with less money.

Answers

more and more increasingly

find themselves are in the situation

chiefly due to mainly because of

evolving nature of work in the 21st century how employment is changing since 2000

decidedly not definitely not

cannot expect should not anticipate

traditional 9 to 5 normal office job

compensation salary

collected made

majority most of

income salary

afford can pay for

stable family life normal family

lower relative to living expenses less money compared to how much things cost

investing capital stocks, land, etc.

makes up forms

major share majority of

shift change

average worker normal person

take a second job get another occupation

strive try for

same standard of living equal living conditions

unsurprising not surprising

therefore discontent it follows they are unhappy

work-life balance enough free time

typically normally

mental health problems psychological issues

exception outside the normal cases

luxury extravagance

chosen field what they want to do

instead however

accept jobs take positions

formation development/starting

unhealthy mental state psychological problems

ranges according to can include

mild unhappiness a bit unhappy

restlessness discontentment

extreme manifestations furthest examples

depression very sad

panic attacks breakdowns

self-medicating using drugs to deal with issues

turning to seeking advice/help from

therapist psychiatrist

only too happy very willing to

prescribe mood-altering pharmaceuticals give drugs to make them happier

address deal with

symptoms effects

rooted in sourced in

large-scale societal problems systemic issues

lower overall salaries less money earned

worsens gets bad

cut back reduce

living expenses rent, food, etc.

lead a happy life have a good life

Pronunciation

mɔːr ænd mɔː 
faɪnd ðəmˈsɛlvz 
ˈʧiːfli djuː tuː 
ɪˈvɒlvɪŋ ˈneɪʧər ɒv wɜːk ɪn ðə ˈtwɛnti fɜːst ˈsɛnʧʊri 
dɪˈsaɪdɪdli nɒt 
ˈkænɒt ɪksˈpɛkt 
trəˈdɪʃənl naɪ tuː faɪv
ˌkɒmpɛnˈseɪʃən
kəˈlɛktɪd 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈɪnkʌm 
əˈfɔːd 
ˈsteɪbl ˈfæmɪli laɪf
ˈləʊə ˈrɛlətɪv tuː ˈlɪvɪŋ ɪksˈpɛnsɪz
ɪnˈvɛstɪŋ ˈkæpɪtl 
meɪks ʌp 
ˈmeɪʤə ʃeə 
ʃɪft 
ˈævərɪʤ ˈwɜːkə 
teɪk ə ˈsɛkənd ʤɒb 
straɪv 
seɪm ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ˌʌnsəˈpraɪzɪŋ 
ˈðeəfɔː ˌdɪskənˈtɛnt 
wɜːk-laɪf ˈbæləns
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)li 
ˈmɛntl hɛlθ ˈprɒbləmz
ɪkˈsɛpʃən 
ˈlʌkʃəri 
ˈʧəʊzn fiːld
ɪnˈstɛd
əkˈsɛpt ʤɒbz 
fɔːˈmeɪʃən 
ʌnˈhɛlθi ˈmɛntl steɪt
ˈreɪnʤɪz əˈkɔːdɪŋ tuː 
maɪld ʌnˈhæpɪnəs 
ˈrɛstlɪsnɪs 
ɪksˈtriːm ˌmænɪfɛsˈteɪʃənz 
dɪˈprɛʃən 
ˈpænɪk əˈtæks
sɛlf-ˈmɛdɪkeɪtɪŋ 
ˈtɜːnɪŋ tuː 
ˈθɛrəpɪst 
ˈəʊnli tuː ˈhæpi 
prɪsˈkraɪb muːd-ˈɔːltərɪŋ ˌfɑːməˈsjuːtɪkəlz 
əˈdrɛs 
ˈsɪmptəmz 
ˈruːtɪd ɪn 
lɑːʤ-skeɪl səˈsaɪətl ˈprɒbləmz
ˈləʊər ˈəʊvərɔːl ˈsæləriz 
ˈwɜːsnz 
kʌt bæk 
ˈlɪvɪŋ ɪksˈpɛnsɪz 
liːd ə ˈhæpi laɪf 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

M______________e employees f________________s worker long hours these days. This is c_______________o the e___________________________________________y and it is d__________________t a positive change.

Younger generations today c__________________t to work a t___________________5 and receive good c_________________n. In the past, a person c_______________d the m_____________y of their i____________e from salary and was able to a___________d a car, a home, and a s________________e. Nowadays, salaries are l____________________________s, many good jobs have disappeared as technology improves and companies become more efficient, and i_______________________l now m_______________p the m_____________e of income. This s________t means the a_________________r often has to work long hours or t_____________________b to s__________e for the s__________________________g they remember from childhood. It is u_____________________g that many today are t____________________t with their w_____________________e.

This is t________________y a negative development because it leads to m_________________________s. The e______________n is when an individual has a passion for their job, but few today have the l____________y of working in their c________________d. I___________d, most must a_____________s they do not love with low salaries. Working long hours, making little money, and not having passion for work can result in the f____________n of an u________________________e. This r_____________________o the individual from m____________________s and r_______________s to more e________________________s such as d_______________n and p__________________s. Many people today have begun s__________________g with alcohol and drugs or t________________o a t_______________t who is o___________________y to p_______________________________________s to a_______________s the s____________s r____________n l__________________________s.

In conclusion, many people work too much today because of l_________________________s and this w____________s mental health. It is important for individuals today to c______________k on l_____________________s to l______________________e with less money.

Listening Practice

Watch the video below for some interesting ideas on this topic:

Reading Practice

Read from the BBC below if your long hours are killing you:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/are-my-long-hours-killing-me/zk2ky9q

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam below:

Work

Do you work or are you a student?

What do you like about your work?

What has changed at your work since you started?

Do you like to work in the morning or afternoon?

IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic then check with my sample answer:

Some people like to spend their leisure time after work with co-workers while others prefer to keep their private life separate from their work life.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

IELTS Writing Exam

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