stress of workplace ielts reading passage answers ieltsxpress

Stress of Workplace IELTS Reading Passage

Stress of Workplace IELTS Reading Passage with Answers

READING PASSAGE 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.

Stress of Workplace

A
How busy is too busy? For some it means having to miss the occasional long lunch; for others, it means missing lunch altogether. For a few, it is not being able to take a “sickie” once a month. Then there is a group of people for whom working every evening and weekend is normal, and frantic is the tempo of their lives. For most senior executives, workloads swing between extremely busy and frenzied. The vice-president of the management consultancy AT Kearney and its head of telecommunications for the Asia-Pacific region, Neil Plumridge, says his work weeks vary from a “manageable” 45 hours to 80 hours, but average 60 hours.

B
Three warning signs alert Plumridge about his workload: sleep, scheduling and family. He knows he has too much on when he gets less than six hours of sleep for three consecutive nights; when he is constantly having to reschedule appointments; “and the third one is on the family side”, says Plumridge, the father of a three-year-old daughter, and expecting a second child in October. “If I happen to miss a birthday or anniversary, I know things are out of control.” Being “too busy” is highly subjective. But for any individual, the perception of being too busy over a prolonged period can start showing up as stress: disturbed sleep, and declining mental and physical health. National workers’ compensation figures show stress causes the most lost time of any workplace injury. Employees suffering stress are off work an average of 16.6 weeks. The effects of stress are also expensive. Comcare, the Federal Government insurer, reports that in 2003-04, claim costs. Experts say the key to dealing with stress is not to focus on relief – a game of golf or a massage – but to reassess workloads. Neil Plumridge says he makes it a priority to work out what has to change; that might mean allocating extra resources to a job, allowing more time or changing expectations. The decision may take several days. He also relies on the advice of colleagues, saying his peers’ coach each other with business problems. “Just a fresh pair of eyes over an issue can help,” he says.

C
Executive stress is not confined to big organisations. Vanessa Stoykov has been running her own advertising and public relations business for seven years, specializing in work for financial and professional services firms. Evolution Media has grown so fast that it debuted on the BRW Fast 100 list of fastest-growing small enterprises last year – just after Stoykov had her first child. Stoykov thrives on the mental stimulation of running her own business. “Like everyone, I have the occasional day when I think my head’s going to blow off,” she says. Because of the growth phase, the business is in, Stoykov has to concentrate on short-term stress relief – weekends in the mountains, the occasional “mental health” day – rather than delegating more work. She says: “We’re hiring more people, but you need to train them, teach them about the culture and the clients, so it’s actually more work rather than less.”

D
Identify the causes: Jan Elsnera, Melbourne psychologist who specialises in executive coaching, says thriving on a demanding workload is typical of senior executives and other high-potential business people. She says there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress: some people work best with high-adrenalin periods followed by quieter patches, while others thrive under sustained pressure. “We could take urine and blood hormonal measures and pass judgement of whether someone’s physiologically stressed or not,” she says. “But that’s not going to give us an indicator of what their experience of stress is, and what the emotional and cognitive impacts of stress are going to be.”

E
Elsner’s practice is informed by a movement known as positive psychology, a school of thought that argues “positive” experiences – feeling engaged, challenged, and that one is making a contribution to something meaningful – do not balance out negative ones such as stress; instead, they help people increase their resilience over time. Good stress, or positive experiences of being challenged and rewarded, is thus cumulative in the same way as bad stress. Elsner says many of the senior business people she coaches are relying more on regulating bad stress through methods such as meditation and yoga. She points to research showing that meditation can alter the biochemistry of the brain and actually help people “retrain” the way their brains and bodies react to stress. “Meditation and yoga enable you to shift the way that your brain reacts, so if you get proficient at it you’re in control.”

F
The Australian vice-president of AT Kearney, Neil Plumridge, says: “Often stress is caused by our setting unrealistic expectations of ourselves. I’ll promise a client I’ll do something tomorrow, and the [promise] another client the same thing, when I really know it’s not going to happen. I’ve put stress on myself when I could have said to the clients: ‘Why don’t I give that to you in 48 hours?’ The client doesn’t care.” Overcommitting is something people experience as an individual problem. We explain it as the result of procrastination or Parkinson’s law: that work expands to fill the time available. New research indicates that people may be hard-wired to do it.

G
A study in the February issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that people always believe they will be less busy in the future than now. This is a misapprehension, according to the authors of the report, Professor Gal Zauberman, of the University of North Carolina, and Professor John Lynch, of Duke University. “On average, an individual will be just as busy two weeks or a month from now as he or she is today. But that is not how it appears to be in everyday life,” they wrote. “People often make commitments long in advance that they would never make if the same commitments required immediate action. That is, they discount future time investments relatively steeply.” Why do we perceive a greater “surplus” of time in the future than in the present? The researchers suggest that people underestimate completion times for tasks stretching into the future and that they are bad at imagining the future competition for their time.

Questions 14-18
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-D) with opinions or deeds below.
Write the correct letter A-D, in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

A Jan Elsnera
B Vanessa Stoykov
C Gal Zauberman
D Neil Plumridge

14 Work stress usually happens in the high level of a business.
15 More people’s ideas involved would be beneficial for stress relief
16 Temporary holiday sometimes doesn’t mean less work.
17 Stress leads to the wrong direction when trying to satisfy customers.
18 It is not correct that stress in the future will be eased more than now.

Stress of Workplace IELTS Reading Passage ieltsxpress.comStress of Workplace IELTS Reading Passage ieltsxpress.com

Questions 19-21
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 19-21 on your answer sheet.

19 Which of the following workplace stress is NOT mentioned according to Plumridge in the following option?

A Not enough time spend on family
B Unable to concentrate on work
C Inadequate time of sleep
D Alteration of appointment

20 Which of the following solution is NOT mentioned in helping reduce the work pressure according to Plumridge?

A Allocate more personnel
B Increase more time
C Lower expectation
D Do sports and massage

21 What is the point of view of Jan Elsnera towards work stress?

A Medical test can only reveal part of the data needed to cope with stress
B Index somebody samples will be abnormal in a stressful experience
C Emotional and cognitive affection is superior to a physical one
D One well a designed solution can release all stress

Questions 22-27
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage
Using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 22-27 on your answer sheet.

Statistics from National worker’s compensation indicate stress plays the most important role in 22__________ which cause the time losses. Staffs take about 23__________ for absence from work caused by stress. Not just time is our main concern but great expenses generated consequently. An official insurer wrote sometime that about 24__________ of all claims were mental issues whereas nearly 27% costs in all claims. Sports such as 25__________, as well as 26__________ could be a treatment to release stress; However, specialists recommended another practical way out, analyse 27__________ once again.


Stress of Workplace IELTS Reading Passage Answers

14. A

15. D

16. B

17. D

18. C

19. B

20. D

21. A

22. workplace injury

23. 16.6 weeks

24. 7%

25. golf

26. massage

27. workloads


Stress of Workplace IELTS Reading Answers Explanation

14. Work stress usually happens at the high level of a business.

Answer: A
Supporting Sentence: Jan Elsner, a Melbourne psychologist who specializes in executive coaching, says thriving on a demanding workload is typical of senior executives and other high-potential business people.
Keyword: Workload
Keyword Location: Section D, 2nd line
Explanation: According to Jan Elsner, a Melbourne psychologist points out a demanding workload usually happens at a high level of business or with the senior executives of the company. But the work stress can be taken differently with different people. Some might perform excellently during work stress bringing out the best in them while others may succumb to the stress. Secondly, we cannot define the intensity of stress one experiences and what will be the emotional and cognitive impacts of the stress. Besides, taking the urine and blood hormonal samples, we can determine whether the person is psychologically stressed or not.


15. More people’s ideas would be beneficial for stress relief.

Answer: D
Supporting Sentence: Experts say the key to dealing with stress is not to focus on relief – a game of golf or a massage – but to reassess. Neil Plumridge says he makes it a priority to work out what has to change; that might mean allocating extra resources to a job, allowing more time or changing expectations. The decision may take several days. He also relies on the advice of colleagues, saying his peers coach each other with business problems. “Just a fresh pair of eyes over an issue can help,” he says.
Keyword: Stress
Keyword Location: Section B, 12th line
Explanation: Most people believe that the best way to deal with work stress is to focus on activities that work as a stress buster for you, maybe some sports activities, shopping, painting, dancing, etc. But according to the experts, the best way to deal with your stress is to reassess your workload. Neil Plumbridge has prioritized work out on the things which need modification like allocation of extra resources to work, assigning more time to a certain project, or resetting the daily targets according to his potential. Besides figuring it out by own, he gives due importance to his colleagues’ advice. According to him, his colleagues act as the best business coach for them, and also, a second thought gives you a better analysis of the situation. Though this process requires some extra time, the results give you a stress-free mind frame to work.


16. Temporary holidays sometimes don’t mean less work.

Answer: B
Supporting Sentence: Stoykov has to concentrate on short-term stress relief – weekends in the mountains, the occasional “mental health” day – rather than delegating more work.
Keywords: Stress relief, weekends
Keyword Location: Section C, 7th line
Explanation: Working constantly for days affects your mental health. Work stress doesn’t have an area of scope i.e., in a big organization, even the players of the startup company go through the same level of mental trauma as the members of the big organization. Vanessa Stoykov’s media and advertising company, Evolution Media debuted in the BRW Fast 100 list of fastest-growing small enterprises just after she delivered her first baby. Working constantly under pressure to make her business run smoothly, she has to put in a lot of effort and handle a lot of stress. But there comes a saturation point where you need some short-term stress relief weekends to buckle up yourself, get back your mental strength and come back again to the field.


17. Stress leads to a wrong direction when trying to satisfy customers.

Answer: D
Supporting Sentence: Often stress is caused by our setting unrealistic expectations of ourselves. I’ll promise a client I’ll do something tomorrow, and then promise another client the same thing when I really know it’s not going to happen. Over-committing is something people experience as an individual problem.
Keywords: expectations, clients
Keyword Location: Section F, 2nd line
Explanation: The Australian vice-president of AT Kearney, Neil Plumridge feels that a person keeps setting unrealistic goals for himself and then ends up being stressed and unmotivated. But such situations can simply be avoided by setting some real targets. The client’s only motive is to get his work done irrespective of how overburdened you feel. But unrealistic commitments will lend you to over-stressed situations and loss of credibility. Neil Plumridge calls this situation procrastination or Parkinson Law that states, “work expands to fill the time available”. This simply means even if the task can be accomplished in a short time frame, we keep stretching it till the deadline.


18. It is not correct that stress in the future will be eased more than now.

Answer: C
Supporting Sentence: A study in the February issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that people always believe they will be less busy in the future than now. This is a misapprehension, according to the authors of the report, Professor Gal Zauberman, of the University of North Carolina, and Professor John Lynch, of Duke University.
Keywords: future
Keyword Location: Section G, 2nd line
Explanation: A study highlighted by the Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that people have this general belief that work stress will be reduced in the future as they are more likely to be less busy as of now. But the author of the report, Professor Gal Zauberman, of the University of North Carolina, and Professor John Lynch, of Duke University, believe that this is a big misconception. People will be as busy in the future as they are now, but the only difference is they make long-term commitments and get ample time to finish the work. In the immediate situation, these commitments will become vague due to the amount of workload and stress they bring with them.


19. Which of the following workplace stress is NOT mentioned according to Plumridge in the following option?

Answer: B
Supporting Sentence: Three warning signs alert Plumridge about his workload: sleep, scheduling and family. He knows he has too much on when he gets less than six hours of sleep for three consecutive nights; when he is constantly having to reschedule appointments; “and the third one is on the family side”,
Keywords: Sleep, family
Keyword Location: Section B, 1st line
Explanation: According to Plumridge, his work stress is defined around three areas, i.e., sleep, family, and schedule. These three areas are warnings about his workload. When Plumridge is under great work stress, he is not able to have the minimum six hours of required sleep, he has to reschedule his appointments and meetings again and again to accomplish his current tasks and he even can’t get to spend quality time with his family. IELTSXpress Therefore, the correct option is B (Unable to concentrate on work) as it has not been mentioned is the three work stress of Plumridge.


20. Which of the following solution is NOT mentioned in helping reduce the work pressure according to Plumridge?

Answer: D
Supporting Sentence: Neil Plumridge says he makes it a priority to work out what has to change;that might mean allocating extra resources to a job, allowing more time or changing expectations.
Keywords: time, expectations,
Keyword Location: Section B, 14th line
Explanation: There is a general notion that to combat stress you must engage in some stress-releasing activities like golf or a massage to reduce your stress. But experts say that the correct way to deal with stress is not stress relief activities but a reassessment of your work. Neil Plumridge has prioritized analyzing his work and making necessary changes by allocating some new resources to the job, limiting the daily targets to cope with his working capacities, hence expecting low and increasing the deadline of the assigned task to complete it without stress. Therefore, the correct option is D (Do sports and massage)


21. What is the point of view of Jan Elsner towards work stress

Answer: A
Supporting Sentence:We could take urine and blood hormonal measures and pass a judgment of whether someone’s physiologically stressed or not,” she says. “But that’s not going to give us an indicator of what their experience of stress is, and what the emotional and cognitive impacts of stress are going to be.”
Keyword: physiologically stressed
Keyword Location: Section D, 6th line
Explanation: According to Jan Elsner, Melbourne psychologist, it varies from person to person about how they perceive stress. For some stress brings the best out of them and others succumb to it. Medical tests can only diagnose whether the person is psychologically stressed or not but you cannot identify the emotional and cognitive impact of stress. Jan Elsner follows a movement called positive psychology which states that the feeling of being challenged or rewarded helps you in increasing your resilience to bad stress. Most of the senior businessmen find yoga and meditation as their regulator of bad stress. Therefore, the correct option is A (Medical test can only reveal part of the data needed to cope with stress).


22.

Answer: workplace injury
Supporting Sentence: National workers’ compensation figures show stress causes the most lost time of any workplace injury.
Keyword: workplace injury
Keyword Location: Section B, 8th line IELTSXpress
Explanation: National workers’ compensation figures highlight the fact that the time lost in any workplace injury is quite more than that of any other reason. Workplace injury squeezes out more time from your working schedule thus reducing work efficiency. According to the official figures employees take 16.6 weeks of work off due to workplace injury. This clearly shows how stress hampers the working efficiency of the employees resulting in prolonged work leaves.


23.

Answer: 16.6 weeks
Supporting Sentence: Employees suffering stress are off work an average of 16.6 weeks.
Keyword: employees, off work
Keyword Location: Section B, 8th and 9th line
Explanation: Everyone has their mental quotient in dealing with stress. Some people succumb to stress and take work off most of the time to stabilize their mental state. According to the National workers’ compensation figure employees take an average of 16.6 weeks of work off to handle their stress. This fact highlights how work affects the work efficiency of the employees.


24.

Answer: 7%
Supporting Sentence: Comcare, the Federal Government insurer, reports that in 2003-04, claims for psychological injury accounted for 7% of claims but almost 27% of claim costs.
Keyword: claims
Keyword Location: section B, 10th, and 11th line
Explanation: Work stress does not have just a psychological impact but they are also very expensive. According to Comcare, the Federal Government insurer, there were 7% of the insurance claims in the field of psychological injury in 2003-04. This 7% of the insurers claimed 27% of the claim cost, which is a huge amount in terms of proportion. This highlights the fact that work stress not only has an adverse psychological impact but also claims to be very expensive.


25.

Answer: golf
Supporting Sentence: Experts say the key to dealing with stress is not to focus on relief – a game of golf or a massage – but to reassess workloads.
Keywords: stress, relief
Keyword Location: Section B, 12th line
Explanation: Whenever we are high on stress, the first thing which strikes our mind is to engage in some stress-releasing activities like a game of golf or get a relaxing massage to make our mind free. The majority of people feel that this is the right way to deal with stress but according to the experts, the most appropriate method for dealing with stress is reassessing your workload. Figuring out some ways forward to ease up your task.


26.

Answer: massage
Supporting Sentence: Experts say the key to dealing with stress is not to focus on relief – a game of golf or a massage – but to reassess workloads.
Keywords: stress, relief
Keyword Location: Section B, 12th line
Explanation: Whenever we are high on stress, the first thing which strikes our mind is to engage in some stress-releasing activities like a game of golf or get a relaxing massage to make our mind free. The majority of people feel that this is the right way to deal with stress but according to the experts, the most appropriate method for dealing with stress is reassessing your workload. Figuring out some ways forward to ease up your task.


27.

Answer: workloads
Supporting Sentence: Experts say the key to dealing with stress is not to focus on relief – a game of golf or a massage – but to reassess workloads. Neil Plumridge says he makes it a priority to work out what has to change.
Keyword: workload
Keyword Location: Section B, 3rd line
Explanation: Working on some stress buster activities may not be the correct and precise way of dealing with the stress. These activities work as an escape mechanism for our stress whereas the stress quotient remains intact. To reduce your stress, you need to reassess your workload. Reanalyzing your workload will help in better management of the stress. Plumridge prioritizes this method by working on what needs to be changed rather than working on stress-releasing activities. He figures out whether he has to allocate more resources to the job, give some additional time to a particular project or change his expectation regarding a particular project.


Also Check: The MAGIC of KEFIR IELTS Reading Passage

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