Questions and responses discussed during our call on the article. Adapted from Linguahouse.com Worksheet.
Why is a healthy workforce good for business?
It reduces absenteeism and improves productivity.
2. What happens on ‘Fruity Friday’? Is this initiative a complete success? Why/why not?
Employees get free fruit. The initiative was not a complete success because the staff eat sweets and biscuits during the rest of the week.
3. What did i-to-i give its staff as a reward? Why did they stop it?
A box full of chocolates. Staff were picking from it all the time, and some of them asked for it to be removed.
4. Why did the firm cancel the Tai Chi classes?
They were arranged too early for enough people to attend.
5. What was the ‘Caledonian Challenge’?
A 54-mile (fifty-four) walk in Scotland through the night
6. Why was the 14-mile hike more popular than the Caledonian Challenge?
It was less challenging.
7.Which key areas does the firm want to focus its health initiatives on?
Eating, exercise and stress release
Answers to the Grammar questions:
I-to-i is trying to improve the well-being of its staff. - present continuous progressif (a temporary, current activity)
ING – entrain de faire qq’chose – progressif
2. The company has already experimented with a few strategies.
Present perfect simple (a completed action that occurred at an unspecified time before now)
3. I-to-i provides opportunities for volunteer travel and training.
Present simple (a habitual or long-term activity in the present)
4. About six months ago, we introduced an initiative called ‘Fruity Friday’.
Past simple (a completed past action or state)
5. It’s become really popular.
Present perfect simple (an action that started in the past and is complete in the present)
Other examples of sentences used in the text:
At least staff at i-to-i are eating less bad food than they used to. (Present continuous - a temporary, current activity)
We get through enormous amounts of sweets and biscuits (present simple - a habitual or long-term activity in the present)
The firm has also tried introducing weekly Tai Chi classes to relieve stress and improve well-being. (Present perfect simple - a completed action that occurred at an unspecified time before now)
We also arranged a 14-mile hike (past simple - a completed action or state in the past)
Discussion points during our call :
What do you think of the initiatives and advice mentioned in this lesson?
Would they be effective or popular in your company?
Has your company introduced any successful/unsuccessful health initiatives?
What changes have they made/did they make to the well-being and productivity of the workforce?
What measures would you introduce to improve well-being in your company?
These are suggestions of corporate wellbeing from specialists.
Dr Frankie Phillips, registered dietitian, The British Dietetic Association
Changing bad habits is hard, but making the healthy choice easier is one solution. ‘Fruity Friday’ is a great initiative, but why only on a Friday if it is so popular? It’s surprising how well fruits like grapes, strawberries and mini tomatoes, and dried fruits like raisins and sultanas, go down as a replacement for biscuits - even in a meeting. So i-to-i could introduce them daily as a fruity break. This can be an economical option if the firm asks a local supplier for seasonal fruits. And why not have a tomato-growing competition in the office? Others have. Coffee and tea in moderation are not as dehydrating as people often think, but I’d also recommend providing water as dehydration can affect our ability to concentrate. If the firm invests in a water cooler, it should place it at the far end of the office, so that staff have to take a mini-break to get a drink.
Neil Adams, managing director, Neil Adams Corporate Health
Lunch-time activities such as a walking club will encourage employees to take a break from their desks, helping to relax tired limbs and reduce eye strain and stress levels. Give staff a large exercise ball to sit on at their desks, instead of a chair - building up slowly to 15 to 30 minutes each day. This will improve posture, breathing technique and encourage the flow of oxygen to the brain. To help replace bad habits with good, make space for health promotion items on your bulletin boards and hold monthly seminars on stress management, food and nutrition. And keep employees motivated by providing them with a wall planner to plot their health routine and list their accomplishments.