Flexible Working

This is a role-play scenario to work on with your teacher.

You will play someone who works in a small startup company. Your teacher will play your manager or HR representative.

The Scenario

You've been assigned to a project which means you're based on-site with a new client. Instead of your normal 30 minute commute to the office, you now have to drive 2 hours each way to get to work.


This is causing problems at home and you're not performing as well as you'd like to.


Discuss the situation with your manager (or HR representative) and see if you can negotiate some flexible working arrangement.

Useful Vocabulary

Current Financial Climate

The state of the economy in general, and the company in particular. "In the current financial climate, we can't afford to upgrade the system"

Leave that/it with me

Said to reassure someone that you understand their problem, will look into it and respond to them

On the ground (2)

Physically located somewhere such as a customer's office. "I'm sorry, I need you on the ground"

To consider your position

Diplomatic way of saying decide whether you want to stay in your job. "I may need to consider my position'

To push back (2)

To argue against something. "The customer is demanding we launch in 2 months, but I'm pushing back"

Working from home (WFH)

To work remotely rather than having to be based in the office. Some people are fully remote; others may WFH 1 day a week

Customer facing

A person, job or system which interfaces directly with your clients or customers

Middle ground

An outcome where no-one gets what they want, but everyone gets something. A compromise

Personal Problems

Things outside work which may be affecting your performance or timekeeping. Implies you don't really want to discuss details

To monitor and review

To see how something develops over time, and discuss it regularly

Trouble at home

Used to indicate there may be a reason your performance or timekeeping isn't as good as usual. Implies you don't really want to discuss details

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