Remote Working

"They told me to grow roots. Instead I grew wings."

Louis de Bernières, British Author
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This Business English lesson plan on remote working has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

Remote working has become extremely popular over the last few years. For some people, this may just be the opportunity given to them by their company to work from home. For others, this type of employment has become a vital part of their lifestyle, allowing them to combine work with travelling all around the world as a digital nomad. In this Business English lesson plan on remote working, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as the pros and cons of this kind of work, what kind of careers would be suitable for remote work and how remote working could develop their careers.

This lesson could be taught in tandem with the lesson plan on homeworking. Essentially, homeworking is a form of remote working, whereas remote working can be from any location. Homeworking is usually an option given to employees in the place of a physical office. Remote jobs might not have an office at all. (add to homeworking)

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.

PRE-CLASS ACTIVITIES

Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

The Balance Careers | “The Best Jobs to Work Remotely”

The article contains a list of jobs that would be suitable to do remotely. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. Would they be interested in any of those jobs? Could their job be added to the list? What other jobs can be done remotely?

Video activity
To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.

The video for this class is called “Work and Travel: The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Digital Nomad” by Location Rebel which gives a balanced overview of this type of work.

IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES

The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means, if they agree with it and how it could relate to business. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including what is needed to work remotely, whether they would like to live and work in a variety of countries and the responsibilities of employers to their remote workers.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with remote working such as digital nomad, freelancer and digital workplace. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about remote working. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as how to keep motivated as a digital nomad, how remote work can affect a career and whether this kind of work will be more or less popular in the future.

HOMEWORK

After the class, students will write about how their companies could set up digital workplaces for employees and why they might want to do this. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.

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