| #1 (permalink) Tue Mar 05, 2013 14:01 pm TOEFL Integrated Essay #3. Please check and rate my essay.
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In the United States, employees typically work five days a week for eight hours each day. However, many employees want to work a four-day week and are willing to accept less pay in order to do so. A mandatory policy requiring companies to offer their employees the option of working a four-day workweek for four-fifths (80 percent) of their normal pay would benefit the economy as a whole as well as the individual companies and the employees who decided to take the option.
The shortened workweek would increase company profits because employees would feel more rested and alert, and as a result, they would make fewer costly errors in their work. Hiring more staff to ensure that the same amount of work would be accomplished would not result in additional payroll costs because four-day employees would only be paid 80 percent of the normal rate. In the end, companies would have fewer overworked and error-prone employees for the same money, which would increase company benefits.
For the country as a whole, one of the primary benefits of offering this option to employees is that it would reduce unemployment rate. If many full-time employees started working fewer hours, some of their workload would have to be shifted to others. Thus, for every four employees who went on an 80 percent week, a new employee could be hired at the 80 percent rate.
Finally, the option of a four-day workweek would be better for individual employees. Employees who could afford a lower salary in exchange for more free time could improve the quality of their lives by spending the extra time with their families, pursuing private interests or enjoying leisure activities.
The reading states that a four-day workweek has many advantages and it provides three reasons of support. However, the professor explains that the benefits mentioned in the passage are not entirely true and he refutes each of the author’s reasons.
First, the reading claims that a four-day workweek is beneficial for the company, since less overworked and error-prone employees will help it gain more profits. The professor refutes this point by saying that this option will make companies add more workers, which requires spending more money in training, health care and office space. As a result, companies will have to face additional costs, so they will gain fewer profits.
Second, the passage states that this option is advantageous for the country’s economy because it reduces unemployment rate. However, the professor says that four-day workweek will not necessarily force companies to hire new employees. According to the professor, companies could ask employees to work overtime or even expect them to do the same amount of work in four days. Therefore, no new job positions will be created at all.
Third, the reading says that this alternative is positive for the employees as it allows them to have more free time and to improve the quality of their lives. The professor opposes to this point by saying that working four days could be harmful for them. He explains that it could jeopardize their job stability and their chances to advance in their careers, because companies would prefer the five-day workers over them.
TOEFL listening discussions: How does Dr Beech characterize the assistantship?
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