Business | Problems at Work

Episode Description

In this episode, we will talk about some of the most important problems people may face in the workplace. We will learn how to talk about these problems in English. We will cover problems such as health and safety issues, bullying and harassment, racism, and other problems people face at work.

Episode Audio

Episode Transcript

Disclaimer: I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and this problem will be solved. However, the service is pretty good and the transcript will prove to be almost perfect.

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[00:01:03] Continue,

[00:01:07] welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. And thank you for joining us as today. We will talk about something that happens. In every work place, we will talk about problems at work. We will talk about different kinds of problems and the words we can use to describe these problems. First of all, I hope you don’t face any of these problems in your workplace.

[00:01:35] It’s our job to learn how to do it. Talk about these problems in English. So we will talk about health and safety problems at work. We will talk about bullying and harassment, and we will talk about discrimination. So without further ado, let’s start with our first kind of problems. And that is health and safety problems.

[00:02:00] Now, here are some health and safety issues for people at work. We can have the problem of temperature. It could be too hot or too cold. If air conditioning is not working, or if there is no air conditioning in the first place, we have the problem of passive smoking. And that is if smoking is allowed in the workplace.

[00:02:24] So if you don’t smoke and other people are smoking in the workplace, you have this problem of passive smoking. And we have the problem of repetitive strain injury, or for short, we say R S I R repetitive strain injury when you do the same work over and over. And it is specially physical work without taking breaks and without taking the health precautions, not to cause injury to some parts.

[00:02:56] Even if that is as simple as typing, if you’re typing just all day with no ergonomic caution taken to take care of your wrists and fingers. You might have this repetitive strain injury or RSI, we can have the problem of dangerous machinery. If you work in a place where there are saws and cutters, et cetera, and there are no safety precautions not to get injured by this dangerous machinery that is also considered a health and safety issue at work.

[00:03:31] And we have another problem as well. And that is when we have dangerous substances and we call them hazardous substances. No, hazardous is the same, like dangerous. So hazardous substances, when you work in a place with chemicals, maybe, or other kinds of substances that are dangerous without enough precautions to protect the workers against those dangerous substances, we may have this problem as well.

[00:04:00] And finally, in the health and safety issues, we have the fire hazard. If there is no good fire protection policy in the company and you have fire hazard, especially if it happened before and the company didn’t do anything about it. And they’re just waiting for the next disaster to happen without taking any precautions.

[00:04:22] So you have fire hazards and here we have this word hazard and hazardous. So it comes from danger and dangerous, the same meaning. Yeah, all these things contribute to a bad working environment. If we have one or many of these problems in the same workplace, we can say that we have a bad working environment.

[00:04:46] The opposite is a safe working environment or simply a good working environment. Now the government sends officials called health and safety inspectors to make sure that factories and offices are safe, places to work. They check what companies are doing about things like a heating and air conditioning, first aid and fire precautions.

[00:05:10] So these health and safety inspectors. They are sent by the government to companies to make sure the companies are taking necessary precautions to prevent any of these problems, fire hazards, hazardous substances, dangerous machinery, etc. And just to know. We’re not talking about preventing these kinds of things from working in the first place, because sometimes we may work in places where we have dangerous machinery and that is not the problem.

[00:05:39] The problem is when the companies don’t take the necessary precautions to protect the workers in their working environments. And by doing that, they are creating a bad working environment or sometimes even a dangerous working environment. So that was about our first problem or first kind of problem we want to talk about.

[00:06:02] And this is one type of problems people have at work, and that is the health and safety issues. Now the next problem might be even more serious and that is bullying and harassment. I have someone such as a manager bullies, an employee. Does that mean that means they use their position of power to hurt or threatened the employees.

[00:06:26] For example, verbally, it doesn’t have to be physical. It can be verbal bullying and that, that might even be worse than physical bully and someone who does, this is a bully. Now we might know the word bully. When we talk about schools and we have school bullies, we all know what that means, but bullying doesn’t stop at school.

[00:06:48] Bullying carries on workplaces and companies, and especially with managers who are not confident. So they. Resort to bullying other employees and use their position of power to threaten them to hurt them most because they have self esteem issues and they need help. I’m not talking about bullying as just bad people, but these people, they need help sometimes professional help because bullying is definitely not an answer for anything.

[00:07:21] And it hurts not only the employees, but the reputation of the company and the work atmosphere becomes very bad and difficult to work in. And that was one part which is bullying. And the other part is even more serious. And that is harassment. And especially when we talk about a very common problem, unfortunately, and that is sexual harassment.

[00:07:44] Sexual harassment is when an employee behave sexually towards another, in a way that they find unwelcome and unacceptable. Now we have the verb for that. And that is harass. We put bullying and harassment together because usually they happen together because bullies usually try to harass other employees.

[00:08:07] They try to use their power to harass other employees. And obviously, as we said here, sexually harassed other employees, which is definitely unacceptable. And that is unacceptable in any company. At least publicly because some of them just say publicly, they were against it. And some of their senior managers are doing it anyway, but definitely sexual harassment is one of the biggest problems you might have in a workplace.

[00:08:35] And that is one problem you should never overlook and never ignore. You should talk about it and talk soon about this. It doesn’t matter if you lose your job and it doesn’t matter whatever they do, because you know, just like usually the worst case scenario is that you’re going to lose your job, but lose your job.

[00:08:55] Well, this better than having a scar for life. Because if that kind of thing is allowed and especially if you allow it, if you allow it to happen and you don’t stand up against it, that will leave us scar in your memory and in your psyche forever. So better lose your job today and lose yourself forever.

[00:09:14] And obviously that also applies for all other people who witnessed such things. You should never overlook something like that reported as soon as you see it, because that is definitely one of the most serious problems that happen in companies. And unfortunately, as I said earlier, It happens and it keeps happening every day.

[00:09:36] So these were two other problems, bullying and harassment. And now we come to our last problem at work. And I’m not saying that these are all the problems you can face at work, but we’re just talking about these types of problems. The next problem is discrimination. Now, what is the meaning of discrimination?

[00:09:55] And of course that is also a very serious problem. And it is a very common problem. Unfortunately, if people are treated differently from others in an unfair way, they are discriminated against discrimination can happen for a variety of reasons, maybe because you’re just a woman. So you are discriminated against.

[00:10:18] When men are getting better salaries for no reason when you are not what you deserve at work, just because you’re a woman. So that is a discrimination problem. And that is not right. You are being discriminated against. If a woman is unfairly treated, just because she’s a woman, she’s a victim of sex discrimination and hear the word sex discrimination is not related to sexual harassment so that you don’t get it wrong.

[00:10:48] Sex is just talking about the gender male, female. So sex discrimination happens when a woman is unfairly treated just because she’s a woman. And the funny thing is the word itself, sex discrimination. It does not apply to women only. For example, if a man is unfairly treated, just because he’s a man. So again, he is a victim of sex discrimination, but this problem never happens.

[00:11:16] I’ve never heard of such a thing. And if it happened, it would be a rare occasion somewhere around the world, but that is not a problem. So we always think of women when we talk about sex discrimination, because they are usually the target of this unfair treatment. Now in many organizations, women complain about the glass ceiling that allows me them to get to a particular level, but no further.

[00:11:42] Now the glass ceiling, it comes from the ceiling, like the one we have above our heads and it’s made of glass. And we caught, we have this expression, glass ceiling to refer to this invisible ceiling because according to regulations and according to the laws, or even the company’s code, there should be no ceiling at all for women, especially for women or for special people, et cetera.

[00:12:11] But it is there. It’s just invisible. You can’t see it. You can’t talk about it. You don’t publicly talk about it, but it’s there. Women complain about it sometimes. And you know, also, unfortunately that’s a common problem that there is one place or a position they can get to, but that’s it no further. The better positions or the higher positions in the company are reserved for men only.

[00:12:37] And that applies to salaries and other benefits as well. Now that was about sex discrimination, but discrimination doesn’t happen only to women. It can happen only based on your race. And that is also a serious problem. If someone is treated unfairly because of their race, because of the color of your skin.

[00:12:58] They are a victim of racial discrimination or racism, which is the worst thing you can think of. Well, I’m not saying this is worse than sex discrimination, because that is bad in its own respect. But also this is a very big problem. And unfortunately, no matter how much people talk about it and how much people demonstrate against something like that, it keeps happening every day.

[00:13:25] So if someone is treated unfairly because of their race, they are a victim of racial discrimination or racism, offensive remarks about someone’s race are racist. So here we’re using racist as an adjective to talk about these offensive remarks and the person making those remarks. Is a racist. So racist as well can be used as a noun now in the U S affirmative action is when help is given in education and employment to groups who were previously discriminated against in Britain.

[00:14:03] Affirmative action is as equal opportunities. So what the government does to fight. Discrimination in the U S they call it affirmative action Britain. They call it equal opportunities, but it’s the same thing. Some companies have a dignity at work policy. That’s what they call it, dignity at work policy.

[00:14:25] And that covers all the issues we talked about regarding bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Now, what I hope is that these dignity at work policies are real. They’re not just for show. And just to publicly say that they’re against it. I hope that they really mean what they say or what they mentioned in those dignity at work policy, because that’s what we need a work environment that is safe from all the issues we talked about.

[00:14:55] And that’s not only the danger to your body. The danger to your mind, to your psyche, to your emotions can even be greater. So I hope you all have healthy and safe working environments. The important things of course, that we talked about today, the different kinds of problems, uh, maybe our angle is to learn how to talk about these problems, but it doesn’t hurt even to think about these problems and to think whether we have these problems and what we should do about them.

[00:15:28] So, again, I hope you all have healthy and safe environments. I hope you never have to deal with bullying, harassment, and discrimination, because they’re just terrible. And that will be the end of our episode for today. Don’t forget that we have the full transcript of this episode in the link you can find in the description, you can take the link and find everything you need, including a quiz.

[00:15:52] And, you know, the quizzes, not a big deal, it’s not a difficult thing and something you should be afraid of. You know, it’s just something to check your understanding and check. If you remember all the things we said in this episode. So please take the link and enjoy the full transcript if you need it and enjoy the quiz to check your understanding of what we talked about here today. [00:16:17] This is Danny your host saying thank you very much for being with us today. Don’t forget to support us on Patreon to keep the free e-learning content flowing your way and in the way of other people who need it. Thank you very much.

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