Episode 112 A2



People and workplaces
The people who work for a company, all the people on its payroll, are its employees, personnel, staff, workers or workforce. But these words can mean just the people doing the work of a company, rather than those leading it and organizing it: the management. A company’s activities may be located in different sites. A company’s most senior managers usually work in its head office or headquarters (HQ). Some managers have their own individual offices, but in many businesses, most employees work in open-plan offices: large areas where many people work together. Administration, the everyday work supporting a company’s activities, is often done in offices like these by administrative staff or support staff. In large organizations there is a human resources department that deals with pay,
recruitment, etc. Another name for this department is the personnel department. Most companies also have labour (or trade) unions: organizations defending the interests of workers. When workers are not happy with pay or conditions, they may take industrial action: a strike, when they stop working for a time or a go-slow, when they continue to work but more slowly than usual.


Exercise. 1
Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) the list of people in a company showing how much they earn: __________
2) to control a company: __________
3) people who control a company: __________
4) a place where something is: __________
5) to help someone or something: __________
6) to do something as your duty: __________
7) the money we earn: __________
8) to protect someone or something: __________
9) a situation when employees refuse to do their job: ___________


Exercise 2
Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) company’s                unions
2) head                          staff
3) industrial                 office
4) large                         manager
5) personnel                department
6) senior                      area
7) support                   action
8) trade                       activities


Exercise. 3
Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) miejsce pracy
2) lista płac
3) pracownicy
4) kierownictwo
5) zlokalizowany
6) siedziba główna
7) biuro
8) wspierać
9) dział
10) płaca
11) rekrutacja
12) bronić

Grammar corner

Words: employees, workers, personnel, staff and workforce have a similar meaning but represent two different kinds of nouns: the first two are countable, the others uncountable. The difference is that countable nouns have a plural form and uncountable ones not.


Exercise. 4

Decide which of these nouns are countable and which uncountable:
book, bottle, bread, dollar, hour, juice, money, orange, paper, sandwich, time, wine



payroll – lista płac
employees/personnel/staff/workers/workforce – pracownicy
to lead – stać na czele
management – kierownictwo, zarząd
to be located  – być zlokalizowanym
site – miejsce
to support – wspierać
administrative – administracyjny
department – dział
human resources – zasoby ludzkie
to deal with – zajmować się
pay – wynagrodzenie
recruitment – rekrutacja
labour/trade unions – związki zawodowe
to defend – bronić
interests – interesy
industrial action – akcja protestacyjna
a strike – strajk
a go-slow – strajk włoski


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Ex. 1
1) payroll
2) to lead
3) management
4) site
5) to support
6) to deal with
7) pay
8) to defend
9) industrial action

Ex. 2
1) company’s activities
2) head office
3) industrial action
4) large area
5) personnel department
6) senior manager
7) support staff
8) trade unions

Ex. 3
1) workplace
2) payroll
3) employees/workers/staff etc.
4) management
5) located
6) head office / headquarters
7) office
8) support
9) department
10) pay
11) recruitment
12) defend

Ex. 4
countable uncountable