Exercise 1

1. Listen to a radio show about the future of oil and say what these numbers refer to.

5%     400%     60%     20     2.5%     200

2. Listen again and complete sentences 1-6.

1   How will this growth …………… oil prices?

2   One report …………… that a 5% shortage could lead to a big price rise.

3   This crisis would really …………… the automobile industry.

4   Some analysts have …………… that the car will become a luxury item.

5   So you don’t think the oil situation will …………… ……………?

6   We’re not going to …………… …………… …………… gas because we have enough reserves.

Answer & Audioscript


5%: the possible shortage that would lead to a 400% price increase

400%: an increase in the price of oil

60%: the percentage of total oil used to produce petrol for cars

20: the number of barrels of oil used to produce one vehicle

2.5%: the percentage decrease in petrol consumption needed for oil demand to remain stable

200: the number of years for which we have gas


1 affect   2 estimates   3 threaten   4 forecast

5 get worse   6 run out of


Presenter   Welcome to Energy Futures, and today energy expert Judy Collins is here to talk to us about the car industry. Judy, we’re producing more and more cars in the world every year. How will this growth affect oil prices?

Judy Collins   Well, Andy, industry analyst don’t agree on this. Certain experts say the demand for oil will increase dramatically. Oil companies will have to find new sources of oil, and this will be very expensive. One report estimates that a 5% oil shortage could lead to a big price rise – maybe up to 400%. If that happened, we would have a very big oil crisis.

Presenter   And this crisis would really threaten the automobile industry. I think about 60% of oil in the world is used to produce petrol for cars. Is that right?

Judy Collins   Yes, indeed. But it’s not only a question of petrol. Oil is also used to make plastics and other materials used in cars. About 20 barrels of oil are needed to produce just one vehicle. Some analysts have forecast that the car will become a luxury item once again, too expensive for most people.

Presenter   But all these predictions seem very extreme. Is this really likely to happen?

Judy Collins   No, I don’t think so. I think there are reasons to be positive. Firstly, I think the technology is improving rapidly. Every year, new cars are using less and less petrol. Studies have shown that if we can reduce petrol consumption by 2.5% a year, oil demand will remain stable. We’re doing this now.

Presenter   So you don’t think the oil situation will get worse?

Judy Collins   No, I don’t. Also, many new sources of gas have been found in recent years. Gas can be used as an alternative to petrol in vehicles, but also for heating and production of electricity. And we’re not going to run out of gas because we have enough reserves for 200 years.

Presenter   Well, that’s a very positive message. Join us after the break, when Judy is going to be telling us about the latest technology in electric cars.

Exercise 2

1. Listen to a talk and tick (✓) the correct column in the table.

  will may/ might may/ might not won’t
Many jobs / be part-time        
Management positions / be easy to find        
More people / work from home        
Colleagues / see each other less often        
Office buildings / be used in the same way        
Employees / stay long with the same company        
Employers / offer better working conditions        
Companies / provide leisure facilities        
Many employees / decide to take career breaks        
Answer & Audioscript

Many jobs will be part-time.

Management positions may/might not be easy to find.

More people will work from home.

Colleagues may/might see each other less often.

Office buildings will not/won’t be used in the same way.

Employees may/might not want to stay long with the same company.

Employers will need to offer better working conditions.

Companies may/might provide leisure facilities.

Many employees may/might decide to take career breaks.


In 2030 people will work more flexibly and many jobs will be part-time. Traditional forms of management will disappear. More employees will work together in self-managed teams. Therefore, management positions might not be easy to find. In addition, it is forecast that working arrangements will be more flexible. More people will work from home, so colleagues may see each other less often. Companies will still have office buildings, but they will be smaller and won’t be used in the same way as today.

In 2030, there will be a shortage of highly-qualified workers in certain sectors. Employees may not want to stay long with the same company, so employers will need to offer much better working conditions. Companies might provide leisure facilities for employees, like a gym and a bar area for social events.

Many employees may decide to take career breaks. However, in the future, they will be allowed to rejoin the company with the same job and on the same salary as before. In general, companies will have to fight more to keep their staff, so employees will be in a much better position.

Exercise 3

1. Listen to three people asking their manager about the company’s new teleworking scheme. What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home for (a) the employee (b) the company?

2. Listen again and complete sentences 1-8.

1   Just how much …………… we …………… to save?

2   We …………… the new scheme …………… save the company at least €20,000.

3   The office is …………… to close completely.

4   Do you …………… people …………… be happy to work alone?

5   Our employees …………… …………… feel more motivated.

6   It …………… …………… be easy for some people to start with.

7   Do you …………… to see an increase in productivity?

8   ……………, our teleworkers …………… have similar results.

Answer & Audioscript


Advantages for the employee are that they will feel more motivated, and happier, working from home. Advantages for the company include the fact that he thinks the company will save money in heating, lighting costs, etc., and be able to raise money from renting office space; production usually goes up 10-40%.

Disadvantages for the employees are that they won’t often see their colleagues. The manager doesn’t list any disadvantages for the company.


1 are, likely   2 hope, will   3 unlikely   4 think, will

5 will definitely   6 probably won’t   7 expect

8 Hopefully, will


Jean   So that’s a quick overview of the teleworking scheme we’re introducing from next year. I’m sure you have a lot of questions. Yes, Mansoor.

Mansoor   Thank you, Jean. I wanted to ask about cost savings. You said that teleworking will reduce our running costs. Just how much are we likely to save?

Jean   I can’t estimate that very easily right now, Mansoor. It depends how many people choose to work from home. But we hope the new scheme will save the company at least €20,000 in heating, lighting and other office costs.

Rebecca   So is our office building likely to close?

Jean   No, the office is unlikely to close completely. However, the change will affect us because we won’t need such a big building any more. We may look into the possibility of moving to a new building, or we might rent out some of the office space we don’t need.

Ivan   I have a question about motivation. Do you think people will be happy to work alone? They won’t see their colleagues for long periods, and their only daily contact will be by phone or Skype.

Jean   Our employees will definitely feel more motivated when they can organize their own time. Teleworking is a sign that we trust our workers to manage themselves. It probably won’t be easy for some people to start with, but I’m sure they’ll be happier working from home. And don’t forget that this is a voluntary scheme – nobody has to do it.

Ivan   And do you expect to see an increase in productivity?

Jean   Yes, we do. Apparently, most companies report an increase of 10-40%. Hopefully, our teleworkers will have similar results.

Mansoor   I wanted to ask about the employees. What advantages will they get from the scheme?

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