Lesson 20 โ€” Activity 2: Time at Work

Getting Ready

Now that you have thought about sports and time, in this activity you will think about time at work.

Rainbow Factory Business Hours by Michael Saechang is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Try This:

Did you keep a list for one day to see how often you ask yourself a question about time? How many instances do you have?

Just like some sports, work involves dealing with time. The biggest question is just how much work can be done in a certain time period. This may involve a deadline.

A deadline is a set time for an event to be completed in. It may be a report for your boss or finishing a job.

For example, a construction company might have a deadline to have a building finished by a certain date.

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If they aren't finished by the deadline, they might face fines or, in extreme cases, even be fired from the job!

Let's say you have to hand in a major report at 4:30 p.m. today and it is now 11:15 a.m. You need to know how much time is left so that you can budget your time properly. You can figure it out like this:


1. Each hour has 60 minutes, so start by figuring out how many minutes are left in the hour you are in.

    60 โ€“ 15 = 45

    2. This brings you up to 12 p.m. Count the number of whole hours that are left.

    From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. there are 4 hours.

    3. Add the two part hours.

    45 + 30 = 75 minutes

    4. Because 75 is more than 60, we know that the two part hours combine to make more than 1 hour. Subtract 60 from the number of minutes to convert this time to hours and minutes.

    75 โ€“ 60 = 15
    There is 1 hour and 15 minutes in the part hours.

    5. Add the time together.

    4 hours + 1 hour and 15 minutes = 5 hours and 15 minutes

You know that you have 5 hours and 15 minutes to finish the report.

Most things at work involve how much time is remaining to get the job done. Knowing this allows the worker to have an idea of how they are doing; should they keep the same pace or speed up in order to make sure they will be done in time?

Let's say there are 4 hours and 30 minutes left in the workday. You are making flower arrangements.

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Each arrangement takes 15 minutes to put together. Your boss comes up to you and asks how many more you can finish before the end of the day. You can quickly figure out the answer like this:


1. Each hour has 60 minutes. Convert the number of hours to minutes.

    4 x 60 = 240 minutes

    2. Add the minutes.

    240 + 30 = 270 minutes

    3. Divide the total number of minutes by the time it takes to create one arrangement.

    270 รท 15 = 18


You can tell your boss that you can make 18 more arrangements in the time left in the day!



Try This!

Try this activity to practice calculating the time remaining in the workday, to see if you can complete the task that has been given to you.

You are stocking the shelves at a grocery store. Your boss asks you if you can empty all of the boxes before you shift is over. Each box takes 12 minutes to do and you have 11 boxes left to go. It is now 3:00 p.m. and you get off work at 5:00 p.m. Will you be able to finish the job on time?

Step 1: determine how long it will take to finish the task.

12 x 11 = 132 minutes.

Step 2: determine how many minutes are left in the work day.

5 - 3 = 2 hours

2 x 60 = 120 minutes.

Therefore, in order to finish the task today, you would need to stay 12 minutes extra after work and leave instead at 5:12 p.m. (132 - 120 = 12).

Alternatively, you could unpack each box faster than normal (120/11 = 10.9 mins per box) in order to finish on time at 5:00 p.m.

You have to photocopy papers for a meeting tomorrow. They are supposed to be done before you leave today. It is 2:15 p.m. right now. If you have to make 20 sets and each set takes 5 minutes, what time will you be done photocopying?

Step 1: determine how many minutes it will take to photocopy all 20 sets.

20 x 5 = 100 minutes

Step 2: determine how many minutes until the next full clock hour (i.e. from 2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)

60 - 15 = 45 mins

There are 45 minutes between 2:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Step 3: determine how many minutes after 3:00 p.m., will it take to finish the task.

100 - 45 = 55 minutes.

Therefore, the task will be finished by 3:55 p.m. today.

A report is due at 4:45 p.m. today. You finish it early and hand it in at 3:50 p.m. How much time did you have before it was really due?

Step 1: determine how many minutes until the next full clock hour (i.e. from 3:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

60 - 50 = 10 mins.

Step 2: determine how many minutes are left between 4:00 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. and add this to the 10 mins.

45 mins + 10 mins = 55 mins.

Therefore, there was 55 minutes left before the report was due.