Work Applications

Work problems involve two or more people or machines (etc.) working either with or against one another to perform a task.  Many books use a chart to organize information into an equation to solve this type of application problem.  There is also a work formula.  It may be easier to solve work problems with this formula.

The formula is simply,  , where a and b are “working alone” times and T is the working together time.

Problem:  Mateo can cut the yard in 8 hours, Chet can cut the yard in 14 hours, how long will it take to cut the yard if they work together?

Since 8 hours and 14 hours are working alone times, substitute these values into the formula for a and b.  Solve for T.

                             … LCD (8, 14, T) = 56T … multiply all terms by 56T



                   7T + 4T = 56

                    11T = 56



General Algebra Tips

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of Mary Lou Baker.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Columbia State Community College.

This page was edited on 19-Sep-2007