"She works little in the office."
Translation:Ella trabaja poco en la oficina.
Ella trabaja UN poco = the amout of work she does may be small, but it's a possitive thing. Maybe she is part-time. Maybe she actually works a lot, but the speaker is downplaying it.
Ella trabaja poco = the amount she works is small, and it's definitely a negative thing. Maybe several times a day, she leaves for "a quick bathroom break" which takes 40 minutes every time because she swaps text messages with her friends.
At least in American English, we use "(verb) a little" and "(verb) little" exactly as Duolingo is teaching it in this lesson.
Adverbs typically have to go directly before or after the verb they are modifying. I believe it's more common to come after. In your example adding "un" would make it acceptable, however it's a different sentence. "ella trabaja en la oficina un poco"- "She works in the office a little."
The English translation may be technically grammatical but is ambiguous in meaning and not a natural sentence you would hear from a native English (American/Commonwealth) speaker. Is it that the subject 'does' little work at the office implying she doesn't do the expected/acceptable amount of work to be done in office. Or does it mean instead that the subject works 'a' little in the office implying that the work she does at the office represents just a portion of her overall work.
CindySue, I would beg to differ. Those actually have two slightly different connotations though they could be used to say basically the same thing. As an English speaker I have definitely said something similar to 'She works little...'.
As for the difference. 'She works little' tends to place more emphasis on the lack of work. In contrast, 'She works a little bit' places more emphasis on the actual work being done.
I don't like when they take words like "poco" which they haven't previously used in a sentence and expect us to write it in an answer having never seen it. Given that, I wrote Ella trabaja Misspelled word, en la oficina, so I don't know if what I intended, pequeno, as it was used in previous lessons pertaining to small amounts of work. I was the only word I have been introduced to that seemed at all appropriate. So I learned a new work. Poco, but I wish I learned it before it made me wrong!