I previously wrote about approaching and organizing this essay question:
More and more city workers are deciding to live in the country and travel into work everyday. The result is increased traffic congestion and damage to the environment. What measures do you suggest that would encourage people not to travel such long distances to work?
See my post on how I planned it. Here is my full sample essay:
Nowadays, more people are moving away from cities for more affordable and comfortable lifestyles in the countryside, resulting in long distance commuting to their work in the cities. Unfortunately, this leads to more traffic congestion and pollution to the environment. I believe measures such as promoting telecommuting and establishing remote offices will reduce the number of long distance commuters and therefore their impact on the environment.
The first measure would incentivize city-based companies to promote and mandate telecommuting within their workforce. By providing subsidies or tax breaks to companies that have a certain percentage of their employees work from home via internet and phone connection, more companies would actively facilitate telecommuting. For example, there could be a rotating schedule so that every day the numbers commuting to the office stay at a specified low number.
Another similar measure would be to build small government-funded remote office hubs or telecommuting centers in suburbs outside major cities. By leasing these out to corporations based in the nearby city, the government can facilitate and further promote telecommuting. What’s more, employees in even further rural areas can commute to the outlying remote office centers, thereby reducing their commute significantly. By having the option of leasing remote work space, which could also save on expensive city office space, private companies would be more likely to promote telecommuting.
In short, I believe that measures such as providing monetary incentives and building affordable remote office space available to city-based companies will make telecommuting more viable. This is key to reducing traffic and its impact on the environment.