This is the second writing question on the TOEFL iBT Test.  Get more samples here,  and check out my guide to answering the question.

In this task, the test-taker must read the question posted by the professor and the two student responses.  Finally, they should write their own response which addresses the question and adds to the conversation. They have ten minutes to complete the task.

Your professor is teaching a class on business management. Write a post responding to the professor’s question.  In your response, you should

  • express and support your personal opinion
  • make a contribution to the discussion in your own words

An effective response will contain at least 100 words. You have ten minutes to write.


Professor: Today, we’re going to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of remote work. Many companies have implemented remote work policies in the past few years, and many others are considering joining them. Given that this represents a major change in the way we work and interact with each other, companies must carefully consider all relevant details before making a decision.  What do you think?  Is remote work beneficial, or do you think it’s a bad idea?

Sara: I think remote work is a very positive trend. When we work from home, we spend less time commuting and we have more flexible schedules. Plus, many people find that they are more productive when working from home. Some people say this is because they aren’t distracted by their coworkers, while others suggest it’s because their energy isn’t drained during a long and bothersome commute.

Michael: While I can see the benefits of remote work, I don’t think it should become the new normal. There’s something to be said for the atmosphere that comes from being in the same physical space as your colleagues. I also think that remote work can make it harder to build relationships and collaborate effectively.  This means it might limit our chances to earn promotions and raises. And what about people who don’t have enough room for a home office? They’ll suffer if this trend continues.

Sample Answer

While a lot of people favor traditional workplace arrangements, I really think that letting employees work from home is a fantastic idea which more companies should consider. Most of us just feel much more comfortable when we are in our own house, and that makes it possible for us to think more creatively about our assignments.  Nowadays, employers value creativity above all else, so this option is probably best for everyone. While communicating with people in person can certainly inspire us to think about things from new perspectives, so can talking to people via social networks.  Actually, the ability to quickly share links to relevant articles sometimes leads to even greater inspiration and more rapid progress on work projects.

Sample Answer 2

It’s certainly true that remote work arrangements make our lives more comfortable and more flexible, but I think those advantages come at a cost. When we work from home, we don’t have many opportunities to interact with our colleagues or our supervisors.  Consequently, we are likely to be overlooked when it comes time to be promoted. Remember that company managers only promote people they have very close personal connections with, and such relationships cannot be established via Zoom sessions. In today’s precarious economic situation, everyone wants to advance in their careers, so I think it is a smart idea to give up remote work and return to our offices.

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