If you have a friend that works at Google, you may soon be green with envy at their new e-scooter offered by their employer as a welcome back to office package.
Google has opened the doors to its staff and it wants to make the transition to office conditions as smooth as possible. This is why the search giant has teamed up with Unagi, a popular e-scooter maker. The two companies have launched a new program called “Ride Scoot” which will compensate Google’s US-based staff for subscribing to Unagi’s scooter. The model on offer is the stylish Model One which sells for $990 and offers 15.5 miles per charge. Interested Googlers can cruise at up to 20 mph on their way to work.
According to Unagi’s founder and CEO David Hyman, the two companies want to help Google staffers get to work or the nearest bus stop, where, if they live around the Silicon Valley, they can hop on the free shuttle buses maintained by Google. He said, “They know there’s apprehension amongst employees. People got really accustomed to working from home. And they’re just trying to do everything they can to improve the experience of coming back.”
After staying away from the office for two years, many employees have become accustomed to working from home, hence, it may be challenging to readjust to resuming at a physical office. However, like other big tech companies, Google has dramatically expanded its office space and expects its workers to fill them up.
The company has also shown it is not above using incentives to entice its employees back to the office.
Unagi raised over $10 million in funding last year and launched a subscription service in addition to selling the scooters. Renters pay a sign-on fee of $50 and a monthly $49 fee, which includes maintenance and insurance to protect from theft and damage.
The company will set up booths at various Google offices to service interested employees. It will charge a discounted rate of $44.10 per month in addition to the $50 sign-on fee. However, Google will be responsible for all the costs.
Unagi scooter subscription will now show up in each worker’s account on Google’s internal portal. The two companies will hold demo sessions where the employees can try out the Model One scooter at their respective offices.
There are, however, conditions for employees to meet before qualifying for the reimbursement. They must ride the scooter at least nine times a month. But Google doesn’t plan to actually track its staff and is instead relying on the honor system.
Staff at the HQ in Mountain View, Seattle, Kirkland, Irvine, Sunnyvale, Playa Vista, Austin, and New York City are eligible for the scooter rental program.
Meanwhile, according to Hyman, Unagi has struck deals with other large companies, including Salesforce, to introduce its electric scooters to their employees, either with discounts or completely subsidized. The scooter manufacturer is also discussing with some hotels and residential building owners to put Unagi scooters in the lobby for use by their customers.