The world is a different place after the pandemic, with many people having switched to remote work. Thing is, those people still don’t won’t want to go back, preferring to work from the comfort of their home or virtually anywhere they want but the office. Companies of all sizes and industries are struggling to convince their workforce and are coming up with all kinds of ideas and perks to get them back.
Tech titan Google recently announced that employees in the Bay Area and several other US locations will have to start returning to the office on April 4th for at least a few days a week. To entice them, Google told its workers that it will be offering free e-scooter monthly subscriptions in collaboration with Unagi. Sounds like a sure-fire idea; why, who wouldn’t want to commute to work with an electric scooter?
And it’s not free, mind you, but as part of the “Ride Scoot” program, Google will reimburse the entire cost of an e-scooter subscription including the $50 enrollment fee and the discounted $44.10 monthly fee. The only thing the employee has to do is to commute to the office at least nine days per month, although Google won’t be tracking the e-scooter usage.
The special offer is about the Unagi Model One, a premium foldable e-scooter with two electric motors producing up to 1.3 hp (1 kW / 1.4 PS) of power and up to 23.6 lb-ft (32 Nm) of torque. This allows the 26.5 lbs (12 kg) two-wheeler to reach a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), while the battery is offering a 15.5-mile (25 km) range between charges. The Unagi Model One retails for $990, but it is also offered in the form of a $49 monthly subscription including all costs.
As reported by the Verge, eligible locations for the program include Google’s Mountain View headquarters, plus its offices in Seattle, Kirkland, Irvine, Sunnyvale, Playa Vista, Austin, and New York City. Google and Unagi will be hosting demo days for employees to experience the e-scooter firsthand in various locations. Unagi hopes to expand the program to other employers, and has already made deals with software company Salesforce and hotel businesses.
Unagi’s founder and CEO, David Hyman, 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. What we hope is other companies follow suit. We think it’s a great office perk.”