Google is giving away free electric scooters to encourage staff to return to work. In Silicon Valley, the tech behemoth has traditionally provided free shuttle bus service to its employees.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an end to work from home for most large corporations. The bulk of tech companies, including Google, are in the same boat. Employees at the Sundar Pichai-led IT firm have been forced to leave their homes and begin reporting to work this week. Google is giving away free electric scooters to encourage staff to return to work. In Silicon Valley, the tech behemoth has traditionally provided free shuttle bus service to its employees.
The new “Ride Scoot” service has been launched by Google in collaboration with e-scooter maker Unagi. Most Google employees in the United States can get compensated for the whole cost of a monthly subscription to Unagi’s elegant Model One scooter, which costs $990 (approximately Rs 75,000).
The aim of the Ride Scoot programme, according to Unagi’s founder and CEO David Hyman, is to enable Google employees get back to work, or at least closer to a bus stop, so they can commute to work without issue. Google employees at Mountain View and other US cities such as Seattle, Kirkland, Irvine, Sunnyvale, Playa Vista, Austin, and New York City are eligible for the programme.
“They know there’s fear amongst staff,” Hyman claimed, despite the fact that a Google spokeswoman has yet to issue an official remark on the matter. “A lot of people have grown accustomed to working from home.” And they’re simply doing everything they can to make returning a better experience,” he continued.
Unagi has also teamed with other large organisations, such as Salesforce, for a similar service. It’s also collaborating with a number of hotels and apartments to put Unagi scooters in the lobby for customers.
Unagi aims to put up booths at several Google locations to sign up employees for a monthly scooter subscription at a discounted price of $44.10 per month + $50 registration fee, in addition to providing free scooters to staff. Google will refund the entire amount.
To incentivize employees to come to work, Google has required that they utilise the scooter for at least nine commutes every month in order to receive a full refund on their monthly subscription.
Both Google and Unagi are rumoured to be hosting Model One demo days for employees at various office locations.