Google has come up with a unique ‘Summer Special’ offer in an effort to entice its employees back to the office. The promotion allows full-time workers to book rooms at an on-campus hotel in Mountain View for the attractive price of $99 a night (roughly Rs 8,200).
The idea behind this offer is to facilitate a smoother transition to the hybrid workplace for Googler. While the thought of a seamless work-life balance without the daily commute is appealing, some employees are expressing skepticism about the fine print of the deal.
The offer is valid until September 30 and promises convenience and relaxation for employees staying at the hotel. It includes extra sleep in the mornings, delightful breakfasts, quick workouts before work starts, and leisurely evenings on the rooftop deck or exploring local activities after the workday ends.
However, there’s a catch – the stay is considered unapproved business travel, and employees are expected to foot the bill using their personal credit cards, with no reimbursement from Google. This aspect has left some employees raising their eyebrows at the offer.
The soaring real estate costs in the San Francisco Bay Area have been a long-standing issue, driven by limited housing supply and high demand from tech workers and executives.
Google’s on-campus hotel in Mountain View was designed, in part, to alleviate some of the housing crunch in the area. However, the relatively high price tag of approximately $3,000 (Roughly Rs 2,50,000) a month for the hotel stay has led some employees to question its value.
Comparing the hotel cost to their current living arrangements, some employees have expressed hesitation. One employee mentioned, “I pay more and get a lot less in total for my apartment,” while another boasted about the superiority of their current residence.
Despite the concerns raised, some employees might consider the offer more appealing if it included additional perks like fully-furnished rooms, unlimited meals, paid utilities, and daily housekeeping.
Google’s push to bring employees back to the office has encountered challenges. Last year, the company began the return-to-office process with a three-day workweek, but attendance remained sparse due to concerns over housing costs and perceived productivity benefits of remote work. Even with recent strict enforcement measures, some workers continue to hold out for remote work opportunities.
According to the report, Google’s HR chief has encouraged approved remote workers to reconsider their status and rejoin their colleagues in the office. The tech giant’s creative move to reduce the hotel’s vacancy after corporate travel budget cuts is commendable, but its ultimate success in enticing employees back to the workplace remains to be seen.
The offer’s reception among employees continues to be a topic of discussion on internal forums, indicating the varying opinions and considerations surrounding the return-to-office initiative.