Google offers Unagi scooters to entice employees amid back-to-office transition

April 5, 2022
Unagi Model One Scooter
Unagi Model One Scooter

The pandemic has changed a lot of things in our lives, and it mainly includes the working landscape of professionals. Some were laid off and found new careers in other fields, while some managed to keep their positions, though new arrangements were introduced, like working from home. The new setting undeniably favors a lot of workers since it means a more versatile and comfortable working environment for them: their own homes. However, now that various businesses return to their usual operations, encouraging the workers to return to their actual workplaces becomes challenging for employers. Companies find different ways to make the return of their employees inviting. Google says, let them ride free electric scooters!

Google is preparing for the return of its employees this week. With the intent of finding ways to make the transition look enticing, the tech company started offering free electric scooters to some of its employees. Through the partnership with e-scooter maker Unagi, Google introduced the “Ride Scoot” program that will let its workers ride Model One scooters, which have a top speed of 20mph and a range of 15.5 miles.

The program will have Unagi setting up booths in different Google offices where Google employees can sign up. The two companies will also work together to conduct demo days, where workers can try the scooter out in the offices. Apart from the headquarter of Google in Mountain View, the program will also be offered in other locations, such as Seattle, New York City, Playa Vista, Kirkland, Irvine, Sunnyvale, and Austin.

Unagi Model One has a retail price of $990 and offers a subscription instead of full unit ownership. It costs a $50 sign-up fee and a monthly fee of $49 a month that covers the scooter’s maintenance and theft and damage insurance. For Google’s Ride Scoot program, on the other hand, workers will be offered the same price for the sign-up fee and a discounted monthly rate of $44.10. All expenses of the US-based Google workers for the Model One scooter would be reimbursed by Google, given the workers would commute using the scooter nine times a month. Nonetheless, Google said that it will utilize the honor system and won’t track the scooter usage of employees.

Founder and CEO of Unagi, David Hyman, said that the main reason for the program is to help the employees get to work or even near bus stops. “They know there’s apprehension amongst employees,” said Hyman. “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.”

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