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The company teams up with Unagi to encourage workers back to the office – in style.
Of all the companies in the world, Google is renowned for its forward-thinking, dedication to its employees, and commitment to making the workplace so much more than its primary purpose.
With offices designed to promote creativity, relaxation, and collaboration, most people would love to work at the infamous Silicon Valley office.
Google’s latest initiative is the free e-scooter program, which is available to all employees in the USA. Let’s look at the program and why Google is offering it to their workforce.
The Free E-Scooter Initiative
The free electric scooter initiative is designed to give most Google employees in the USA a convenient way to get to the office. The company teamed up with electric scooter maker Unagi to offer employees the opportunity to get reimbursed for a monthly subscription to the ultra-stylish Unagi Model One.
While there are many e-scooter manufacturers around in the USA, Unagi is known for its design-inclined models that look incredible and an excellent lifestyle brand. These scooters are popular with commuters,with sleek frames and a modern look.
Whereas most scooters come in just one color, the Unagi Model One comes in four (their latest is green, with the red model since becoming a rare collector’s item), and it features a maximum speed of 20mph. Its ESG-certified range is less than 9 miles, which is important to know going in, but most people will find their use-cases to be less than 3 miles, and the big selling point of the Model One is its weight at 29 pounds—one of the most portable scooters in the market.
While the scooter is priced at $990, Unagi set up a subscription-based plan to encourage more people to use its e-scooters without paying a large amount of money upfront.
How Will The Program Work?
The program will encourage Google employees to get back to the office after a prolonged period of working from home. While Google had considered many incentives as part of the scheme, it settled on electric scooters because they’ve become so popular.
We should also add that scooters offer the best balance of usability (i.e. much easier to ride than a skateboard) with simplicity and portability (much lighter than an ebike, for example). Scooters crush it for short-distance travel.
Unagi will partner with Google to provide monthly subscriptions, which employees can use to commute to the office or their nearest public transport hub. As Google also offers its Silicon Valley workforce a free shuttle bus to the office, people will be able to use the scooter to minimize their daily commute time.
However, employees won’t automatically get a gift-wrapped e-scooter delivered to their door! Instead, Unagi will have booths at various Google offices so that interested parties can sign up for the scheme.
p.s. If you’re reading this, and you’re not a Google employee, you actually can essentially get one gift-wrapped to your door. It will just cost you $49/month. And use our ESG-exclusive discount code “ESGHALF” for half of your first month!
Unagi will likely visit the Google offices, offering employees a demo of the electric scooter. This could be highly beneficial for both companies because while many people know about e-scooters, Unagi will have the opportunity to demonstrate why their Model One is so popular.
If people decide they’d like to take advantage of the scheme, they can sign up for the monthly subscription and receive their e-scooter.
What Are The Limitations?
The employees who decide to participate in the scheme will pay an upfront fee of $50 to register for the scooter and a discounted $44.10 monthly price for usage rights. Google will reimburse its employees, and the scooters will also be part of the company’s internal employee portal.
However, employees will only be fully reimbursed if they use their electric scooter to commute at least nine times a month, though this won’t actually be enforced. The company will use an honor system, and commutes are classed as using the scooter to go directly to the office or using the scooter to travel to or from train or bus stops.
Unagi Paving The Way For The E-Scooter Revolution
It’s no secret that electric scooters have taken off since they became available, and ride-sharing schemes grew to its highest in 2019 (Bloomberg). According to a study from Grand View Research Inc, the e-scooter market could be worth nearly $41.98 billion by 2030, showing a prosperous future for makers – and riders.
David Hyman, the founder of Unagi, will use the subscriptions to encourage more people to use privately owned e-scooters instead of spending lots of money on ride-sharing schemes.
Talking about the Unagi and Google partnership, he said, “They know there’s apprehension among employees. People got accustomed to working from home, and they’re (Google) just trying to do everything they can to improve the experience of coming back.”
While Google will also offer other incentives to get its workforce to return to the office, the e-scooter scheme is sure to be popular. The Unagi Model One is highly portable, stylish, and the perfect electric scooter – so it’s likely that many will take advantage of the program.
The Scheme Will Hopefully Disrupt The Continuing Effects Of The Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic is probably the most disruption most of us have ever experienced, and it has impacted the way people communicate, live, and work. When the virus was at its worst, companies sent their employees home to prevent spreading the disease, which meant many workers carried out their duties from a remote location.
Unfortunately for many companies, their workforce loves the freedom of working from home and doesn’t really want to go back to the office full time. However, Google plans to adopt a hybrid working scheme.
Initially, Google CEO Sundar Pichai allowed employees to continue working from home in June 2021. All staff members that didn’t need to be in the office were given 12 months to perform their duties remotely.
However, the company now wants its employees back in the office, but Pichai has stated he’ll be willing to accommodate team members with a hybrid approach.
The idea is for employees to sit together once again, collaborating in an office environment. Google places great value on company culture and creative problem solving, which is more effective when people work together in one room.
Many employees are now used to working from home, so they feel uneasy about returning to the office. Some companies, such as Twitter, continue to offer indefinite work-from-home initiatives, but Google wants its employees to have the best of both worlds.
Will The Ride Scoot Program Be Successful?
Numerous factors might determine the program’s success, including how many employees will take advantage of it. However, with the incentive of full reimbursement, people will likely want to enjoy this convenient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
E-scooters are significantly more sustainable than traditional cars, and they’re easier to transport and store than e-bikes. These ingenious devices give commuters an easy and safe way to get to the office each day.
While there will always be some people who want to work from home, others prefer being in an office environment. The majority of Google’s workforce will willingly participate in the program.
The Future Looks Bright For Electric Scooters
As their popularity continues to grow, it could be likely that e-scooters will replace electric bikes and public transportation. Google and Unagi are both major influences in their respective industries, so this partnership is sure to get attention from other companies and consumers.
Google continues to pave the way for employee engagement and retention. The company’s latest move will catch the attention of other brands, and they might follow suit.
Who knows what will happen? Will the monthly scooter subscription model really take off? Will other employers follow suit and start to offer micromobility perks for employees? We can’t wait to see what happens!
Nely is an adrenaline junkie and one of her life goals is to sky dive, but until that day she gets her kicks from testing fast electric scooters. Part time scooter fanatic & part time SEO analyst. Nely’s favourite scooter is the Dualtron X.