Google wants to lure workers back to the office with…cheap hotel deals

Google wants to lure workers back to the office with…cheap hotel deals

In an attempt to help employees who’ve adopted a hybrid work schedule to transition back to full-time office hours, the tech giant has introduced a special deal for the on-campus hotel at its Mountain View, California, headquarters. The “Summer Special” lets full-time employees stay at the facility for $99 a night through September 30, the company says in materials sent to employees and viewed by CNBC. The offer doesn’t count as approved business travel and requires workers to use their personal credit cards, which will not be reimbursed by the firm.

Google has been pushing for employees to return to the office three days a week since last year’s pandemic, saying in-person collaboration improves productivity and that attendance is considered in employee performance reviews. But some of its workers have resisted going back to the office. They complain that commuting is too long, living expenses are too high and that remote work allows them to be more productive at home.

The hotel on the newer Bay View canopy campus, which opened last year and can hold 4,000 workers, is being used to lure these employees back to the office. The promotional materials sent to employees say the hotel “is the perfect place for Googlers to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning and less friction on their commutes” to work. But some workers aren’t convinced the hotel is a good bargain. The company expects them to book their own rooms using their personal credit cards, which means they won’t be reimbursed for the stays, which will come out of their paychecks.

Some have complained about this, with one employee on an internal Google discussion forum calling the hotel promotion a rip-off. Others have pointed out that a month’s stay at the hotel, which is not far from the main Google campus in Silicon Valley, will cost about $3,000—on par with rent in the area. They may also miss out on food and housekeeping services offered by the hotel.

Google, which takes its name from the googol, a mathematical term for a number 1 followed by 100 zeros, is the most popular Internet search engine in the world, with 70 percent of worldwide searches handled by it. Its other services include Gmail, Google Maps, the Android mobile operating system and the Chrome browser. Its founders are widely credited with revolutionizing the world of information access and sharing. Its stock has doubled over the past 12 months. Its market cap is more than $500 billion, making it one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. In addition to its search engine, the company offers many other services, including video streaming, photo storage and sharing. It also sells its own Android smartphones. Its parent company is Alphabet Inc., which is the world’s second largest technology company behind Apple Inc., whose shares have also doubled over the same period.