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Google to entice workers back to the office with free e-scooters

US employees reportedly offered a Unagi Model One scooter to make the commute into the office more appealing

Unagi's model one e-scooter

Google wants to make the commute more appealing by reportedly luring its US workers back to the office with a free e-scooter. 

The tech giant has teamed up with manufacturer Unagi for the "Ride Scoot" programme, The Verge reports.

Google employees will get reimbursed for the full cost of a monthly subscription to Unagi's Model One scooter, which costs around $990. This is the firm's lightweight dual-motor scooter with a top speed of 20mph and a maximum distance of 15.5 miles from a full charge. 

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To qualify for the programme, and get the full reimbursement, employees must use the scooter for at least nine commutes per month. This will be available to all Google workers based in the US, which includes those that work at its sites in California, Seattle, Texas and New York. 

Googlers are due to be back in their designated offices this week, with most required to attend at least three days per week. Despite that being a company policy - a requirement to work for Google - it appears the firm is still concerned that its employees are hesitant to return. That sentiment was also echoed by Unagi founder and CEO David Hyman, who told The Verge that the idea was to help employees get to work or at least travel to the closest bus stop.

"They know there's apprehension amongst employees," Hyman said. "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."

Google's plans to return to the office have been delayed multiple times and have also been met with some criticism as employees have become used to remote work. The tech giant has also invested heavily into new office space over the past two years, signalling its preference for work in person. However, the firm is well known for offering lucrative "perks" which could turn out to be useful leverage for its office plans.

As well as a free scooter, Googlers will also enjoy maintenance and theft and damage insurance, both of which are included with the monthly subscription. What's more, Unagi will also host demo days for employees to try out the Model One scooter at various office locations. 

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