Google offers on-campus hotel ‘Summer Special’ to help lure employees back to the office

In an attempt to lure workers back to the office, Google has launched a ‘Summer Special’ offer for full-time employees to book a room at an on-campus hotel in Mountain View for $99 (approximately Rs8,189.17) a night, according to a CNBC report. However the deal isn’t winning over everyone, some aren’t convinced it’s a good deal.

Google ‘Summer Special’ offer 

The Google description states that the‘Summer Special’ will run through Sept. 30 and aims to “make it easier for Googlers to transition to the hybridworkplace,” CNBC reports. The Google’s  ‘Summer Special’ idea may sound appealing, but the employees are skeptical about the fine print.

The stay is for unapproved business travel, and the employees are expected to use their personal credit cards. The Google will not reimburse their stays.

The promotion for unapproved business travel paints a picture of convenience and relaxation “Just imagine no commute to the office in the morning and instead, you could have an extra hour of sleep and less friction,” the Google description reads.

“Next, you could walk out of your room and quickly grab a delicious breakfast or get a workout in before work starts,” the Summer Special description says.

The promotion ‘Summer Special’ad goes on to say that after the work day ends, “you could enjoy a quiet evening on top of the rooftop deck or take in one of the fun local activities.”

$99 stay at San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its high real estate costs due to limited housing supply, zoning restrictions and elevated demand. The area –contains large swaths of corporate offices–is highly preferred by tech workers and executives working in the surrounding tech industry. Google’s on-campus hotel in Mountain View is an attempt to alleviate some of the housing crunch, but the price tag is leaving employees questioning its value.

With the hotel stay costing $99 a night, that amount to roughly $3,000 (approximately 2,50,000) a month, is pointed out in internal discussion forums. 

Google employee’s reaction

However, some employees aren’t convinced with the deal and have taken to internal discussion forums to express their views.

A meme showed movie clips of a scene in the movie “Mean Girls,” where the main character played by Lindsey Lohan says “No, thank you.”

“Now I can give some of my pay back to Google,” another meme read. While another joked about living on campus for the summer could disrupt “work-life balance.”

Employees compared the hotel cost to their current living arrangements, with one saying, “I pay more and get a lot less in total for my apartment,” while another boasts “Though admittedly where I live is much better.”

Another employee finds it too expensive. “If it was around $60 a night, that could be a fine-ish alternative to apartments, but $99? No thanks.”

“I would’ve totally done it, had it fit a certain profile: $3k rent all-in, fully-furnished, unlimited meals, paid utilities, plus housekeeping/cleaning every day,” another employee wrote.

Bringing employees back to office

Google started bringing most employees back to offices last year. The initiative to was full of challenges hence the company started the three days a week. However, attendance remains sparse due to high housing costs near offices and increased productivity while working remotely. Despite strict enforcement measures—using office attendance in performance reviews and tracking badge data—some employees continue to hold out for remote work opportunities

According to the report, Google’s HR chief has urged approved remote workers to reconsider their status and rejoin their colleagues in the office.


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Updated: 07 Aug 2023, 08:45 PM IST

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