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Google pitches discounted on-campus hotel stays to workers in back-to-office push

The news: Google is trying to ease the transition to a hybrid workplace by advertising rooms at its on-campus hotel in Mountain View, California.

  • The tech giant is enticing employees with a “summer special” nightly rate of $99 that will run through September 30. The stays aren’t eligible for reimbursement.
  • “Just imagine no commute to the office in the morning and instead, you could have an extra hour of sleep and less friction,” an ad for the special reads, per Inc. “Next, you could walk out of your room and quickly grab a delicious breakfast or get a workout in before work starts.”

A hard sell? The ad serves a dual purpose. Google wants employees to spend more time at the office and get rooms booked at the hotel it built to accommodate 4,000 employees prior to making travel budget cuts.

  • Considering Silicon Valley’s exorbitant rental prices, with a one-bedroom Mountain View apartment averaging $3,651 per month, or $122 per day, according to Zumper, Google’s hotel special will likely draw some interest.
  • The hotel special isn’t likely sweet enough to outweigh discontentment with a hybrid work policy that was exacerbated by Google’s earlier announcement that in-office attendance will be considered in performance reviews.
  • Many employees will probably balk at the notion of paying their employer to work on-campus, and it could mean an additional expense for employees with families and those locked into other housing arrangements.
  • To keep its hotel booked, Google might have to expand its marketing to include international tourists interested in visiting its campus and surrounding attractions.

A temporary half-measure: One of the biggest issues with the hotel special is that it’s a temporary solution to a lack of affordable housing near tech hubs.

  • Employees interested in the hotel stay may wonder if it’ll be financially sustainable after the summer special expires.
  • Remote work gives people more choice about where they live, including access to lower-cost areas and the bonus of avoiding a commute. On-campus hotels will struggle to compete with that.