After a year of working from home, CoStar is trying to dissuade employees from the convenience of working in pajamas, doing Doordash deliveries at lunchtime, and the occasional afternoon nap at several hard-to-resist prizes – namely, a brand new Tesla.
CoStar first reported on the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, rolling out a red carpet of incentives for vaccinated employees ready to return to their personal work. Incentives available to employees in all 50 U.S. offices include $ 10,000 in cash, an electric Model S Tesla, and a trip to Barbados with all expenses paid. There are also smaller prizes to be won, such as gift cards.
“Yes, that’s a lot of money, but in the context of a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of employees and hundreds of offices, this is a drop in the bucket,” Andrew Florance, CEO of CoStar Group, told WSJ. “It’s a great way to have fun and inspire people to do the right thing.”
CoStar launched the rewards program in April along with a vaccine rollout for its 4,000 US employees. According to Florance, employees were excited about the vaccine but were reluctant to return to the office and his team decided to get creative. “We thought, OK, let’s just do it, how can we create some fun and excitement about it,” he explained.
Since Florance began offering vaccines and back-to-office incentives, office use has increased from 4 percent to 20 percent, with certain locations having higher response rates than others. However, data from swipe card access company Kastle Systems shows that average utilization is closer to 30 percent, according to The Real Deal.
“We will do interesting and creative things until the workplace has calmed down and we have adjusted to our new reality,” said the CEO. “And I think that’s going to be months and months and months.”
CoStar isn’t the only company pushing employees to return to the office. Some of the country’s leading companies plan to reopen corporate offices by the end of the summer, with hybrid work schedules for specific employees.
“In the midst of numerous and difficult circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made important observations about the future of work and how and where our employees know they do best,” Microsoft said of the new hybrid work plan rolled out in March. “What we learn and understand has prompted us to use this time to expand and develop our hybrid workplace and to build additional skills that help our employees, customers and companies continue to be successful.”
While no one else offers Teslas, other companies offer lunchtime rooms with free snacks and meals, offer childcare grants for working parents, give rewards to those who agree to work part-time in the office, and run fun activities in the office.
“We’re basically trying to bribe everyone by having lots of really fun activities and events in the office – maybe people will bite,” Nelson Sherwin, manager of PEO Companies, told Tech Republic. “We take all the necessary precautions, of course, it’s not like we’re playing with people’s lives here. But I think people felt too comfortable at home. “
“We lure them back to the office with exclusive benefits like Mario Kart Monday and Waffle Wednesday. If you fall asleep, you lose! I have to be here to enjoy it, ”he added.
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