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Want a free Tesla? Just show up to the office.
In lieu of simply mandating a return to the in-person daily grind, some companies are wooing workers with some tough-to-pass-up perks of getting back to work.
And they’re going way beyond doling out free coffee and bagels.
Luxurious vacations by private jet, cash prizes of $10,000 and even a Model S Tesla are all being raffled at random to vaccinated, in-person staff at global real estate group CoStar.
The company, which Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Desmarais says didn’t lay off a single employee throughout the pandemic, currently requires full vaccination to work in-person. They started welcoming workers back this past spring.
“We wanted to make it a lot more fun,” Desmarais told The Post about the giveaways, which he says have “no material impact” on CoStar’s bottom line.
“It would be hypocritical of us to not occupy office space. We support the commercial real estate industry,” he said, adding that the creativity that comes from in-person work has bolstered business. “Culture-wise, we’ve always been an in-office work environment.”
On April 22, it dropped a surprise on staffers: All employees who work in-person in any of the company’s nine offices around the country, including its Times Square base, would be entered into a daily lottery drawing for 10 grand. They gave away $10,000 every day for 30 days.
Then they offered up three, week-long trips to Barbados for three lucky employees and their guests via a chartered jet. They’ve raffled off two trips so far, though employees haven’t taken them yet. The grand prize of a Tesla in the winner’s choice of color is still up for grabs.
“Across the board [the winners] were extremely appreciative,” Desmarais said, adding that one woman broke down in tears and jumped for joy with her partner after getting the good news of winning the $10K.
“She said, ‘I never win anything, I can’t believe I won this!’”
The company’s approach has worked.
Ninety-four percent of American CoStar employees have been vaccinated and 85% of its US workforce have returned to offices, even in places like Washington, DC, where masks are required indoors, according to Desmarais.
But not everyone needs a luxury car to come back to their cubicles. A recent Glassdoor survey found that 38% of employees would be inclined to work in-person again if they had access to free food and snacks while another 21% said booze during or after work would win them over. Twenty-eight percent would return if they got free massages.
New York-based Wpromote, a digital marketing agency, upped its perks to include catered breakfasts, lunches, free snacks and after-work happy hours for returning staff at the company’s offices this past spring.
Founder and CEO Michael Mothner says that it’s the meals along with “social connection, collaboration and fear of missing out” that’s brought a quarter of its employees back to Wpromote.
Healthy food with a fun twist was found to be another hot-button incentive for Chelsea’s Tikehau Capital workspaces, which recently rolled out specialty vending machines created by Brooklyn Navy Yard startup Fraîche.
Meals prepped daily and available at the touch of a button include roasted salmon, cauliflower and feta and popular Cobb salads.
One company has found a way to soften the blow that returning to work means less hours on the golf course.
Nuveen Real Estate is installing high-tech virtual greens — used by the likes of Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, devices which cost about $55,000 and use infrared technology and cameras to analyze your swing — in their offices at 730 Third Ave.
“Adding an amenity like golf simulators helps to foster collaboration as part of a unique user experience, especially in a commercial office building,” said Brian Wallick, director of New York investments at Nuveen.
With the right incentives, workers just might decide that the extra hour of sleep that comes with working from home isn’t worth it anymore.
With CoStar’s Tesla raffle coming up in three weeks, “We’ve seen an increase in job applications,” Desmarais said.
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