The Library Of Return To Office Incentives, Bribes & Perks

Return To Office Incentives

Please allow me 30 seconds to summarize the “return to office” trend:

  • 2020: Some companies tried to get employees back to the office, but COVID variants stopped it
  • 2021: Most companies tried to get employees back to the office, but COVID variants stopped it
  • 2022: All companies tried to get employees back to the office, but no one really wanted to come back

Now: some companies are trying out return-to-office incentives to bring employees back to the office.

Organizations are running into problems by forcing a return to office, even on a hybrid schedule. When organizations require two days in the office per week, attendance is 1.1. When they require two or three, it’s 1.6. When they require three, it’s 2.1. That’s according to a survey of 80,000 workers by Advanced Workplace Associates.

Rather than simply embracing remote work – the easy, obvious, beneficial option staring them in the face – managers would rather bang their heads against the office wall. Here’s how some companies are trying to incentivize employees to return to office.


Incentives For Employees To Return To The Office





Open spaces, treehouses, outdoor terraces

"Uber has made changes to the in-office experience that is designed to make a person want to spend time in the office instead of in their home. Uber added operable windows, wellness centers with hanging swing seats, open spaces, and a floor overlooking greenery, making people standing on them feel like they're in a treehouse."

- Thank you Linda Shaffer of Checkr for sharing this story

Nuveen Real Estate

Virtual golf simulators

Brian Wallick, the director of investments at Nuveen Real Estate, told the New York Post that “adding an amenity like golf simulators helps to foster collaboration as part of a unique user experience, especially in a commercial office building”.


Pet stipends

For employees that got a pet during the pandemic, companies such as DailyPay are offering pet stipends to retain staff. The monthly reimbursement can be used for dog-walking, cat sitting, or any other pet-related expenses."

- Thank you Jorge Vivar of Mode for sharing this story


Parties and social events

Scheduling regular social events is one great incentive for returning to the office. Examples include wine tastings, cooking classes, and in-office concerts."

- Thank you Carly Hill of Virtual Holiday Party for sharing this story



"Many companies are offering daycare or subsidized childcare for return to the office. A lack of childcare can be an obstacle for professionals to return to the office, and free or low-cost supervision can be extremely attractive to workers who have spent months interrupting Zoom meetings and work from home days to tend to kids' needs."

- Thank you Kate Duske of Escape Room Data for sharing this story


Tesla raffle

Vacation raffle

Cash raffle

"The real estate group CoStar is giving an extravagant reward for employees committing to get back to the office. In-person employees can get a chance to win a Tesla or a trip to Barbados, and one randomly selected employee gets $10,000 each day for a month. This may look a lot, but it's a bearable sum for a multi-billion dollar company."

- Thank you Justin Carpenter of Modern Maids for sharing this story

Novo Resume

Fuel allowance

"We came up with a policy which offered fuel allowance to all the employees based on the distance of their commute. This encouraged employees to travel to the office and work from there instead of being at home all the time," Andrei Kurtuy of Novo Resume wrote in an email.

Goldman Sachs

Free food

"In order to bring employees back to the office, Goldman Sachs decided to provide them with free meals. That was party due to fewer catering options on the market, and it was essentially a bribe to get everyone back from remote work model."


Clear Match Medicare

Food trucks and happy hour

"They introduced a free lunch program and asked HR to book the staff a different type of food truck for each day of the week. Thursdays became happy hour days and a tab at the local bar was arranged."


Bank of America

Cupcakes and staff lunches

"I will tell you I've paid for lots of lunches and cupcakes to celebrate birthdays, and we've gotten creative on what the team wants to see. We've been really good about creating different meetings that people would be interested in."


The City of London Corporation

Theater, games and live performances

"In August that it had hired a Destination City program curator to roll out events including theater, games and live performances."



In-office errand assistant

"Bank was encouraging staff back to the office while not reverting to pre-pandemic norms. The bank is considering hiring a concierge to help staff manage daily errands like dry cleaning at the office that they would otherwise have more flexibility to do at home."


New York Times

Lunch boxes

"The New York Times Co. sparked backlash from its union with its push to get workers back multiple days a week it issued cute lunch boxes branded with the NYT logo, which was met with a widespread refusal by workers to come back."


Zurich North America


"Zurich North America began allowing dogs in April, and over the past six months brought other new touches to its gleaming, 11-story complex. The company broke down some walls on the 11th floor to create more open spaces, and the facility also now includes a cafe that serves beer and wine in the late afternoons, new outdoor patio furniture and a fire pit."



Masturbation pods

"Stripchat, a porn site, announced in a blog post that it's developed something it's dubbed a 'Wank Pod' to give company employees a place to engage in a little office onanism. The company even installed one in their own workplace, and plans a commercial roll out in the future."



Happy hour

"It’s been great to see so many employees back on campus over the past couple of weeks, and it was incredible to reconnect with #TeamQualcomm at our welcome back happy hour."


Kellogg School of Management

Free lunch twice per week

"One department at the Kellogg School of Management has introduced free lunches for employees two times a week, Professor Friedrich said."


Best Buy


"Best Buy, which offers backup child care to its employees through, began to provide $100 monthly reimbursements for tutors for children between the ages of 5 and 18."



Learn More About The Return To Office

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About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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