Peter Thiel paid staff an extra $1,000 a month if they lived near the office, a former worker said.
The billionaire investor offered it so staff “were more likely to stay late,” Michael Gibson wrote.
Gibson made the claim in his book “Paper Belt on Fire: The Fight for Progress in an Age of Ashes.”
Peter Thiel offered his staff a monthly bonus of $1,000 if they lived close to the office, according to a former employee of the billionaire investor.
Michael Gibson, a VC investor who worked for Thiel for five years, said in his book “Paper Belt on Fire: The Fight for Progress in an Age of Ashes” that Thiel “lived about 400 yards from the office” in San Francisco and encouraged his employees to live locally too.
Thiel gave workers the bonus so “they were more likely to stay late” and could be around for “a surprise meeting on the weekends,” Gibson wrote.
“Employees were granted an extra $1,000 per month in rent if they lived within a half-mile radius of the office,” per the title, published by Encounter Books last year.
“It had the added effect that we would all show up to the same watering holes after work to knock off a few drinks and gossip, tell war stories, argue over the jukebox, and have a few laughs. As far as employee benefits go, I always thought this was a wise one.”
Gibson co-founded the venture capital fund 1517, which aims to back college dropouts and those who did not study at university.
Similar subsidy schemes were in place at the software company Palantir Technologies, which Thiel co-founded, as well as at Salesforce subsidiary SalesforceIQ, according to reporting by The Guardian.
Thiel is in 217th place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $10 billion.
Meta also had deep pockets when it came to offering workers incentives to live near its office. It historically paid “at least $10,000” to Facebook staff if they lived within 10 miles of its headquarters in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, per The Guardian. It also offered employees with families a one-off payment of at least $15,000 for housing.
While some companies are bringing back such relocation benefits schemes in a bid to get workers to return to the office after the pandemic, others are taking a different approach .
Law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell told its employees that their bonuses could be cut if they’re not in the office three days a week, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Recent data from ZipRecruiter showed there were 3.8 million job listings that refer to relocation assistance, up from 2 million posts that mentioned the term in 2020, the Journal reported in April.
ARC Relocation, a firm that helps companies relocate workers, told Insider’s Aaron Mok that it’s seen a “significant rise” in business since companies started to enforce return-to-office policies.
Thiel and Meta didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.
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