Work Life Balance at Google Essay
Work Life Balance Work-life balance entails a proper prioritizing between “work” ( primarily career and aspirations ) and “lifestyle” ( pertaining to leisure, health, family and personal development ) activities. Of late, the organizations have come to realize the importance of work-life balance to improve productivity.
The research by Kenexa Research Institute (2007) showed that the companies genuinely inclined towards efforts to support work-life balance in an organization indicated much lesser turnover, greater pride in the brand of the organization and the willingness to give the extra bit to work. It also indicated greater job satisfaction and recommendations to peers about the company. The norms of employer is usually offering a range of programs and initiatives like casual and telecommuting work, flexible work arrangements, compulsory leave, maximum leave and fostering environment that encourages employees not to continue working after hours.
Though a prominent flaw in the whole purpose of the code of work-life balance is that it is generally only highly skilled workers that can enjoy such benefits as written in their contracts. Usually less skilled workers almost always have to rely on bare minimum legal requirements. Practices at Google TGIF Google strives to maintain the open culture often associated with startups, in which everyone is a hands-on contributor and feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. In their weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings usually over mail or in the cafe ‘Googlers’ ask questions directly to Larry, Sergey and other execs about any number of company issues. The offices and cafes are designed to encourage interactions between Googlers within and across teams, and to spark conversation about work as well as play. Transparency and Openness Googlers live and breathe a culture of openness. Their commitment to innovation depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. The ability to challenge or discuss a company decision is never more than an open door, whiteboard, email, hallway or microphone away.
They highly value rigorous debate, and value all Googlers’ input in company decisions. Googlers also have the opportunity to develop 20% Projects, where they take 20% of their work time to work on projects that they’re personally passionate about. There are many examples of 20% projects that lead to meaningful impact on the company, such as Gmail and Orkut. Personal and Professional Development Part of the culture is to encourage an atmosphere that fosters Googlers’ personal and professional development.
They offer multiple opportunities for growth through our [email protected] initiatives, including our g2g (Googler to Googler) courses, where Googlers have both the opportunity to learn and impart their personal expertise by leading a course. From project management courses to presentation skills series to computer programming classes to their language programs, the opportunity for development at Google is limited only by employee’s own initiative. A company that truly cares
For a company with decent revenue stream, it is not difficult to provide parties on each Friday, shuttles to commute, free food and drinks in the cafe as a symbol of providing good care for the personal life of an employee. Though mostly, it’s a lip service as the employees get bored of the ‘cafe food’ and crave for time at home under difficult work circumstances. At Google, it’s a bit different – the chef’s in each cafe genuinely care for the food you eat. Not only that, they come and ask you regarding how the food you are eating tastes. Besides the TGIF meetings at Google are discussions and celebrations of different kind altogether where n employee’s perspective is cared for. The commute shuttles at Google are very comfortable, have wi-fi access and are frequent. A typical day of a Google employee reflection of Work-Life Balance The perks at Google encourage work-life balance. This is testified by a software engineer on the Mountain View campus, who is married with an 18-month-old son. He comes into the office around 9 a. m. , and may leave for salsa dancing classes with other Googlers at 2 p. m. He then comes back, codes for a few hours, then may go to a bar on campus with some colleagues, returns to work, and then goes home around 7 p. . He typically then gets back to work, while at home, around 10 p. m. To him, this is the epitome of Google’s work-life balance; though the amount of personal life in his day amounts to less than three hours with his family, assuming the rest of the time is spent sleeping. Encouraging fun Fun is big part of Google culture. They consider each other not just colleagues, but friends and family, too. They play on Google sports teams together, have happy hours and throw each other birthday parties, baby showers and engagement celebrations.
Google’s offices have all sorts of on-site entertainment, from pool tables to ping pong to bowling alleys to Mortal Kombat to Dance Dance Revolution dance-offs. Many Googlers love outdoor activities and fitness, so in addition to our on-site gyms, we also have multiple sports, races, and competitions. Sports leagues include volleyball, basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, flag football, kickball and dodgeball. Many Googlers also participate in our intramural sports program, playing everything from basketball to soft ball to inner-tube water polo.
When the physical activity is over, Googlers need to recharge. We love to eat, and our amazing Culinary team creates a multitude of events and delicacies for our enjoyment. Recently, the team introduced “Snack Attack” trucks that travel all over campus bringing surprise breakfasts, desserts, beverages and more. Our chefs also prepare gourmet finger foods for our weekly TGIF company all-hands meeting. Googlers enjoy visits from artists, authors, performers, politicians and celebrities who drop by throughout the year.
Lady Gaga came to our Mountain View campus this spring, and Tina Fey sat down with our Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, to talk about her recent book and signed 200 copies for the audience. Social Responsibility An integral part of Google culture is the idea that Googlers can make a difference. Every year, our GoogleServe initiative holds a weeklong series of volunteering where Googlers serve their surrounding communities. Thousands of Googlers lend their time and expertise to participate in our [email protected] programs all over the world.
To solidify our commitment to social responsibility and making a difference, we have established a gift-matching program where we pledge to match up to $12,000 of eligible Googlers’ donations to non-profit organizations. Correlation with Strategy of Google Google has a strategy of differentiation and focuses on innovation so for that purpose it is important that it provides an environment that helps the person to innovate. Providing work-life balance for this purpose acts as an important aspect of HR practices at Google. The practices of Google foster creative, committed, and innovative teams.
The management at Google believes that the translation of Google’s mission into something real and tangible has a huge effect on who decides to join Google, how much engagement and creativity they bring to this place, and even on how they feel and behave after leaving. The team at Google believes that if the employees are changing the world and are working on important things, it will keep them motivated. The employees are excited to get up in the morning and work on meaningful, impactful projects. The team believes that treating employees flexibly, with respect, leads to their returning the favor to the company.
The benefits are part of what Google is, and are designed to take care of employee as a whole, whether physically, emotionally, financially or socially. The benefits exist to make sure that the employees are well taken care of. The family matters to the employees, so are important to Google too. Google has a number of benefit programs and onsite amenities to support the employee and loved ones through life’s various stages and situations. References 1. http://www. lockergnome. com/social/2012/01/16/what-its-really-like-to-work-at-