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High productivity requirements eliminate 20% time according to sources

Google has always been famous for its employee perks. From childcare to naps to gourmet meals, many other companies have tried to copy Google's perks in an effort to lure in and retain employees. One of Google's most interesting perks is what the company called 20% time.

20% time allowed employees to take a single day each week to work on side projects. Google's 20% time sparked some of the company's biggest innovations including its huge moneymaker AdSense, Gmail, Google Talk, and Google News. While Google hasn’t officially killed 20% time, it has made changes that have all but eliminated 20% time from the Google culture.


Quartz reports that Google has effectively shut down 20% time by requiring that all engineers get approval from management to use 20% time to work on independent projects. Previously, 20% time was the right of everyone who worked at Google. Taking that a step further, upper management at Google has reportedly discouraged managers from approving any 20% projects at all.

Those managers are judged on team productivity, which is measured by an internal analytics team who keep an eye on employee productivity. Reports indicate that the level of productivity these teams are required to deliver assumes that all employees are working on primary responsibilities 100% of the time.

Google CEO Larry page killed off Google Labs, which fostered the development of experimental projects. Employees using their 20% time created many of those Google Labs projects. 

Source: Quartz



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RE: This makes sense.
By retrospooty on 8/19/2013 4:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, it happens, but it depends entirely on the leadership at the company in question. If its not being run well, and bad decisions are being made about which projects/products to work on, and what features to put in the products it will probably go downhill. On one hand if they are killing good projects, its a bad thing, but they could also be killing useless projects in facvor of having more work on good ones.

If anyone has any info on what specific projects are being shut down that is some good info. Other than that it's pure guess work.


RE: This makes sense.
By Samus on 8/19/2013 9:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
It all depends how efficiently management evaluates potential projects. If there aren't any loopholes or ridiculous red tape\favoritism for possible Google Labs approval, this will improve productivity at Google.

Many 20% projects, like the Google Search Appliance, Google Buzz, Google Video Player, Jaiku/Dodgeball (Twitter/Foursquare competitors) and the anomaly Orkut (which directly competes with Google's own Google+) are all failures. Some were good ideas, but they made no money (and were in fact money pits) and never made it into Google Labs (with the exception of the GSA which is pending discontinuation in favor of cloud-based Google Enterprise Search)


RE: This makes sense.
By superstition on 8/21/2013 4:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of management-approved products are failures, too. How about Microsoft Bob?


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer











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