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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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Stupid, maybe 'evil.'
By Wererat on 8/20/2013 12:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
Google grew because it took risks, chief among which is that it dared to trust its people to be excellent even with atraditional perks. While other places were where you had to go or built a resume, Google was where people wanted to go.

Now they've obviously decided that they don't need to trust their people, so they'll have directions and mandates. Trust me, all the perks will start vaporizing one by one. A managerial mindset that thinks 'is this "necessary"' will find reasons to remove things.

Sure, they can now afford to buy others' cool ideas and integrate them, but that just means the idea people should LEAVE Google and go start something so you can sell it back to Google.

That's OK by me; Google has apparently decided it wants to help facilitate the Age of Intrusion, so I don't mind at all if they stagnate.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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