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Google Lets Its Employees Waste 20% Of Their Time

Sites include . Published on January 18th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

Management techniques and culture in an organization is one of those constantly evolving areas that never cease to amaze. Now Google it seems is pioneering a new paradigm in getting employees motivated and staying there.

The rather strange revelation came as a result of an exchange between a reporter and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a recently concluded Innovation Conference held in Brussels last year. The question/punctuated point, was based on an observation the reporter had made about how Google employees spend their time and went something like this: “You tell employees to waste their time, 20% of the week, you have this strange management approach where people are treated like peers and you don’t mind failure. This makes no sense what so ever”

Schmidt fired back instantly with the rather shorted but pointed answer, “It works for us”. With this the former CEO seems to have created a new shift in the thinking behind management and employee motivation—something which of course, only a multi-billion tech company like Google could create instant mindshare for.

But will it work? Clearly allowing your employees to waste time is a maverick idea, but whether it can help with retention is another matter. Google will be well advised to remember McGregor’s theory X&Y theory of work. X essentially says that people working! If that’s true, giving them Cart Blanche to waste time may not be sustainable.

What do you think? Would you give your staff the ok to waste time on the job? Let us know below.

You can watch the video to below to learn more about Google’s innovative approach:

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