Most Google Employees Can't Separate Work From Their Personal Life

Google amsterdam D/DOCKGoogle employees in Amsterdam

When you think of what it’s like working at Google, free food, bean bags, and slides likely come to mind.

It turns out there’s a science behind it all, Quartz reports.

Inspired by The Framingham Heart Study, Google developed a long-term study called gDNA.

The aim of the study is to learn how to improve well-being, cultivate great leaders, better understand how happiness affects work, and how work affects happiness, Google SVP of People Operations Lazslo Block wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

In the gDNA study, 4,000 Google employees complete two anonymous, optional in-depth surveys every year. Two years in, Google has discovered that there are two main approaches to work-life balance: “segmentors” and “integrators.”

“Segmemtors” are people who can draw a line between work stress and the rest of their lives, allowing them to not think about work when they’re at home. But only 31% of Googlers can successfully draw boundaries between work and life.

Meanwhile, “integrators,” which make up for 69% of Google employees, are unable to do that.

“For ‘Integrators,’ by contrast, work looms constantly in the background,” Bock writes. “They not only find themselves checking email all evening, but pressing refresh on gmail again and again to see if new work has come in.”

Unsurprisingly, half of these “Integrators” wish they could be more like “Segmentors.”

In order to address this, Google’s Dublin office has a program called “Google Goes Dark,”in which people have to leave their devices at the front desk before leaving for the night.

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