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New Book Explains Google’s Personnel Ethic

“We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.”


If you ever wanted to know all about how Google treats its employees as part of its corporate philosophy now is your chance. Its head of personnel, Laszlo Bock, came out with a new book on that very subject this week.

Work Rules: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, ” which came out this week, has been described as being something akin to a textbook for businesspeople on how to successfully take care of and treat a workforce properly.

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The high tech boom of the 1990s not only transformed people’s everyday lives, but also how corporations treat their employees in America. The success of dot coms and other firms with their alternative attitudes on what a workplace environment should be like rubbed off on other types of businesses.

One major effect that it had was the more widespread adoption of casual dress in the office. Americans have always had a very button down corporate culture which requires dark business suits, white shirts and, of course, ties.

Then came the high tech revolution with its counterculture leaders who eschewed such “stuffiness” and wore jeans to work every day, forget about ties.

So many other businesses followed suit – no pun intended — and dress down Fridays were born. Even Wall Street made changes.

The idea that Silicon Valley had was to make the work place fun because people must spend most of their time there. In a field that demands creativity this was especially important. You do not want your employees to feel like cogs in a machine if they have to constantly innovate and brainstorm.

As Bock writes, “We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.”

Bloomberg said of the book, “The funniest takeaway from this book is not that Google is a cult, because it isn’t. It’s an extremely successful business. The joke is that Bock wants Google to be a cult, even as its employees, its Googlers, are normal people who work at a company that makes money because it’s excellent at indexing things on the Internet.”

“It’s sort of mundane, but the author and others have convinced themselves it’s a calling. Bock came to Silicon Valley 15 years ago, from General Electric, and he’s directly tied to what Google’s become in those years. He claims to have personally looked at every résumé submitted since he arrived.”



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