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Google plans to study its employees for the next 100 years

Google plans to study its employees for the next 100 years

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Google has a sterling reputation as being a great place to work. Its fun, quirky offices, free devices, and other substantial benefits are partly to account for that, but the company is working on crafting an even better workplace. An internal team at Google is working on a long-term scientific study of its employees in the hopes of gaining some data-based insight into what makes happy, efficient, and successful employees. The plan is that the study will continue for as long as a century, assuming the company's still around in a hundred years.

Google employees struggle with separating their work and social lives, too

Laszlo Bock, Google's Senior VP for People Operations, has detailed the study in a guest article for the Harvard Business Review. It's called gDNA, and the plan is to use anonymous surveys of over 4,000 "Googlers" to amass some important data points on personalities and attitudes both at home and at work. The study's only in its second year, but Bock says that they've found that most people are either "segmentors" or "integrators." The former group represents about 31 percent of those surveyed, and they are able to cut off concerns from work and keep them from invading their social lives. The rest are constantly worried about what's happening at work, and over half of them wish they were "segmentors."

This is a problem that many employers face, and Google's investigating ways of helping its employees out. But as the studies continue, Google hopes it can gain some even deeper insights. The company isn't sure exactly what it will find as the study continues over the decades, but it hopes to answer questions about employee engagement and retention. For example, Bock wants to see what characteristics help form a great team and how the company can keep its employees engaged for years at a time. Those are some big questions, but it seems natural the Google's trying to solve them the only way it knows how: by crunching the numbers.