Managerial Leadership, Sustainability, and Responsible Management: Mindfulness at Google Inc.
Even though the outside appearance of Google headquarters may be filled with stereotypical visions of nap pods and scenes from “The Internship,” there is still a lot of work that is accomplished by those working there. With work, there can come stress, and job-related stress is a huge issue, with studies by the Behavioral Science and Policy Association stating that working long hours has been shown to increase mortality by 20 percent. No matter how many cushy perks you can get, they won’t make everyone happy, and Google is combating this with creativity. They attempt to counteract the stress-related issues by offering specific classes—for example Meditation 101 and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. They also encourage their employees to join their online and in-person community called gPause. This specific group helps support and encourage meditation practice. The key to this stress-reducing revolution at Google is that they have a company culture that supports the behavior. The company also promotes day meditation retreats at a handful of their locations. This type of creativity is sure to take hold at other companies across the globe.
- Google is one of the leading tech companies in the world. What do you think of their approach to handling stress within the workplace? Do you think that this approach will be effective? Why or why not?
- A company culture that supports stress reduction is key to the success of any program within the company. What are some obstacles that can arise when handling stress within a workplace? What are some methods that you would employ as manager to counteract these obstacles and implement stress-reduction programs within your workplace?
Sources: J. Goh, J. Pfeffer, S. A. Zenios, “Workplace stressors & health outcomes: Health policy for the workplace,” Behavioral Science and Policy Association, February 15, 2017, https://behavioralpolicy.org/articles/workplace-stressors-health-outcomes-health-policy-for-the-workplace/; J. Porter, “How Google And Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress In Unique Ways,” Fast Company, November 16, 2015, https://www.fastcompany.com/3053048/how-google-and-other-companies-help-employees-burn-off-stress-in-unique-ways.