Mountain View, Calif.
MAYBE it’s no surprise that a yellow-brick road winds through the Googleplex.
Step onto Google’s campus here — with its indoor treehouse, volleyball court, apiaries, heated toilet seats and, yes, Oz-style road — and you might think you’ve just sailed over the rainbow.
But all the toys and perks belie the frenetic pace here, and many employees acknowledge that life at Google can be hard on fragile egos.
Sure, the amenities are seductive, says Blaise Pabon, an enterprise sales engineer, but “when you get to a place like this, it can tear you apart” if you don’t find a way to handle the hard-driving culture.
Employees coming from fast-paced fields, already accustomed to demanding bosses and long hours, say Google pushes them to produce at a pace even faster than they could have imagined. Google’s co-founder and chief executive, Larry Page, recently promised on the company Web site to maintain “a healthy disregard for the impossible.”
Little wonder, then, that among the hundreds of free classes that Google offers to employees here, one of the most popular is called S.I.Y., for “Search Inside Yourself.” It is the brainchild of Chade-Meng Tan, 41, a tall, thin, soft-spoken engineer who arrived at Google in 2000 as Employee No. 107.
Think of S.I.Y. as the Zen of Google. Mr. Tan dreamed up the course and refined it with the help of nine experts in the use of mindfulness at work. And in a time when Google has come under new scrutiny from European and United States regulators over privacy and other issues, a class in mindfulness might be a very good thing.
The class has three steps: attention training, self-knowledge and self-mastery, and the creation of useful mental habits.
If it sounds a bit touchy-feely, consider this: More than 1,000 Google employees have taken the class, and there’s a waiting...
Full article: O.K., Google, Take a Deep Breath
Apr 28 2012 submitted by Susan Copper