Google becomes just another big corporation

Interesting Quartz story:

Google’s “20% time,” which allows employees to take one day a week to work on side projects, effectively no longer exists. That’s according to former Google employees, one who spoke to Quartz on the condition of anonymity and others who have said it publicly.

What happened to the company’s most famous and most imitated perk? For many employees, it has become too difficult to take time off from their day jobs to work on independent projects.

This is a strategic shift for Google that has implications for how the company stays competitive, yet there has never been an official acknowledgement by Google management that the policy is moribund. Google didn’t respond to a request for comment from Quartz.

Interesting also to see how the company has achieved this. Not by formally cancelling the 20% ‘right’, but simply by requiring that managers have to approve a request to devote 20% of employee’s time on a personal project. And if just so happens that everyone is 100% committed on whatever corporate project they’re currently assigned to.

Neat, eh?