Google's Approach to Work/Life "Balance" and Much More

by Lazlo Bock for Harvard Business Review

Are you a Segmentor or Integrator? Google's approach is to survey and test employee's gDNA in order to provide the best solutions for their approach to work and life distinctions.

Our first rounds of gDNA have revealed that only 31% of people are able to break free of this burden of blurring. We call them “Segmentors.” They draw a psychological line between work stress and the rest of their lives, and without a care for looming deadlines and floods of emails can fall gently asleep each night. Segmentors reported preferences like “I don’t like to have to think about work while I am at home.”

For “Integrators”, by contrast, work looms constantly in the background.  They not only find themselves checking email all evening, but pressing refresh on gmail again and again to see if new work has come in.(To be precise, people fall on a continuum across these dimensions, so I’m simplifying a bit.)

Of these Integrators (69% of people), more than half want to get better at segmenting. This group expressed preferences like “It is often difficult to tell where my work life ends and my non-work life begins.”