The Water Cooler
A blog of fresh ideas and findings from organizational leaders and researchers on how they’re making work better, shared regularly.
You’re working on a report and the ping of an inbound email pulls you away. Soon, you find yourself checking your social feeds, the weather, and the news. Sound familiar? Research shows that our attention span for digital tasks is only 40 seconds.
“If you can’t afford crazy, you can’t afford brilliant.” Astro Teller, a “culture engineer” and the captain of Alphabet's moonshot factory, described how a culture that rewards teams for failure can support world-changing innovation.
Google’s “moonshot factory” is inspiring and ambitious, but there’s a less talked-about route to many of Google’s great achievements -- the consistent, short-term, incremental “roofshots” that make our products better year after year.
Collaborative teams do much of the work at organizations everywhere, but what makes a team effective? Google’s People Analytics group set out to answer this question and it turns out the how matters more than who.
The dream of the internet is to have a place where people can share their ideas respectfully. In reality, individuals can be so loud, rude, and abusive that serious discourse is impossible. But by enhancing community norms with machine learning we can start to scale civility.
Google’s People Analytics researchers Julia Rozovsky and Abeer Dubey will be talking about their study of effective teams live on Wednesday, June 22 at 11am PT. Tune in to see their presentation and ask your questions.
My colleague had a baby and her husband decided to take a 12-month leave from his job to stay home with the newborn. We, her co-workers, were all surprised, if not shocked.
Riot Games, maker of one of the world's most popular video games, has helped their gamers battle in-game toxicity and wondered if that experience could help them identify toxic behaviour in their workplace.
More people are biking to work than ever before. The number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. rose from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009, and since the year 2000, bicycle commuting rates in large bike-friendly communities has increased by 105%.
Check out what some of the leading academics, business leaders, and pioneers are saying about the future of work, people analytics, and how we can all make work better.
For over ten years, Carnegie Mellon University has been successful at enrolling, sustaining, and graduating women in computer science at a much higher rate than national averages. Here are six ways we made it happen.
How do we change the value we give to the care of children and family? Anne-Marie Slaughter sat down with Google’s Laszlo Bock to talk about mothers, fathers, and how organizations and society should better support parents and children.
Designing and auditing fair pay practices are steps organizations everywhere can take to create more equitable workplaces. Check out the re:Work guide on pay equity to learn what you can be doing now.
In 2015 we added 8,214 employees to Google. And the women we hired, on average, received a 30 percent bigger salary increase upon joining the company, compared to men. Does that sound fair to you?
Increasingly, we will work alongside machines in spaces designed not just for people, but also for artificially intelligent occupants. It's already happened in factories, spaceships, and hackerspaces and may be coming to a workplace near you.
“I have no right to ever expect that someone that works for us is going to give a higher level of service to a guest than I’m willing to give to the employee,” Paul Saginaw said. Saginaw co-founded Zingerman’s Deli, famous for big sandwiches, happy customers, and loyal employees.
Double-entry bookkeeping might not be the flashiest of innovations to come out of the industrial revolution. But, while it was critical for the integrated enterprise, workers wound up on the "cost" side of the ledger, and maybe they shouldn't have.
KPMG wanted to understand the underlying factors that were influencing employee engagement at the audit, tax, and advisory firm. They discovered that a sense of purpose was the key and set out to reinforce this by soliciting stories from all levels of the organization.
It is a common lamentation of human resource business partners everywhere - "I can't get a seat at the table." But a team at Google has come up with an innovative way to get a seat anywhere.
Is it worth the extra time to get an extra interviewer to vet a candidate? The latest research from the Behavioural Insights Team in the UK shows just how valuable an extra reviewer or two can be to making the best hiring decision.