Six months into Google as Software Engineer: work-life balance

21 Aug 2022

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You are more like to overwork (and eventually burn out) in a company where your teammates are staying at work past 5 pm than at a company where people leave the office on time. Google, fortunately, turned out to be the place where people take work-life balance seriously. One thing I noticed at the company was that when you are the last person staying in the office oftentimes the person leaving the office before you will tell you not to work too much and go home. That is something I have never seen before.

Total disconnection is a must element to a balanced work. One of my colleagues, upon returning from their vacation, was asked how their vacation went. To which, he responded: “It was great, I was able to totally disconnect from work”. I never before thought of disconnection from work as something important. So, next time you take a trip or visit your parents over the weekend make sure not to take your laptop with you. If you are thinking “oh wait, I might want to finish some work if I happen to have a few hours to spare.”, you are not alone. Most of us unfortunately think that way. Instead, we should focus on completely disconnecting from work so we can come back to work fresh and shining.

Google provides plenty of paid vacation days (30 days in my case) for its employees to help them balance their work and life. In addition to the standard vacation days, Googlers also get a generous amount of maternity/paternity leaves, sick days, and random day-offs declared either company-wide or org-wide.

Since joining Google, I have formed several good habits. One of them is leaving work when I leave work. That is, I try to leave work concerns when I leave work for home at 5 pm. True, sometimes I end up working late but those days are more like an exception than the norm.

Unfortunately, leaving the work zone does not happen on its own. You need something that pulls you out of it. I discovered that sports activities are a perfect way for me to disconnect. In that aspect, Google’s support of such activities helps a lot.

One does not simply leave work and not think about work

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