GoogleThe policy that gave rise to some of Google’s most iconic products–Gmail, Google Reader, Google Talk, and more–is being axed. Employees previously used the search giant’s 20% time perk to work on side projects one day a week. It’s a policy that’s taken off in Silicon Valley, with other companies following suit for out-of-the-box ideas. But as noted by a former Google employee, there were barriers to overcome before a 20% project could see the light of day. In addition to seeking technical and product approvals, engineers were also responsible for maintenance. Furthermore, when it came time for peer reviews, he noted that employees who dedicated their full time on a sanctioned project were more likely receive better marks and promotions. The 20% policy, which used to apply to all employees, had also narrowed in scope over the years.

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