Work-Life Balance

Large, influential firms have the connotation of long, grueling workdays where your life becomes your job. Microsoft and Google are both the opposite of this. Both have an emphasis on growing individually and mental/physical health. Both offer spaces to escape from work, such as coffee shops and sleeping pods. However, Google seems to be a little more relaxed, with multiple restaurants on campus serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, along with gyms, swimming pools, and pool tables. These differences may be the case if one is recently renovated, but a significant focus on mental health from both firms.

The two firms offer ample opportunities and encourage the development of skills outside of one’s role. Microsoft offers the hackathon to pursue passionate projects, a couple of days to focus on different projects. Google offers partially expensed classes for anything one would like, pottery for our guide Arthur today. Our other guide, Ailbhe, spends 20% of her time working with the United Nations to help address social issues she is passionate about. Google hosts plenty of events, currently a welcome event for the Dublin office, but larger events as well. In 2019, a pride event hosted in Poland brought employees from around the world together to share their experiences, something Arthur said brought everyone closer and was one of his favorite memories.

Working in an environment where individual growth and self-expression is encouraged are essential as I look toward my future. Having a multicultural environment and meeting those from around the world is fantastic. Covid has shown the importance of a balanced life, which these firms are striving to create.

I also visited Dublinia, a Viking museum, today. Learning more about the development of Dublin through the Vikings and then the Normans was very interesting. I also saw the famous Strongbow’s tomb.

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