Google hired you to work, not to be a human being with independent thoughts about the hellscape world in which you now find yourself toiling away.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant known for at one time secretly developing a censored search engine for China and helping the U.S. military make drones more lethal issued new “community guidelines” for its employees, reports Bloomberg, and you had better believe “don’t be evil” is nowhere on the list. Instead, the stricture implores those employed by Google to keep their mouths shut and get back to work.
“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not,” the guidelines scold. “Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics.”
The policy is a seeming about face for a company that once encouraged employee dissent, and follows sustained internal criticism over Google’s handling of sexual harassment claims, alleged workplace retaliation, and discrimination against a pregnant employee.
Google, it seems, is sick of it — and is making clear to anyone whose livelihood depends on its self-declared corporate largesse that those who do not fall in line will face consequences.
“Avoid conversations that are disruptive to the workplace or otherwise violate Google’s workplace policies,” warns the policy. “Managers are expected to address discussions that violate those rules.”
So keep your head down, don’t point out the obvious political ramifications of your work, and be a good worker bee. Google is counting on it.