wrote a great article on why companies should encourage their employees to be entrepreneurs outside of their core jobs and offer some helpful tips to cultivate an environment for doing so.
This piece is very close to home and we'd love to share some thoughts on it. From our perspective, side projects and even side businesses are very common at Google and are often encouraged. They allow for employees to tap into their passions and interests outside of their core role, often times bringing transferrable skills back to their teams. More importantly, this sort of encouragement helps people be themselves, and when people can be themselves they are likely to lead more fulfilled, happier lives both in and outside of the office.
When I first started working at Google I recall sitting next to a rap artist, a magician and a jewelry designer. It was inspiring to see each of these people practice their passions outside of work and served as encouragement for our larger team to consider doing the same. Sometimes teammates took on new projects in the team that had to do the scope of our work , other times they were seemingly unrelated but I'm convinced both paths played a role in our team's success and overall morale.