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Google's gDNA study: Creating the best workplace or yet more Big Brother?

A new investigative team is starting out at Google. But it's not based around robotics, the cloud or even market strategy. The subject will be Google's own employees.

The firm is beginning a long-term scientific study of its employees dubbed gDNA, according to the Harvard Business Review, in order to get an idea of how to make their workers happier and more successful.

Longevity appears to be the watchword for Google, who has said that the study will be carried out until the end of the century, assuming the company is still alive and kicking in 2099.

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Anonymous surveys will be used of over 4,000 workers to gather together data about personalities and attitudes at home and at work.

Google has already discovered that people are split into two groups - the "segmentors" or "integrators" - people who cut off work concerns from their social lives and those who can't help but worry about their job, respectively.

The search giant is hoping for an even greater understanding of its workforce and how to improve their working lives, but has no real idea of what it might discover as the survey continues.

For Laszlo Bock, Google's VP for people operations, the end goal is to find out what characteristics help form good working teams and what can be done to keep employees engaged in their work for years.