Informal Interactions with Monique Picou

With your career so intertwined with technology and being “switched on,” how do you unplug and create time and space to be offline outside of working hours?

As a leader, I need to set the example of balance for my organization. We are part of the team keeping the Internet running 24/7, so it’s not always as easy as working a traditional 9 to 5. I encourage the team to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. Google offers a range of health and wellness benefits designed to decompress that I, along with my team, take advantage of. For example, Googlers have access to a variety of apps to help manage stress and anxiety. One of my favorites is Headspace, which offers guided meditation.

I work hard to cultivate a culture of teamwork where everyone (including myself) has the confidence to unplug completely and know the rest of the team has their back. I ask my leaders to put their vacation on my calendar so that I do not even accidentally bother them when they are out of office.