Perks for employees and how Google changed the way we work (while waiting in line)To most people, a long queue for the lunch counter is a sign of their office canteen’s inefficiency. But to Google, counterintuitive as ever, a healthy waiting time for its famous free lunch is a corporate strategy, designed to foster innovation among employees. Dan Cobley, the search giant’s UK managing director, told a conference of business leaders at the Albert Hall in London this week that Google’s meal-time lines are intentionally kept long, “because we know people will chat while they’re waiting. Chats become ideas, and ideas become projects.” Forward-thinking firms, Mr Cobley told his audience, ought to nurture “serendipitous interaction” between their staff. Google has a history of apparently frivolous perks and workplace practices that seem “extravagant and juvenile”.