I just read the results of a survey which genuinely shocked me.
First year analysts at Investment Banking firm Goldman Sachs have been sending around the results of an internal survey which shows that they are being forced to work an average of 95 hours per week.
Many are threatening to quit if the company does not put in place a cap of 80 hours a week. To put that in context, that is more than twice the maximum normal working time for most other companies worldwide.
95 hours is also the estimated average. As shown in this twitter excerpt of the results, many analysts estimated they worked 105 hours or more this week, and that is common.
This excerpt from a 2021 survey of Goldman Sachs analysts could be its own “How it started/how it’s going” meme. It’s been over 20 years since I was an analyst, and nothing has changed. Still can’t believe I used to work this way…. pic.twitter.com/kyu4b71iUx
— Meredith Niles (@meredithniles) March 18, 2021
But what is especially saddening is that it is not just getting less than 5 hours of sleep that is affecting these young professionals’ lives.
The survey also talks about rampant abuse and mental health issues that the company culture is causing:
- 77% said they had been victims of workplace abuse
- 83% said they had experienced “excessive monitoring or micromanagement”
- 17% said they frequently experienced shouting or swearing
- Before working for the firm, the analysts assessed their own mental health at 8.8 out of 10 and their physical health at 9 out of 10. After starting the job, they rated their mental health at 2.8 and their physical health at 2.3.
If you ask me, nobody deserves these sorts of working conditions.
Yes, investment banks are known for being a place where extremely high salaries require long working hours.
But this goes beyond just working hard, it is treating people as expendable and worthless.
Moreover, it highlights a real problem in companies that being busy is often more important that being productive. Not just in startups which glorify hustle culture, but large companies where busyness is getting in the way of business.
This pressure to constantly be seen working is also terrible for our brains’ ability to be creative, which often takes time to step away from a problem, reflect and get into a more relaxed mental state.
Money might be a great incentive for many people.
But if you have no time to actually use it to do something you enjoy, and burning you out into a shell of the person you once were, what is the point in earning so much?
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