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Work-life balance in banking: still monstrous, but improving

If you want to get into banking thinking that the industry has begun to fix its horrific working hours problem, you’re in luck! It has. But it also hasn’t.

A survey of over 600 bankers by Wall Street Oasis, the professional forum, found that first year analysts are still pushing nearly 80-hour work weeks. Luckily, the step-up to associate involves a mighty reduction in working hours. - To a 73-hour week. You also get to sleep more at night, too – from an average of 5.98 hours per night to 6.21 hours.

The breakdown by bank is even more stark. The sample sizes are small but the survey suggests that Goldman Sachs’ bankers are still under pressure. Goldman's respondents, who were mostly analysts, said they averaged 4.9 hours of sleep per night, with 63% working more than 90 hours per week. 22% said they worked over 100 hours a week, like the “good old days.”

Hours seemed shorter at Wells Fargo and Barclays. There, bankers reported a positively decadent 6.4 hours of sleep per night (the highest respondents in the survey), whilst only 16% and 12% reported working more than 90 hours per week, respectively. Only 8% and 6% worked over 100 hours.

Long working hours and poor sleep exact a human toll. 72% of respondents to the survey claimed that their working hours negatively impacted their relationships with family and friends.

The healthiest bankers, it seems, are at BNP Paribas, who reported mental and physical health scores of 7.3 and 6.7, respectively. The fact that only 8% of respondents worked over 90 hours a week might have something to do with it.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • ph
    17 May 2023

    This only covers the useless beings in 'banking' positions, where youngsters barely out of their diapers work long hours, party afterwards, and get paid super high salaries, while the people who do the grunt work that makes things possible, in OPS, most of Tech and related areas, also work very long hours at much lower pay and with zero respect from the above arrogant beings.

    And now, FI's are working hard to pull employees back into the office full time even if it will cause huge hits to productivity and morale. One of them appears to be Millenium, which, I'm told, now requires full time in office even for people with very long commutes, which doesn't combine well with long work hours. But hey, micro managers need that sense of complete control over their minions.

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