January 11, 2014

Work Life IMBALance

Mental, emotional, and physical health often feeds off of maintaining a good balance in life. 

Yet, the financial services industry has been notorious for making people work unearthly hours, but also paying them unG-dly sums of money, especially in end-of-year bonuses. 

I remember reading the other year that the average bonus at Goldman Sachs was something like $750,000!

The price people pay for this is work, work, and more work (and like in the film, Wall Street, often some very unscrupulous behavior as well).

Many people get apartments down by Wall Street, so when they stroll out of the office at 1 am (maybe that's a good night), they can get to their place and clock a few hours of sleep before it's back to the office--in record time. 

Does the wealth accumulation and perhaps early retirement make it worth it--I guess to some people it does. 

Today, the New York Times reported how financial firms like Bank of America (BOA) Merrill Lynch is perhaps seeing the ill effects of this misguided "human capital strategy."

Finally, they are now encouraging people to "take four days off a month" and we're taking about weekends. 

That still leaves you with 6 days a week of work and typically 90 hours per week in the office!

Anyway, this is what they call being "committed to making the work experience better."

This is coming off the heels of a 21-year old intern at BOA that died last Summer in the office "after working three consecutive nights" even though they attributed the death to epilepsy. 

Work is good and healthy, except when it's extreme and not. Work-a-holism is a disease and money is at the root cause. 

It's great to be committed to the organization, mission, people and to doing your best, but it's another to sacrifice your soul, health, family and friends, and other interests that make you a well-rounded person. 

Ambition is healthy, greed is deadly--and if you have to come up with three lemons to see that, then it may be too late. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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