First-year bankers at investment bank Goldman Sachs have warned that they could quit unless their gruelling working conditions improve.
An internal survey among 13 employees showed they averaged 95 hours of labour every week and slept five hours an evening.
Their relationships also suffered as did their physical and psychological state.
The analysts warned that they might be likely to go away within six months unless things changed.
Inhumane’ and ‘abusive’ conditions
The survey offers a rare glimpse into the fiercely competitive work culture of Wall Street’s top firms, where junior analysts scramble for well-paid career paths.
The survey, which began circulating on social media on Wednesday, is presented on Goldman Sachs-branded slides that note they were produced within the investment banking division.
The survey was conducted by a «self-selected» group of US-based first-year investment banking analysts among themselves.
«The sleep deprivation, the treatment by senior bankers, the mental and physical stress. I have been through care and this is often arguably worse,» one respondent said within the survey.
«This is beyond the extent of ‘hard-working’, this is often inhumane/abuse,» said another.
All of the respondents said the work had negatively affected their relationships with friends and family, while 77% said that they had been victims of workplace abuse.
It’s not just those within the world of finance who endure long days and tiny sleep.
David works in software development. Before the pandemic, he would travel from his range in Torquay in Devon to London on a Sunday night and only return on Friday evening — sometimes not getting through the door before midnight.
On top of his full-time job, he always features a side project which will keep him up until 02:00 and intrudes on weekends.
He says his wife would describe him as a workaholic but he doesn’t use the term himself.
«I’m the type of one that would sleep less if I could,» David says. «It’s wasted time.»
Before working for the firm, the analysts assessed their psychological state at 8.8 out of 10 and their physical health at 9 out of 10.
After starting the work, they rated their psychological state at 2.8 and their physical health at 2.3.
83% said that they had experienced «excessive monitoring or micromanagement», while 17% said they often experienced shouting or swearing.
The survey recommended a maximum of 80-hour workweeks with no work on Saturday or after 9 pm on Friday.
It also urged more realistic deadlines and better workflows aimed toward reducing stress.