Goldman Sachs’ boss has praised a group of junior bankers today after they raised the alarm on ‘inhumane’ working hours and workplace abuse.
A survey which circulated on Twitter last week, that was presented to the bank last month, showed employees had worked 98 hours per week on average since January, with one week in February clocking an average of 105 working hours, and got just five hours sleep per night.
A junior analyst that took part in the survey group – which was self-selected and represented views from one area of the investment banking division – said the working hours were “inhumane” or “abuse”.
“The sleep deprivation, the treatment by senior bankers, the mental and physical stress… I’ve been through foster care and this is arguably worse,” one respondent said.
“I didn’t come into this job expecting 9am-5pms, but I also didn’t expect consistent 9am-5ams either,” another added.
CEO David Soloman said he took the complaints “very seriously” in a video delivered to all 34,000 staff globally, where he encouraged other employees to speak out.
“I can imagine that many of you saw the presentation that a group of analysts shared with their management recently about their lack of work-life balance,” Soloman said.
“This is something that our leadership team and I take very seriously.”
The boss added that he will be improving enforcement of “the Saturday rule”, which allows junior bankers to not be expected in the office from 9pm on Friday until 9am on Sunday.
Soloman also expressed plans for hiring more junior staff across its investment banking faction to help reduce workloads.
In the video message, the banking chief suggested work-from-home duties may have contributed to the demanding working hours.
However, Soloman reminded staff that “if we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance.”