Goldman CEO Promises to Give Break to Tired Employees Who Work 100 Hours a Week
First-year analysts at the firm said they would likely leave if working conditions remained the same after six months.
In response to a growing number of complaints regarding work culture, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said in a voice memo on Sunday that he would try his best to give overwhelmed junior bankers at least one day off during the week, the New York Post reports.
The announcement follows after a viral PowerPoint presentation revealed that some first-year analysts were working 100 hours a week.
"What is not ok to me is 110-120 hours over the course of a week!" one person wrote. "The math is simple, that leaves 4 hours for eating, sleeping, showering bathroom and general transition time. This is beyond the level of ‘hard-working,’ it is inhuman/ abuse."
"My body physically hurts all the time and mentally I’m in a really dark place," another added.
In his note, Solomon acknowledged the heavy workload but added that the long hours were, in fact, helping business.
"The good news is, volumes are up because we have an opportunity to work with our clients on so many interesting things right now," he said. "In the months ahead, there are times when we’re going to feel more stretched than others, but just remember: 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."
Still, the CEO stressed that it was important to strike a work-life balance, promising that he would do his due diligence in enforcing the "Saturday rule." Under the rule, employees are discouraged to work from 9 p.m. on Friday to 9 a.m. Sunday — with one important caveat, which is if the work is deemed absolutely necessary.
Solomon also said that Goldman would hire more junior bankers and reassign existing employees to lessen the burden on worn-out workers. The CEO additionally said that the company would automate certain jobs.
"In this world of remote work, it feels like we have to be connected 24/7," he said, in a recording obtained by the Post. "We’re here to provide support and guidance. This is not easy, and we’re working hard to make it better."
A Goldman survey on the firm's working conditions recently disclosed that first-year analysts were working at least 95 hours a week and getting five hours of sleep every night. On average, most of them slept at 3 a.m. Respondents said that they were likely to leave the firm if conditions remained the same after six months.
Justin Chan is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, he was a trending news editor at Verizon Media, where he covered entrepreneurship, lifestyle, pop culture, and tech. He was also an assistant web editor at Architectural Record, where he wrote on architecture, travel, and design. Chan has additionally written for Forbes, Reader's Digest, Time Out New York, HuffPost, Complex, and Mic. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he studied magazine journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @jchan1109.