I read that bankers working for Goldman work for 80 and even 100 hours a week and that blew my mind.
I live in the Balkans in one of the poorest countries in Europe, where the average salary is about 450 - 500 usd, yet most people here work for 8 hours a day for 5 days and some in saturday as well, very little people work on sunday, usually only the ones that have crappy jobs and have to make as much as they can to survive. Even counting saturdays, that is 8 hours x 6 days - 48 hours a week, if we count in another hour for transport to and from work, that’s 54 hours of the week you spend on work. If you sleep for 8 hours, then you have only about 7 hours of free time, which is sometimes split into two parts, depending on which shift you’re working, so you only have less than 1/3 of your time to spend on what matters the most - your family.
In countries like France, the average work week is just 35 hours, since a work day lasts for 7 hours and over that is considered overtime. I am not sure about it, but I think I read that they have 5 weeks of holiday time per year and by hours a year, they rank among the lowest amount in Europe, Germany also ranks near them.
So following this logic, the higher the living standard and salaries, the more the people can have free time to spend with their families instead of working overtime, right?
Well…in case of bankers I mentioned, for some reason I can’t understand, they are willing to work for 100 hours a week, which is 14 hours a day even if they work on sundays or about 11.5 hours if it’s an 80 hour week with sunday included and 13.5 hours without sunday.
I can understand very poor people who have no option other than to work for 12 and more hours a day, but people in year 1919 in several countries in Europe have striked and protested demanding 8 hour work days, in 1919, that’s more than a hundred years ago, yet there are people more than a hundred years later in the 21.st century who dedicate years to finishing extremely hard universities just in order to work 12+ hour work days and have literally no free time for them and their family.
I can understand the incentive for more money, but if you finished the hardest possible schools and got into world leading financial companies, you should have the best possible work conditions, not the worst ones, no matter how big the salary.