Goldman Sachs has told its summer investment banking interns they should leave the office by midnight and not come back until at least 7am. What’s more, they’ve been instructed to take Saturdays off too. How very generous.
To be fair to the investment bank, which has more than 2,900 summer interns this year according to Reuters, it’s hard to change a culture of competitively long hours at the drop of a hat. But if any Wall Street firm can order their interns home, and their clients to wait that little bit longer to seal a deal, surely Goldman can.
The edict comes after investment banks were forced to face up to the ridiculous hours being worked by their junior staff following the death of Bank of America intern Moritz Erhadt in 2013. He had pulled three all-nighters in a row, although an inquest found that couldn’t be conclusively linked to his dying of an epileptic seizure.
At the time, Bank of America said it would recommend its bottom-rung employees take at least four weekend days off a month. Again, how very kind of them.
The difficulty with any big shift in working practices, is people who have ‘done their time’ often don’t see why those below them shouldn’t have to go through the initiation of all-nighters too. Barclays may have disowned itself from a recent email that jokingly instructed interns to ‘bring a pillow’ to the office, but the prank was uncomfortably close to the bone. Banks will have to work harder if they really want to change their culture – and their reputation.