How long can you work 100 hour weeks before it get unhealthy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cheezdoodles, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Cheezdoodles

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    Topic says it all. Not all things are great in investment banking
     
  2. Mariner

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    I'd imagine it depends on how much sleep, nutrition and exercise you get.

    I'd try to make sure that you don't overdo things if I were you. A friend who was working 70 to 80 hours a week in a high pressure job for 18 months (as well as getting sent away to other parts of the country every couple of weeks at short notice), recently had a nervous breakdown. He is still on medication 5 months later...

    Work to live, not live to work.
     
  3. hoho

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    It highly depends on what job you do. If it's something that taxes you mentally and/or physically then I'd dare to say it gets unhealthy really fast, maybe a week or so. Only question is how long until that unhealthyness manifests in something serious.


    I worked for around 60-70 hours a week for a few months in a row as a programmer. In addition to normal stress there was always the constant problem that investors were rather unhappy and threatened to pull the plug so I had to worry about my future as well. After the company finally went belly-up it took me four months of staying at home to fully recover.
     
  4. Mize

    Mize That's my stapler
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    Really depends upon how much you like the work, how much sleep you're getting, how well you're eating and how much time your carving out for other things like family, relaxation, etc., but 100 hours is very tough on a person physically and emotionally unless they have some sort of genetic ability to go without sleep.

    There are 168 hours in a week. 100 hours of work means < 10 hrs per day for sleep, exercise, family, eating, GAMING, etc. with no days off. Sounds horrible.
     
  5. tongue_of_colicab

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    Actually probably more like < 8 hours a day. Keep in mind you also have to travel to and from work.

    I'd say working more than 50 hours a week on a regulair basis is not good for you. 100 hours would be killer. How long you can keep going would depend on the person but just google karoshi. In Japan you got people dying from having to work ~80 hours a week on a regulair basis.

    I work 50 hours a week for about 8 months when I was 20/21. Junior system admin as a internship on weekdays and a 9 to 5 parttime job on saturdays. When I was finished I was happy to go to university, lot less stressfull. And at the time I was still living at my parents place so I didn't have to do housekeeping, buy food, make food etc. Even on 50 hours a week, if you add up all the stuff you have to do on a daily basis, you almost have no free time left.

    Anyway I'll have to work 50 hours a week for 4 months soon while living on my own so lets see 5 months from now how healthy I still am ;)
     
  6. Grall

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    You don't say!

    Regardless how good the good parts are, at 100 hour work week I'd say it isn't worth it. Is that even legal in Norway? The unions would have a coronary long before that and shut down the whole company over here.
     
  7. Lightman

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    If you driving a car to and from work better also thing about others you can injure!

    I've had few 15-17 hours days at work every now and then and usually average 50-70 hours a week but at least I have weekends off.
    I've been through close to 100h weeks for 2-3 months and lost 10kg of weight from 80kg to 70kg during that time. But this was mainly labour work as a courier/delivery man and I was exhausted at the end of that stint.

    Good sleep and healthy food are crucial to sustain this type of pressure even for couple of weeks.
    My advice is, if you can see when this overload of work will end and it's not too far in the future, it might be worth trying to keep working like that. Otherwise just tell somebody the truth and either leave or ask for a change.

    As posters above already said, work to live, not live to work.
     
  8. Cheezdoodles

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    Hehe I don't think there is many unions for investment bankers..

    For 7-8 months now my lightest work week has been 60hours. Average is maybe 80-90ish.

    Starting to affect my mood, the relationship I'm in and pretty much very thing around me. Not in a good mental state right now.
     
    #8 Cheezdoodles, Mar 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  9. Silent_Buddha

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    As many have already said it all depends on whether you like your work or not.

    Where I work at in Japan from time to time, the average work week without overtime is 60-70 hours a week with some workers opting to work 72-80 hours week (start work 2 hours earlier than the other employees). This is day in and day out all year around and they all do fine. 1 day off a week. And it isn't a low stress job either. One wrong move means you lose your life or one of your limbs.

    I'd say it's entirely up to how your were raised and the society you were raised in. If you're raised in a country with expectations of only 40 hours per week or less, then anything more might seem traumatic. While if you were raised in a country where 60-70 is the expected norm than anything less seems indulgent. On the other hand, in the latter country, there isn't much room for overtime before the human body might wear down excessively.

    Also note that even in countries with 40 hour per week expectations (like the US), rural farmers and other occupations regularly work far more. Farmers and Ranchers often work 70-90 hour work weeks for large chunks of the year (7 days a week with no days off for months at a time). It's one of the main reasons I never make fun of people in rural communities, I generally have far more respect for them than most city dwellers.

    And then there's always the mental versus physical aspect. High mental stress jobs will easily tax those without strong mental fortitude. Just like physically taxing jobs can prove impossble for those without high physical fortitude. But either way, even if you have the right mental or physical makeup for the job at hand, if you don't really like your job...then it's going to wear you down quickly no matter what.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  10. trinibwoy

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    It mostly depends on how much time you spend with assholes during those 100 hours, especially if your boss is one of them.
     
  11. tongue_of_colicab

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    Excluding the insane amount of work related suicides and death by overworking, yes they see to do fine. But how many of them are leading a happy life? Thats the point. Sure the Japanese hang in there. But they are not happy. A friend of mine she had this crazy hours job as well. Often she didn't even had one day off in the week. She kept going but wasn't happy at all. Good thing she finally found something else.

    Even if you are raised to think working 70 or 80 hours a week is normal, it doesn't mean it people are happy working such hours. Chinese factory workers arn't happy with the hours they have to do. But they got no choice.

    Also how about productivity? It's impossible to work 100 hours and be productive most of the time. Now this probably depends on the job as well, but for lets say the average office job I wouldn't be surprised if lets say somebody who has to work 80 hours would actually be more productive working 10 or 20 hours less.
     
  12. Silent_Buddha

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    Sure it happens, but I also know people working 40 hours a week in the US that are extremely unhappy and suicidal.

    Back to where I work at times in Japan, most of the people there are pretty happy. I, myself, being somewhat old now can't quite hang with them though. They still like to go out party drinking and partying after work sometimes. Meaning that they often work on less than 8 hours of sleep. Then again I remember being able to do that when I was in my 20's still. :)

    The highest suicide rate when I last looked at it for Japan (which was 15-20 years ago) was among teens (stress of trying to get into a University or College) and the elderly (don't know what to do without work).

    It's quite possible that things may have changed with regards to that in recent years. People that were born in the 80's and 90's sometimes have higher expections of "cushy" living. My cousin is one of those, and is constantly looking to relatives for handouts. /sigh. But at least she finally has a job, even if it's only part time. But then as with many of the late 80's and 90's babies, she was quite spoiled growing up compared to many in previous generations.

    Anyway, the point is, if you are suited to the job you are doing it really doesn't matter how many hours you work. It is going to burn you out eventually. I know plenty of people in the US working at jobs they don't like that are unhappy and suicidal even working only 30 hours a week. Likewise, I know people in the US working 60-80 hour work weeks that are healthy and happy. And everything in between.

    The only common thing I've seen is that people that truly like what they are doing generally don't have problems working high hours and many actually prefer working more hours in those situations.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  13. tongue_of_colicab

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    There will always be people unhappy regardless of work, life etc. However the average person is, all else being equal, probably prefer working 40 hours a week and having a life over working 80 hours and having no life.

    All my Japanese friends think I'm crazy for wanting to go back to Japan and work there for a couple of years. All of them say the exact same thing: Don't do it, it's shit. And: I want to find a job abroad because life is much better there. Though that might have something to do with company culture as well.

    Maybe a bit irrelevant but I found this link about happiness in countries around the world.
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/world-happiest-countries-lifestyle-realestate-gallup-table.html

    Holland is 4th, USA 17th and Japan 81th. Might be interresting to see how these numbers look if you compare them to income and working hours in these countries.
     
  14. Davros

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    All of it, he's a banker ;)
     
  15. V3

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    100h/week is insane. Why do you need to work 100h/w anyway ?
     
  16. Cheezdoodles

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    Face time, (bonus , advancement opportunities in the long run and job security in the short run)
     
  17. Mize

    Mize That's my stapler
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    Facetime beyond 10 hrs/day is how?
    For a ton less work you could make a bit less and have a life.
    I "work" a lot of hours, but many are from home in my PJs with a game on pause. The office is 30ish hours per week. I could make a whole lot more slaving away for a bigger company, but I love my wife, kids, friends and games :)
     
  18. Davros

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    He needs to be ready, if the economy picks up the bankers need to be ready to ruin it again......
     
  19. Cheezdoodles

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    I forgot to add - because there is loooooaaads of work.
     
  20. Cheezdoodles

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    Meh. Without us there would be no significant economy to ruin anyway
     

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