Goldman Sachs Urges Interns to Have Lives by Discouraging Work After Midnight

Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is encouraging interns to go home at a reasonable hour. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

You can usually spot banking interns by the bags under their eyes, the crumpled suits and the massive cups of coffee nearby. They leave work when most of us are fast asleep and arrive at the office before the sun comes up—and that's just on the days they don't sleep in the office.

Banks are notoriously hard on their interns, usually college juniors who are vying for a coveted job at the firm. If an internship goes well, a worker could get an analyst position, which would involve putting in a 100-hour workweek.

Over the past year, banks have been trying to make the lives of their low-level employees more pleasant, allowing them to use social media and encouraging days off. On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs took it one step further and said its interns should stop working overnight.

The company suggests interns leave before midnight and don't come into the office until after 7 in the morning. This will discourage people from sleeping (however little) at their desks.

Goldman Sachs started making changes to their employees' schedules about two years ago, after an intern at Bank of America died. The intern had been working excessive hours, and many feared he had, quite literally, worked himself to death. It turned out that he had died of natural causes, but the industry became concerned nonetheless.

As a result, Goldman Sachs encouraged junior employees not to come in on Saturdays. A quality-of-life task force was created. Bank of America also made changes, encouraging junior employees to take off at least four weekend days a month.

Employees who take time off tend to be more productive in the long run, so Goldman encouraging interns to have lives might pay off for the bank in the end.