In the tech and design sectors there’s a lot of folks working long hours, like 70+ hours a week. There’s a certain badge-of-honor-martyr-complex-thing that comes along with it. But let’s set the record straight. Here’s what long hours really mean. -

Go read the article linked above, but the TL;DR version is that long hours symbolize a poorly managed company that does not respect its employees.

I had a phone interview with a company that prided itself on 60+ hour work weeks, and the CEO boasted over the phone, “We don’t believe in work-life separation, we believe in work life integration”. 

I appreciated the honesty. It was clear that we weren’t compatible.

Even after talking to an engineer interested in recruiting me for his team at Yahoo, I was surprised to hear that most employees work 45+ hour weeks. Its entirely more reasonable but that extra hour is an hour lost going to the gym, taking your dog for a walk, spending time with your significant other, playing with your child, watching a movie,reading book, playing playstation, playing an instrument…. quite simply, being who you are.  I’d gladly take a job where I make $60,000 work 8 hour days than $80,000 and work 45+ hour weeks. It doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about the work I do, and I do enjoy it but I do not derive my entire identity from my job.

Often young employees make the mistake that long hours will be seen as dedication. Its not the case. If you need further proof, read “Fire the workaholics”. In fact, read Rework, which is should be read by every employee and every manager as the business manifesto that we all should aspire to.