Staff scolded for leaving office before 1am

Staff scolded for leaving office before 1am

As an HR professional, you’re probably aware that your people need time away from work in order to rest, relax, and come back refreshed the next day.

However, at Wall Street boutique investment bank Moelis & Co, different rules seem to apply. According to the Financial Times, a mid-level banker sent a 12:30am email to the firm’s analysts, complaining he had just walked around the New York office and found many had left the office for the night.

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“I know that you are ALL working very hard and are stretched thin across multiple projects,” he wrote. “Given that new staffings continue to flow in and you are all very near capacity, the only way I can think of to differentiate among you is to see who is in the office in the wee hours of the morning.”

He goes on to add that staff are probably still working at home using their docking stations, but they “should stay in the office because the connection is faster… and you have access to firm resources.”

But does simply being at work mean you are being productive? Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the Manchester Business School, previously told Grapevine that working longer hours does not lead to stronger productivity.

“We have the longest working hours in Europe”, he explained. “And the second longest in the developed world. But our productivity is amongst the lowest.”

The shocking email coincides with research from totaljobs which found that a third of bosses (31%) expect workers to stay later than their contractual hours.

Despite this, a third of employers (36%) and employees (33%) are united in agreeing that shortening the length of the working day could help improve productivity.

Grace Marshall, a Productivity Expert, warned that many firms are measuring their staff against the wrong metrics. “Bosses who judge their workers by how many meetings they attend, emails they send and hours they work send a signal that visibility is more important than productivity,” she explained. “But what looks like work isn’t always productive. In fact, it could be creating more work!”

HR professionals are not immune from this trend, with 46% reporting they feel pressure to work longer hours.

“Companies who give their workers the incentive and flexibility to determine how they do their best work - and reward them based on the impact and value they create rather than the hours they put in - are the ones who will see the best returns in productivity, with a much more focused workforce, greater job satisfaction and improved work life balance," added Marshall.

Comments (3)

  • The Disruptive Coach
    The Disruptive Coach
    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 3:36pm BST
    It would be interesting to know how much pressure the guy who sent the email is under. It seems odd to be mailing at that time of night and I’d question why he was in the office in the first place. Maybe the chap is suffering from overload himself and it’s leading to irrational behaviour?

    The fact is. Managers often look at presenteeism, meetings attendees, etc. as a sign of hardwork as those metrics are the easiest measure. Once it’s recognised that the human brain functions much better when it is pushed less hard, given down time, and when it is safe to work in a way that allows people to balance their needs with the needs of the business, people will do their best work, and will be happier coming to work.
  • 2018
    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 3:12pm BST
    Sad that this still happens in 2018, judging people on their attendance and working crazy hours, rather than their output. Not a company I would like to work for.
  • Sir
    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 1:31pm BST
    I bet he was actually logged in from home and trying to make some silly point relating to his own "dedication".

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