Question of the Week

Is it a smart move for a company to make work-life balance policies?

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Goldman Sachs Tower. Steve Heap

Last month, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs announced a policy requiring junior analysts to spend some time each week away from the office.

“According to one Goldman analyst, the firm’s junior bankers have been told that unless they receive a special waiver [because of ‘critical client activity’], they aren’t supposed to set foot inside Goldman’s offices” or even log in from home between 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Sunday, New York’s Daily Intelligencer blog reports.

Why are they doing this? “Our goal is to give junior bankers greater predictability and flexibility with their time,” Goldman spokesman David Wells told the blog. “As we implement the program, we’ll be communicating and working with our people to find a good balance and see what works.”

But unnamed Goldman Sachs analysts tell New York that they are unsure about what best practices are under the policy. Is the policy in fact just a publicity stunt to be ignored in practice? Or will those caught logging in on Saturdays without waivers be punished come bonus time?

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Is it a smart move for a company to make work-life balance policies? Do you think forcing a little time away from the office may ultimately make workers more happy and productive? Would you distrust a no-Saturdays play like Goldman’s, or would a policy like that entice you to work for a company?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Do you encourage young people to go to law school?

Featured answer:

Posted by Chantelle Anderson: “I ask them why they want to go. If their future career aspiration require a law degree and licensure, then go. Who am I to tell them not to pursue their dreams? But I do also caution about the glut in the market and that if they can do what they want to do sans a JD, don’t go.”

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