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Investing in People: Financial Impact of Human Resource Initiatives by John W. Boudreau, Wayne F. Cascio

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Chapter 7. Financial Effects of Work-Life Programs

“Extreme” Jobs

It is well known that Americans work long hours. Based on in-depth interviews with senior executives from Fortune 500 firms, one study noted, “The 60-hour weeks once thought to be the path to glory are now practically considered part-time. Spouses, kids, friends, prayer, sleep—time for things critical to human flourishing—is being squeezed by longer hours at the top.”[1] As one executive noted, “Vacations had become merely a change of work venue.”[2] Service firms in consulting, law, and investment banking have built 80-hour weeks into their businesses. Jeffrey Immelt, Chief Executive Officer of GE, boasts that he has worked 100 hours a week for 25 years. That’s 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. ...

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