Sad news this week of two City bankers who committed suicide, both in the prime of their lives. We have all visited that dark place where we have contemplated whether life continues to be worth living. Just this week, a friend send me a plaintive message that read something like this: 'life, job, love, all suck'.
Unfortunately a culture of overwork and immense pressure to be present in the workplace isn't unique to just financial institutions. Overworking is having a profound impact on the well-being of not only working people, but their families - and perhaps even more insidiously, the social and natural environments on which we depend for a healthy life.
We work because it pays the bills and if we are lucky, allows us to do interesting things and, usually, provides a sense of camaraderie that comes with being with others in the same position. Though few will not wish they could earn more, the reality is that money is not as important as the satisfaction that comes from a feeling of being in control.
The work life balance of our nation is incredibly important if we are to ensure economic growth. Longer working hours may enable increased productivity but only as a short-term measure. We are not robots. Eventually our systems fail and everything will come crashing to a standstill unless we find way to preserve health and wellbeing as a priority.