Alexandra Michel is a Professor at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and an ethnographer who has studied the work practices of investment bankers for fifteen years. Instead of asking whether work gets done when people have autonomy over their schedules, she’s been looking at why overwork occurs—and what the consequences are. She recently spoke with 1 Million for Work Flexibility about her research.
A new study from the Center for WorkLife Law reports on this phenomenon in the legal profession. The report identifies over 50 entrepreneurial businesses that offer lawyers jobs with better work-life balance than large law firms offer. Big Law, meet New Law.
"Top-tier employers may be changing their official policies in a nod to work-life balance, but brutal competition remains an inescapable component of workers' daily lives. . . .As Professor Frank, who has written a book about the phenomenon known as winner-take-all economics, explains, the basic problem is that the rewards for ascending to top jobs at companies like Netflix and Goldman Sachs are not just enormous, they are also substantially greater than at companies in the next tier down.