Working Around-the-Clock Has Become a Status Symbol in America

Chinese businessman working at desk at night

By Shana Lebowitz

It's widely known that professionals in fields like finance and consulting regularly log more than 60 hours a week. Even when they aren't at the office, employees are expected to be on call, answering client messages and phone calls as they arise.

But much of the time people spend working isn't very productive, said Robin Ely, Ph.D., a professor at Harvard Business School.

In this culture of "overwork," it isn't always necessary to pull an all-nighter or to leave a family event early to return a client phone call. But doing so can make you seem impressive — especially to your colleagues, according to Ely.