SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

amerikan
Topic Author
Posts: 69
Joined: October 19th, 2007, 11:41 am

### Working on vacations etc

HelloI've read in some threads that many quants works 10-14 hours per day, quite a lot if you ask me. But what about vacation? Might your boss call you during your vacation and tell you that you have to come back from Thailand/california/some other place and get back to work because there is something that you just have to do? Is that common?Will you have to work on christmas day, 31th december... ? How many weeks of vacation do you have per year (I know it's probably different from country to country)? /John

DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### Working on vacations etc

Stuff like that does happen, but is pretty unusual.At my last place they called me at my father's funeral. Yes, really, and yes they did know.But in the main, only crap bosses push you too far, since ultimately your productivity hits a maximum then goes into steep decline.I've done 30 hour days, and some of the stuff when examined later was not in any way good.Some bits of work have to happen out of trading hours, typically IT stuff.A few unsuccessful firms confuse face time with actual work. I hear that Dresdner has tried to make everyone keep silly core hours, which really pisses off those who work the hours of foreign markets.

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### Working on vacations etc

QuoteOriginally posted by: amerikanBut what about vacation? Might your boss call you during your vacation and tell you that you have to come back from Thailand/california/some other place and get back to work because there is something that you just have to do? Is that common?It's very unusual. The most that I've ever expected is a cell phone call to ask a question, and I don't think that has ever happened. Being asked to physically come back doesn't make sense because anything that can wait a day can probably wait a week. Logging in remotely is difficult, because banks keep all of their internal stuff on a separate network. The bank issues you a laptop that is configured to connect to their network, and if you don't take that laptop with you......There is also this very interesting anti-fraud securities regulation. If you are in certain positions in the bank, then there is a policy that you must take two weeks off each year and no one from the company can have any contact with you. The purpose of this is that a lot of fraud requires one to be in a certain place to do certain things, and if you aren't there, they become much easier to discover.

ZmeiGorynych
Posts: 876
Joined: July 10th, 2005, 11:46 am

### Working on vacations etc

Yeah, 10hr+ days are par for the course, but weekends and holidays are respected in London. 2 days off at Christmas, 1 day at new year I believe. 5 weeks (25 days) of holidays is I believe standard in the UK, plus at my bank we can buy up to 10 more days per year as part of the comp package.

ppauper
Posts: 70239
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Working on vacations etc

QuoteOriginally posted by: amerikanI've read in some threads that many quants works 10-14 hours per day, quite a lot if you ask me. lightweightQuoteBut what about vacation? what I've seen is that the office for some reason might be unexpected quiet one week and when you come in one morning you're told you have to take your vacation that day/week.Which means you've got no vacation left when you actually want it

DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### Working on vacations etc

Also be aware that if you are rung on your mobile whilst travelling abroad it can be nose bleedingly expensive.Fine for telling people to restart the server, ghastly in trying to tell people how to debug it.The ten day rule 2fish mentions dates from a time when settlement was as standard two weeks. Thus a variety of scams could not be kept going if you were away for a complete cycle.Personally I don't see it enforced much, may not even be a regulation any more.

player
Posts: 2290
Joined: August 5th, 2002, 10:00 am

### Working on vacations etc

A certain gropu within DB has been so busy that the trader has only taken 3 days off in the last 2 years..and hence that is hte same for the quant

amerikan
Topic Author
Posts: 69
Joined: October 19th, 2007, 11:41 am

### Working on vacations etc

Okey, that's interesting. It can't be easy for a quant to have a familly? I mean, most of womens begins to complain if there husband are working all the time. Well, at least in Sweden, but our trade unions are so strong that they are like a mafia, they control exactly everything here. It's illegal to work too much (work 12 hours per day and your boss will be jailed) and the minimum wages are like more than twice what they are in america, and they are also different from occupation to occupation. Well, that's a little bit off topic, just wanted to tell you.I don't want to work in sweden anyway.ppauper, if 10-14 hours is lightweight, what is normal? 16?

chriscolumbus
Posts: 28
Joined: December 1st, 2007, 8:38 pm

### Working on vacations etc

QuoteOriginally posted by: ZmeiGorynychYeah, 10hr+ days are par for the course, but weekends and holidays are respected in London. 2 days off at Christmas, 1 day at new year I believe. 5 weeks (25 days) of holidays is I believe standard in the UK, plus at my bank we can buy up to 10 more days per year as part of the comp package.Is the 5 week vacation usually on paper? I mean, how many people are actually able to fully utilize their vacation?

Topologist
Posts: 70
Joined: July 9th, 2007, 10:55 pm

### Working on vacations etc

Dominic: was your last place an investment bank?? Or what kind of company?

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### Working on vacations etc

QuoteOriginally posted by: amerikanOkey, that's interesting. It can't be easy for a quant to have a familly?Things seem to vary quite a bit from bank to bank. Ten hour days are normal where I work, although there are infrequent times when there needs to be more that. In those cases I leave the office and get some extra things done from home. The place I work I think is very family friendly. It's also education friendly since I've found that working ten hours a day in situations in which the company spends a lot of effort teaching you things that you are interested in is better than working eight hours a day somewhere where all your training is consider off the clock.QuoteWell, at least in Sweden, but our trade unions are so strong that they are like a mafia, they control exactly everything here.The big problem with trade unions and trying to enforce things via regulation is that it enforces uniformity. Personally, I'd hate to work somewhere with 15 hour days, but you have a employer and employee that agree to this, it's fine by me.

sunmaker
Posts: 130
Joined: February 11th, 2006, 6:33 pm

### Working on vacations etc

Where I work, 12-13 hour days are normal and no-one with less than 2-3 years experience actually takes the whole 25 days holiday (this is in London)... get to work at 7:15am for the 7:30am meeting and then tend to leave around 7:30-8:30pm on average.
Last edited by sunmaker on December 5th, 2007, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ana3a
Posts: 72
Joined: December 6th, 2007, 10:49 am

### Working on vacations etc

sunmaker said:"Where I work, 12-13 hour days are normal and no-one with less than 2-3 years experience actually takes the whole 25 days holiday (this is in London)... get to work at 7:15am for the 7:30am meeting and then tend to leave around 7:30-8:30pm on average."................................................................................................................................................So how many days out of those 25 vacation days does a newbie typically manage to take?Are there jobs in London where you can get away with 10 hour days? What are the factors that decide how many hours you typically will have to put in?

ppauper
Posts: 70239
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Working on vacations etc

QuoteOriginally posted by: amerikanOkey, that's interesting. It can't be easy for a quant to have a familly? don't worry, you'll have enough \$ to get women elsewhereQuoteppauper, if 10-14 hours is lightweight, what is normal? 16?that's starting to sound reasonable

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### Working on vacations etc

QuoteOriginally posted by: ana3aAre there jobs in London where you can get away with 10 hour days?I'm pretty sure there are, since I don't get the sense that people in London where I work put in more hours than people in NYC, and we work about 10-12 hours. PM me for detailsQuoteWhat are the factors that decide how many hours you typically will have to put in?Peer pressure. You don't want to look like you are working less than the guy next to you, so there is pressure to get in earlier and leave later than they do. However, they have the same pressure on them.I've found that one of the jobs of a manager is to tell people to go home, when staying at the office is non-productive. You can force people to stay at the office, but you can't force people to be productive one they've reached their limits. You can can get short bursts of productivity by having people work longer, but that doesn't last for more than two weeks, and it's usually a bad idea to squander that burst.