Kathy Sierra makes an impassioned case for treating employees well. But I have to say, I had no idea 8 hours a day was still considered standard in the US. I thought only places like Germany and France still had 8-hour work days.
In Singapore, most people work more than 8 hours a day as a general rule. (I'm not counting people like receptionists and bank tellers because those people's roles are tied closely to traditional work hours.) And apart from the office, I know that many people put in at least a couple of hours from home on most days.
Why is it that some companies have such an unhealthy relationship with their clients (which means an equally unhealthy relationship with their employees)? It's not like we won't work our butts off for the right reasons, but when it becomes standard to put in 10 hour days and work at least a part of every weekend, simply to keep up with the insane deadlines, our creative energy drops to zero. You're getting labor but no passion. Productivity with no creativity. And we'll switch jobs in a nanosecond if we get the chance. The worst is when you're expected to work like a dog and the culture discourages complaining or even questioning.