Well, a manager/owner who values people being around just to be around is a jackass, and bad at his/her job. And allowing non-customer-facing jobs to be completed during “non-standard” times is a really good idea.
But my point was that *of course* the jobs that have “necessary” (and I would dispute that characterization in most cases) long hours are the ones that PAY MORE. The customer that expects projects to be completed overnight must be willing to pay more for that — and that then shows up in the company’s bottom line and the employee’s paycheck.
Taking a position that high-paying jobs should have “reasonable” hours like some set of lower-paying jobs do isn’t really reasonable. A hypothetical professional with a 40-hour per week, non-deadline-driven, non-customer-facing workload *should* be encouraged to get that done whenever works best for them (subject to timely completion for co-workers, etc, of course); expecting that that job will be compensated the same, or allow the same career development, as the same-tasks-professional with a 60-hour-plus per week, deadline-driven, customer-facing workload is not-reality-based.
But, yeah, $35,000 a year jobs shouldn’t come with 75-hour per week face time expectations, especially if it includes 50 hours of “looking busy”. To the extent that is a broad-based problem, that sucks.