This sounds like a horrible place to work at. Reminds me of bad startup culture, where everyone is expected to do long hours and people who want to work healthily are just pushed out of the company.
I think that in this case the ‘company culture’ tipped to the wrong side of the scale. @Work we do overtime, and we ‘expect’ people to be available off hours sometimes. But not to the point that it might be detrimental to your performance evaluation.
In some cases (i.e. our case/what i experienced) doing overtime together will actually strengthen intra-team relations; not sure about whether this will still hold up when overtime is expected ALL THE TIME.
In my experience, shared overtime always strengthens team bonds. If there’s too much of it, it unites the team against their employer which is obviously a terrible outcome from the employer’s point of view.
I think the other problem with shared overtime is that it slightly biases the teambuilding toward younger members of the company who don’t (yet) have obligations to a spouse or children. A small ripple, perhaps, but one that hurts a segment of the industry that we already tend to marginalize.
It’s a hard scale to keep balanced. I have family obligations myself (+1 and 2 kids) and thus are less inclined to put in overtime at the office. Time spent at home is a whole different story ;-)
Luckily we have quite a few developers with a wife/husband and kid(s); which results in less angry-faces when you decide not to join in one evening.
@hao: Do you really think family-bound developers are marginalized? I never had that experience here in the Netherlands.