Why founders want everyone to work long hours
I guess there are a few reasons why founders care about this topic more. One reason is that by nature founders are very hard workers. You don't start a high risk company because you want to increase work life balance. You do it because you realize that you enjoy working 14 hours a day and so you would be better off working for yourself. Another reason is that the impact of putting extra hours is much more significant in smaller companies that are normally highly focused and are constantly chasing unrealistic deadlines. Finally, founders are building the company culture in the first 1-3 years of the company and long hours are helping with creating a culture of hard work, and making the company into a central part of the employee life.
Management teams in bigger companies don't optimize for hours
There are some pretty good reasons not to optimize for work hours. Its rare to see management teams in bigger companies obsess over this topic as long hours lead to burnout, disguised unemployment and reduce the focus on results.
Getting employees to work longer
So the bottom line is there are reasons for and against optimizing for hours. If you are interested in getting more hours from your employees you might find these tips useful:
1) Come to the office later and stay later
Most of the people in your team will feel uncomfortable leaving the office before you and are likely to leave shortly after you. This means you get will get more hours from your employees if you work more but you actually don't have to show up that early to get the same impact. Most people get up and go to work shortly after that. They would also not risk showing up late if you sometimes show up early in the morning.
2) Be accessible when not at work
Quickly answer your employee calls, texts and emails 24/7. There is nothing more demotivating than having a question and realizing your boss doesnt care enough to answer.
3) Pay for extra hours
Assuming you motivation for getting more hours is not free labor its redicilous to expect your employees to work over the weekend to meet a deadline if you are not willing to pay them for their time. In Israel it is also required by law and most startup companies gather a liability by ignoring the law and signing their employees on a waiver that is not legally viable.
4) Offer on site parks to the ones who stay late
At one company I worked for employees were encouraged to order in free dinners when staying over 8pm (we eat dinner late in Israel). Some companies have an on site gym that opens up only after 7pm. The parks might vary based on your employee's needs. The basic idea is to figure out what is it that requires people to go home by a certain time and try to offer that on site so they can stay longer and sometimes after.