How Many Hours Do Consultants Work Per Day? A Comprehensive Guide

Consultants are expected to work long hours to meet the demands of their role. Research by Consultancy, United Kingdom, shows that the average number of hours a consultant works in a week ranges from 70 to 75, including lunch and travel time. This is more than the standard 40-hour work week. Variations in hours depend on the company and customer.

The belief that greater job satisfaction and a satisfying life outside the office lead to greater productivity has been adopted by many human resources departments and partners in the consulting sector. A study published in the Journal of Human Resource Management found that these interventions are more common in high-intensity strategy consulting firms. The prospect of progress and the consequences of poor performance both play a role in the culture of working long hours at leading consulting firms, as they ensure consultants dedicate as many hours as necessary to succeed. However, working long hours can have a negative impact on consultants' health and intellectual abilities.

To help consultants achieve a better work-life balance, here are some tips:

  • Plan and monitor workloads more effectively to avoid burnout.
  • Take regular breaks throughout the day.
  • Set boundaries between work and personal life.
  • Make time for leisure activities.
Boutique advisory firms have the highest proportion of consultants who don't work overtime (33%). The average number of overtime hours per week is also the lowest among other business services. In intensive strategic consulting firms, health and well-being are usually monitored weekly, while this is less common in other consulting firms. Major consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG and Bain have an “up or down” policy where consultants who are in the lowest performance category after a performance evaluation are asked to leave if there are no signs that they will improve. This type of leisure comes to an end when the next big project emerges, for which consultants have to return to working long hours. Improving project resource management can help consultants plan and monitor their workload more easily, keeping them working at an optimal level to avoid burnout.

However, these policies are not necessarily effective in addressing the problem of excess consulting hours, which means that consultants continue to run the risk of burning out. As an expert consultant, I recommend that you take steps to ensure you don't overwork yourself. Make sure you plan your workloads effectively and take regular breaks throughout the day. Set boundaries between your work and personal life and make time for leisure activities. Additionally, if you're working for a major consulting firm, be aware of their “up or down” policy so you can stay on top of your performance.

Ernest Oesterling
Ernest Oesterling

Certified tv guru. Passionate social media aficionado. Infuriatingly humble music buff. . Lifelong tv junkie. Professional food expert.

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