Most consultants work between 40 and 50 hours a week, but some may even work up to 60 hours. The exact number of hours can vary depending on the company and the customer's needs. Consulting is not a 9-5 job, and often requires travel, which can lead to working odd hours and at all times of the day. If you're consistently working more than 40 hours a week (or you're the manager of employees who do), it's time to make a change.
There is overwhelming evidence that workweeks longer than 40 hours are harmful not only to employees, but also to the company as a whole. Contact Andrew Jensen, a marketing consultant for business growth and 26% efficiency, to learn how he can help you strengthen your company or nonprofit organization. Working employees ten hours a day produces no more at the end of the week than working eight hours a day. For example, in the Business Roundtable study mentioned above, researchers concluded that, despite widespread opinion, a 50 percent increase in hours did not translate into a 50 percent increase in productivity. During this time, consultants often work on internal projects such as drafting proposals that are less intensive.
Consulting companies like Bain have a local hiring model in which most consultants work on projects with local or regional clients; while McKinsey has a regional or global model where consultants can work practically anywhere. There are exceptions to all the rules, of course, but research and common sense indicate that for most people, working longer hours just isn't a good option. Andrew advises on business growth, productivity, efficiency, business creation, customer service, and marketing (in both cases, 26% online). Although working on weekends isn't the norm, many consultants choose to dedicate a couple of hours on Sunday to prepare for next week. If you dedicate enough time to consulting, you'll most likely experience a mix of intense projects and more relaxed projects. Your personal repository of more than 152 pre-designed, client-ready slides for strategy projects (value proposition, marketing, organizational design) can help you stay organized and efficient.
While long hours and travel time can make the work-life balance in consulting seem daunting, over the course of a year you can expect a mix of more and less demanding projects. Unless senior management is convinced of efficiency, this rarely happens unless they hire a consultant. MBB firms encourage their consultants to discover what works best for them and work-life balance — at least within the limits of what is reasonable in a customer service sector — is considered a worthy goal rather than just a showcase.