Consultants are often expected to work long hours, with research by Consultancy, United Kingdom, showing that they usually work between 50 and 80 hours a week. However, the exact number of hours depends on the length of the contract. For long-term commitments, consultants typically work 40 to 50 hours a week, while short-term projects may require more than 80 hours. It is important to choose projects wisely to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Studies from around the world have confirmed that consultants often work long hours. This is due to customer demands, project deadlines, cultural norms, and people's eagerness to achieve success. In the big four companies, 88% of people work overtime, with an average of 10.3 consulting overtime hours. Boutique firm consultants do slightly better, with only 67% working beyond their contractual consulting hours.
On average, consultants surveyed work 9.3 hours a week more than they are paid for. This figure rises to 100 percent in strategic consulting, with an average of 20 overtime consulting hours. Male consultants in positions of responsibility work the longest, with an average of 9.9 and 12.4 hours. Overall, most young consultants work full time: 87% of men and 73% of women have a 40-hour contract a week.
While long consulting hours are widely accepted as workplace hazards, they can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health for both individuals and companies. Considering long consulting hours as a matter of health and productivity, providing domestic help such as cleaning and laundry services can make it easier for consultants to work longer hours while still achieving high performance. Working long hours as a consultant can be demanding but it is possible to maintain a healthy balance between work and life if you plan your projects carefully.