Academics discovered that the longest hours worked were in strategy consulting firms, where the weekly average was 60 hours. By comparison, management consultants of the millennial generation worked just 50 hours a week. Often, junior management consultants who worked 50 hours a week were comforted by the idea that the big three strategy consultants (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) were working much more. In consulting firms, multiple organizational backgrounds predispose staff to work longer consulting hours, to increasing conflicts between work and personal life, and to increasing the risk of exhaustion.
Consulting encompasses a wide range of job functions and there are many different types of consulting firms. Often, junior management consultants who worked 50 hours a week were comforted by the idea that the strategy consultants of the Big Three (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) were working much more. However, these policies are not necessarily effective in addressing the problem of excess consultation hours, which means that consultants are still at risk of being burned out. Comparing actual and estimated consulting hours allows consulting firms to establish reasonable billable hours for clients.
Considering the benefits of long consulting days for consulting firms when it comes to providing services to demanding clients, there may be no incentive to get to the root of these problems. When hiring a consultant and signing the contract, both the client and the consultant agree to consider what percentage of hours should be invoiced. As a result, most management consultants have to work between 50 and 80 hours a week to get the job done, which gives the consultant a name for its difficult work-life balance. In general, both single and married consultants work an average of 56.6 hours a week, but about a quarter of single consultants typically work 60 to 70 hours a week.
As a result, most management consultants have to work 50 to 80 hours a week to get the job done, giving consulting a reputation for challenging work-life balance. Consultants at boutique firms fare a little better, with only 67 percent working beyond their contractual consulting hours. Consultants ignore and deny the need to work as a team to increase their billable time, which ultimately jeopardizes the consultant's credibility. In the United Kingdom, an important step is to challenge the normalization of long consulting hours with people at all levels of the organization.
Improving work-life balance Over the past decade, consultants are increasingly implementing policies that give consultants the space to take time off work to relax and recharge. Male consultants who hold positions of responsibility work longer, with an average of 9.9 and 12.4 hours; the latter figure is comparable to the average overtime of partners in the consulting sector.