So yes, in consulting you will most likely work fewer hours than in investment banking. However, weeks of 70 to 80 hours spread over five days still translate into days of 14 to 16 hours. 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.
First, let's get a clear picture of what a typical work schedule looks like for a consultant. It doesn't include a 1-hour lunch break, although you can take an hour at night for dinner or ride a taxi to a hotel. Of course, in your contract you can mention an estimate of the total number of hours you can expect to work in a given year, however, the time you'll spend working at a major consulting firm will vary greatly. For example, when you don't have staff on a project, you are considered to be on the “beach” or “the bench” and, in this case, you often perform random tasks internally to support the office and other teams, which means that hours and intensity are reduced.
While many young bankers would consider a 60-hour workweek to be a journey, academics found that the consultants of the millennial generation were very interested in explaining how they managed their punishing schedules. By hiring a consultant and signing the contract, both the client and the consulting company agree to consider what percentage of hours should be billed. Consulting firms charge clients for billable work; therefore, the more hours they charge, the greater the cash flow. For the billable hours model, the consultant bills the client an hourly rate or the client has to pay for billable work.
Consultants work long hours, which is how the industry works and mainly because of the time and budget restrictions of projects. In this case, the extra hours were related to the project and generally seemed to be driven by the interaction of consultants with bank customers. The most convenient way to keep track of the skills most in demand in the project is to identify a high rate of consulting hours according to skill capacity. However, on some occasions, academics discovered that consultants were forced to work up to 80 hours a week.
Meanwhile, academics found that employers were proactively monitoring workaholics strategy consultants on their schedules and their health. Comparing actual and estimated consulting hours allows consulting firms to establish reasonable billable hours for clients. The hourly rates encourage consultants to dedicate additional hours, especially when the project requires attention. Unfortunately, clients don't have the means to measure performance and have to pay for consulting hours.