On Saturdays, you rarely work in consulting. On Sundays, you're usually looking forward to the rest of the week. So understand that your work-life balance will be much different on a Monday or Tuesday than on a Friday or Saturday. In strategy consultancies, 100% of consultants say they work overtime, recording an average of 20 hours overtime per week.
Within the Big Four, this figure drops to 88%, with an average of 10.3 hours per week. Boutique consulting firms have the highest proportion of consultants who don't work overtime (33%), and the average number of overtime hours per week is also the lowest among other business services. The data also reveals that consultants with a longer seniority in a company work less overtime on average, which highlights that investment consultants often need to familiarize themselves with a new environment. 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.
Male consultants who hold positions of responsibility work the longest, with an average of 9.9 and 12.4 hours, and this last number is comparable to the average overtime of partners in the consulting sector. However, there are clear differences between the different segments and ranges of consulting firms, as well as between men and women. Your main goal as a management consultant is to do a great job, but in the end it's all about making your customers happy. It shows that, in general, 77% of the most important consultants in the market work longer hours than they have contracts. Another policy measure that can be applied is the ability to spend time from the traditional consulting, customer service or management position to a more defined support position, such as in the functions of human resources, training and corporate development. This leisure comes to an end when the next major project is presented, for which consultants have to return to work all working hours.
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 its difficult work-life balance. Some consultancies and local offices have encouraged teams to implement a “one night off a week” policy that allows consultants to have time for their personal interests or to rest. Consultants can therefore agree, for example, that they want to be active internationally for a certain period (which can place a great burden on work-life balance) or assign them less challenging projects. In addition to all the measures mentioned above, the consultants also seek to open up the topic of work-life balance, for example, debates about coaching. You're not on call for your clients and, since the consulting team sets the project plans, major milestones and meetings are known well in advance. In addition, more and more consultants are supporting the incorporation of an extended period of unpaid leave or taking a sabbatical year, albeit after several years of hard work or due to significant changes or challenges in the private lives of consultants. However, a coin always has two sides, and the other side of consulting is the intense work environment. The belief that greater job satisfaction and a satisfying life outside the office lead to greater productivity seems to have been adopted by a large number of human resources departments and partners in the consulting business. Young consultants work more overtime on average than consultants, but this number increases again as they move through the ranks.