How do consultants work from home?

consulting
New answer on Nov 28, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 23, 2021

Pre-covid-19, consultants typically work in groups, huddled up in a meeting room, in the client's office. How do consultants work on engagements while working from home? Are they expected to turn on Teams or Zoom all day?

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Ebru
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 23, 2021
McKinsey|ex Firm Case Coach| LSE

Hi there,

It depends on your team, the clients, and the project itself. However, the biggest changes have been:

  • Meetings:
    • Usually, you have any regular meetings you had in person just on Zoom or Teams with your team and/or the client. 
  • Work mode:
    • You don't have Zoom on the whole day. 
    • You work on your own workstream like you would in a team room.
    • You have to schedule more meetings/calls since you don't have access to your team on the spot like you would when you sit in the same room.
  • Socializing:
    • Some teams have started doing shorter coffee calls to connect better among the team.
    • There have been many online events organized by the client team, the firm, and specific practices/groups

Depending on current covid regulations some teams have started to co-locate and work from a specific office

Others have even been working from time to time on the client sites. This is especially can be necessary for operations projects (e.g. manufacturing diagnostics).

Benefits:

  • You sleep in your own bed and have more regular sleep times (no Monday morning flight at 6 am).
  • You can eat healthier at home.
  • You can integrate workouts more easily into your schedule.
  • You have overall a bit more flexibility.

Downside:

  • The learning curve might not be as steep as in person where you have more coaching on the spot.
  • You tend to work longer hours as you don't have a strict separation between work and life
  • You don't have regular, “forced” breaks through travel.
  • It can be lonely and less fun, as you cannot replicate the social aspect of working and celebrating together.
  • No fancy 5-star hotels, no travel in business class, no extra allowance / per diems, etc.

Hope this gives you a good idea of what it means to work as a consultant during a pandemic. Feel free to reach out if you have more questions.

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michelle
Expert
replied on Nov 23, 2021
Creative Background to McKinsey. I help non-traditional backgrounds with defining your story and case prep

Its similar to the office, except all your meetings are virtual. And you often do not get the perks (nice office, free food and coffee, etc)

8am - Wake up, get ready, but no need to dress up nice. 

845am - Sign on in the morning to plan my day. 

9am Checkin zoom to align on tasks and plan for the day with my team

930am - Send out any research requests, prioritise my deliverables

10am-12pm - Zoom meetings, working

12pm - maybe a quick lunch but typically work through it

12-5pm - Zoom meetings to problem solve with the team and/or my manager, client check ins

5pm - team check out, plan the ‘rest of the day’

5-7pm - finish last items, maybe do a meeting over the phone instead of Zoom to align with manager/Partner

7pm - 9pm - break, gym, cook dinner

9pm - check emails/respond to anything urgent

**sometimes on weekends the companies host virtual get togethers and drinks. 

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

What fantastic answers to this Q&A!

The one thing I can add is that WFH consulting is demonstrably harder than the pre-covid style.

I don't know a single consultant who is happier with their work situation now than pre-covid. This is also very visible in the dramatically increased churn rates across these companies (and ongoing hiring spree).

The good news? Seems like the light at the end of the tunnel is visible.

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

This not only applies to consultants, many many people used to work in groups before COVID and then had to adapt to the new times ;)

Hence, yes, pinging is always an option, but also many meetings and touchpoints during the day to ensure the team stays connected

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Adi
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 23, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Ebru has a great answer!

What seemed like annoying and difficult is now the new normal i.e. remote/hybrid working is widely accepted, will become the new norm, is kinder to the planet, cuts out bullshit meetings and unnecessary business travel.  Onboarding new hires seems the biggest downside, but am sure companies will figure this out in coming months,

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 23, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Ebru's answer is spot on. It is not easy and it involves a lot of hours on Zoom and meetings as opposed to face to face interactions

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Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 28, 2021
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal

You don't have to turn on zoom all day - but you have to be reachable through Teams most of the time (and expected to reach your team members whenever you need help. You will have a lot of imprompt meetings for problem solving, revieweing your work (and getting feedback). It tries to simulate real work environment as much as possible. Hopefully with less distractions.

The real issue is that newcomers don't know what that “real work environment” usually looks like and won't be able to replicate it. It will impossible for the manager just to walk by and look at your face or glance through your work and immediately realize that you need some sort of help, etc. In other words, it's not as effective in order to train people, and may lead to more rework.

To make it work, people need to double down on communication.

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Ebru gave the best answer

Ebru

CoachingPlus Expert
McKinsey|ex Firm Case Coach| LSE
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