expert
Expert with best answer

Sidi

99% Recommendation Rate

351 Meetings

2,002 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

6

Is travel time really working time?

Hi all! Given the large amount of travel you have to manage at MBB, do consultants really have to work during these times? Like, on planes? I can hardly imagine this being efficient, let alone confidentiality issues. Any insights?

Hi all! Given the large amount of travel you have to manage at MBB, do consultants really have to work during these times? Like, on planes? I can hardly imagine this being efficient, let alone confidentiality issues. Any insights?

6 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Sidi

99% Recommendation Rate

351 Meetings

2,002 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Hi! That's indeed a bit tricky!

The truth is that, formally, McKinsey and BCG strongly discourage (if not prohibit) working on flights, due to confidentiality. But the truth is also that the majority of consultants actually work on flights, just to cope with the workload.

So different aspects need to balanced against each other here. I for example have frequently worked on very sensitive topics (stock market relevant), so I did not work on flights and I also gave directive to my teams on such projects that working on the plane is an absolute no-go. When working on less sensitive stuff, it was more about applying good judgement.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Sidi

Hi! That's indeed a bit tricky!

The truth is that, formally, McKinsey and BCG strongly discourage (if not prohibit) working on flights, due to confidentiality. But the truth is also that the majority of consultants actually work on flights, just to cope with the workload.

So different aspects need to balanced against each other here. I for example have frequently worked on very sensitive topics (stock market relevant), so I did not work on flights and I also gave directive to my teams on such projects that working on the plane is an absolute no-go. When working on less sensitive stuff, it was more about applying good judgement.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Sidi

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

15 Meetings

620 Q&A Upvotes

USD 169 / Coaching

Hello!

Condidentiality is not an issue, since you have screen protectors that do the job -and you will 95% of the time work with your PC-.

Regarding the point of it being a must/not must: none forces you to, but when you have a huge amount of work and limited time to get it done, you are the one who is giong to decide to work while traveling to gain sleep time. This said, for sure it will depend of how "crunched" u are in each engagement.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Condidentiality is not an issue, since you have screen protectors that do the job -and you will 95% of the time work with your PC-.

Regarding the point of it being a must/not must: none forces you to, but when you have a huge amount of work and limited time to get it done, you are the one who is giong to decide to work while traveling to gain sleep time. This said, for sure it will depend of how "crunched" u are in each engagement.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Luca

100% Recommendation Rate

19 Meetings

483 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Hello,

The official answer would be "only if it's stricly necessary", but in reality it's quite common that you are asked to work during your travel time.
They will provide you with privacy screens for your phone and laptop, so that you won't have any excuse to miss a deadline ;)

Best,
Luca

Hello,

The official answer would be "only if it's stricly necessary", but in reality it's quite common that you are asked to work during your travel time.
They will provide you with privacy screens for your phone and laptop, so that you won't have any excuse to miss a deadline ;)

Best,
Luca

Book a coaching with Udayan

100% Recommendation Rate

34 Meetings

131 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

There is no 'requirement' to work while travel, but if you don't work when you can it could cost you precious hours in times when you don't want to (e.g., weekends or late nights)

Confidentiality is overcome using a privacy screen and efficiency is definitely an issue but as with everything else, you get better at it over time

There is no 'requirement' to work while travel, but if you don't work when you can it could cost you precious hours in times when you don't want to (e.g., weekends or late nights)

Confidentiality is overcome using a privacy screen and efficiency is definitely an issue but as with everything else, you get better at it over time

Book a coaching with Adam

2 Meetings

8 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

At Bain, it was very common for junior consultants to work on planes. This is driven mainy by the fact that they don't want to lose the working time and have a high workload and deadlines. Confidentiality is always a critical concern, so consultants will typically work in airplane mode (which disguises the client or consulting firm's powerpoint templates) or focus more on Excel tasks. All consultants are also issued with privacy filters which stops people either side of you on the aircarft seeing clearly what you are working on.

As a Manager, I would typically not be working on slides on flights but rather take the time to review materials (again in aircraft mode) or catch up on emails. I would use the Privacy filter or use my phone to maintain confidentiality.

The reality of the work is that an hour of productivity lost during the day typically means an hour less sleep!

Hope this helps!

Adam

At Bain, it was very common for junior consultants to work on planes. This is driven mainy by the fact that they don't want to lose the working time and have a high workload and deadlines. Confidentiality is always a critical concern, so consultants will typically work in airplane mode (which disguises the client or consulting firm's powerpoint templates) or focus more on Excel tasks. All consultants are also issued with privacy filters which stops people either side of you on the aircarft seeing clearly what you are working on.

As a Manager, I would typically not be working on slides on flights but rather take the time to review materials (again in aircraft mode) or catch up on emails. I would use the Privacy filter or use my phone to maintain confidentiality.

The reality of the work is that an hour of productivity lost during the day typically means an hour less sleep!

Hope this helps!

Adam

Book a coaching with Antonello

97% Recommendation Rate

86 Meetings

840 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Hi,
they will provide you with privacy screens and 100Gb sim plans in order to leave you easily work during your travels and yes, you will need to do it almost everytime :)

Best,
Antonello

Hi,
they will provide you with privacy screens and 100Gb sim plans in order to leave you easily work during your travels and yes, you will need to do it almost everytime :)

Best,
Antonello

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer

Solved 113.3k times
Bain case: Asian lubricants producer LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). According to preliminary examinations, further growth potentials in the Asian core market are rather limited. Thus LubricantsCo would like to investigate options to internationalize in the passenger car business – also outside the premium segment which is given priority. Therefore your consulting firm was instructed to elaborate a market entry strategy for the European market.  
4.7 5 27828
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case

Bain Case: Old Winery

Solved 46.4k times
Bain Case: Old Winery You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. they are not organically farmed and certified. The vine stocks are in a good condition regarding age and care. Overall, only ¼ of the harvest is made into wine by the winery itself; the rest is sold. Your grandfather never wanted to change the image of the winery and left the managerial and administrative task to a young and energetic wine-maker. Due to the not so well-known brand , the demand for the “Old Winery” wine is currently rather low. You do not intent to run the winery operatively, given your limited knowledge of wine making, but find the idea of owning a winery exciting. Your plan is to give the winery some fresh impetus.
4.4 5 1209
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case

McKinsey Questions

Solved 34.6k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 840
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 23.9k times
BCG Questions What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 203
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 22.7k times
Bain Questions Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills.
4.6 5 280
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills ... Open whole case