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Working hours McKinsey Germany

Anonymous A asked on Jul 12, 2019 - 2 answers


I have learned that working hours at MBB vary between geographies and projects. As regards Germany, I was wondering the following:

  1. Is it really true that for a project the average working hours per day are from 8 am to 23 pm? And I guess travelling is excluded, meaning at 23 pm you are not in the hotel ready for sleep.
    • If I think about it, I could see that there might be some intensive days before a deadline, but I hardly can imagine that one works "every" day on average these hours. How can someone physically and mentally bear this over a longer time?
  2. ​What are the industries and business functions in Germany that are most intensive?
  3. Is there a difference in working hours between offices in Germany?
  4. Can one expect that there are plenty of projects in the city where one's office is located so that one has the option to sleep every night at home?
    • I am asking because I have a wife and soon a child and I want to combine my dream job and personal life. If I were to have some time to do little sport that would be nice as well
    • Would you recommend starting off with a project that is close to home in order to see how one can manage project and family?
  5. Can you tell your engagement manager that you would like to continue working from, e.g., 6 pm from home or the hotel during the week so that one has a chance to see his/her family at the same time if the family is around?
    • Of course, work duties need to be fulfilled, but the client is not necessarily around after 6 pm so it should not matter where one does the job.
  6. What recommendations can you give to communicate your priorities to your engagement manager and team without the risk of experiencing repercussions?


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replied on Jul 12, 2019
Ex McKinsey EM with 5 years of recruiting experience/ received all 3 MBB offers/Real MBB cases
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Without going into specific working hours (because these can vary from project to project), it is important to keep in mind that you will have to put in long hours at work. I would say it is quite common to work the hours you mentioned.

However, since you mention that what is important to you is time with family, there's a few ways I have seen people make this work.

1. Focus on local projects - yes the hours are still demanding, but at the end of the day there is usually flexibility around where you can work from after a reasonabe hour (after around 7:30 pm or so). Local projects will largely be in industries that are large where you are (e.g., finance in New York or Oil and Gas in Houston)

2. Make it clear to the team that spending time with your family is important - consultants are human too and they all understand that work is not the entirety of life. I have worked with many people who take a dedicated 1 to 1.5 hours every day to facetime with their family even when they are on travel studies

3. If possible work out flexible arrangements - there is a big push towards mindful travel in the industry, So if you don't have client meetings on Monday you can fly out on Tuesday instead etc.

4. Find mentors and peers in similar situations , not only will they guide you on best practices, often they can end up staffing you as well and give you more flexibility that suits you

All the best,


Vlad replied on Jul 12, 2019
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1. Bad news for you - Often people work even more

3,4. Rule of thumb - if a project is in your city the working hours are much longer

5. Not at 6 pm. The bottleneck is not the client's working hours but your internal meeting. If the partner sets a meeting at 8pm you have to attend.

6. You should provide some reasonable time. (Not 6 pm but maybe 9-10 pm). Also don't expect to work from home every evening - it's impossible


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