How Do CEOs Spend Time?

How Do CEOs Spend Time?
How Do CEOs Spend Time?

How do CEOs spend their time to remain effective and productive? How many hours a week do they work? Who spends most of the time, who are neglecting?

Wondering the answers to these questions and more, the researchers watched 27 CEOs for 3 months. Here are the results of the research published in Harvard Business Review.

We employees cannot grow our business most of the time and 24 hours is never enough. It is, of course, much more difficult for the CEO, who is responsible for all success and failure, functional processes and strategy, to manage everything within 24 hours.

The research by Michael E. Porter and Nitin Nohria, published in the Harvard Business Review, focuses on the CEOs. In this study, how the managers spend their time in order to stay productive and effective was investigated.

As part of the study, the executive assistants of the participating CEOs noted the leaders’ agenda, with whom and with whom they spent their time. The survey includes surprising data from 27 CEOs that were tracked over a three-month period:

CEO mean long working hours

As the leader of an organization, it is not surprising to work more than most employees. According to the report, CEOs work on average 9.7 hours during the week and 4 hours of working time is added to the weekend.

According to research, the leaders worked two and a half hours a day, even on holidays. In total, the working hours of the CEOs, which run on average 62.5 hours per week, are 50% higher than a 40-hour working average, a full-time employee.

Employees and customers are out of focus of managers

Intensive meetings, strategy sessions, or dozens of other important responsibilities can cause a leader to neglect some audiences, sometimes intentionally or unintentionally. Some may be surprising, but this neglected group is usually made up of stakeholders and customers.

According to the study, CEOs spend 6% of their time with employees promotion processes. This is a factor that can create difficulties to create a sustainable corporate culture and minimize the problems experienced by the organization. According to another alarming data, top managers can only allocate only 3% of their time to their customers. This situation surprised the managers participating in the research.

Research data show that it is very difficult for managers who spend little time on customers to understand customer perspectives and expectations in the long term.

Senior executives pay attention to face-to-face meetings

According to another important observation, CEOs prefer face-to-face instead of phone or video conferencing if possible. 61% of the working time consists of personal interactions. The CEOs are flexible in spending time out of work. According to the survey, 50% of the time, outside the office of the common, investor, customer interviews are allocated.

They all need to be left alone

The last surprising statistics from the study are about how long CEOs are working in an isolated environment. Porter and Nohria found that the CEOs spent only 28% of their working time alone. Taking into account the CEO’s intensity, this is a remarkable period of time.


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