How Many Hours Does a CEO Work? [You’d Be Surprised]

Often, many people think that the role of a CEO is all fun, while some believe CEOs only live luxurious lives while their staff does the bulk of the work. Well, that is not true. If you have an idea of how many hours a CEO works, you will realize how demanding the role is.

The CEO role is a full-time position and not the regular 9 to 5 role. CEOs are mostly on the go, and more often than not, they are pressed for time because they always have a lot on their plates.

On average, a CEO work approximately 10 hours on weekdays, and as well engage in other businesses on many weekends. Sound exhausting, right? Yes, it is.

In this article, I will explain the core roles and responsibilities of a CEO, and how you can manage your time if you’re working to become one soon.

Read on to learn more.

How many hours does a CEO work?

how many hours does a ceo work - lmshero

The general belief is that everyone has all the time to themselves after attaining the top of the ladder. They often think the role of a CEO or a manager will be less challenging and they only need to assign tasks because they do have a staff to work for them.

However, this is not the case. CEOs have a very demanding schedule and have a lot to attend to. A survey conducted by Harvard Business Review posits that CEOs work for an average of 9.7 hours every weekday.

Furthermore, they also spend 79% of their weekends working, which is an average of 3.9 hours per day, and 70% of their holidays working an average of 2.4 hours per day. All these statistics show how demanding the CEO role is.

Now, you might want to know why the role is this demanding, and why does a CEO have to work long hours? Well, it is because every stakeholder seeks direct communication with the superior authority.

Although CEOs assign a huge part of these duties, they cannot delegate everything. They must spend sufficient time with their investors and partners.

They must also keep in close contact with their team, to get the necessary information they need to make important decisions.

How can CEOs manage their time?

Now, you might be wondering how CEOs can manage their time, and fit everything in if they work such long hours. Well, the following are ways through which you can effectively manage your time as a CEO:

1. Prepare ahead for the week

You as a CEO should always take some time to plan your entire week on weekends. This allows you to maintain a work-life balance while also ensuring that nothing is overlooked.

2. Avoid getting trapped in emails

You probably have noticed that most CEOs always like to avoid emails and prefer face-to-face conversations as much as possible. This is because emails disrupt workflow and waste valuable time.

3. Always focus on the plan

CEOs do work long hours, and that is because they have a lot on their plates, and it can be hard to decide what task to do first when you have a lot to keep track of. So, you should always keep calendars to keep everything organized.

4. Limit your routine responsibilities

As a CEO, you will rarely have time to manage all tasks. Hence, you must prioritize and attend to important duties first and delegate the rest. This allows you to manage your days more effectively.


Do CEOs work for 9-5 hours?

This depends on the industry and company they work in. However, some CEOs work only 9-5 hours every day.

What skills make a good CEO?

CEOs must have the following skills: Good communication skills, collaboration, time management skills, open-mindedness, approachability, decisiveness, growth mindset, creativity, etc.

What hard skills are required of CEOs?

CEOs must have a basic understanding of data management, automation platforms, and technologies, such as customer data platforms (CDP), artificial intelligence (AI), and customer experience (CX) analytics.

What are the challenges of being a CEO?

The core challenges of being a CEO are making decisions about the future state of the company, fighting inflation, and recruiting and retaining talents.

Who does a CEO report to?

The CEO reports as the company’s top executive to the Board of Directors, headed by the Chairman.


Most times, people believe that when someone gets to a top position their work should be easier and have a comfortable schedule. CEOs, however, are not subject to this rule. They are always working.

In every organization, CEOs play proactive roles such as predicting and mitigating problems, collecting data, conducting assessments, hiring and retaining talents, boosting the company morale, making smart and timely decisions, etc.

However, one of the most vital tasks of CEOs is responding effectively to unplanned and unexpected phenomena. Here, critical decisions made can make or ruin the firm and says more about the CEO’s leadership skills.

While CEOs have control over different issues and can make business decisions, they often have limited time. However, they manage the company by leveraging strategy, culture, and efficient organizational techniques.

I hope you found this article interesting. You can also read to learn all you need to know about the role of a deputy CEO.

Thanks for reading.