Many CFOs Working On Vacation

Survey Finds Most CFOs Won't Unplug During Summer Vacation; Executives Much More Likely to Check in Compared to Three Years Ago

 

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 11, 2015 -- Professionals across the country are planning summer trips, but research suggests many financial executives will be packing their work with their sunscreen. In a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey, 68 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they typically are in touch with the office at least once a week while on summer vacation, a 20-point increase from a similar survey three years ago.

Roughly one-third (32 percent) of CFOs anticipate a clean break from work while on vacation, down from 51 percent in 2012. In general, respondents are more likely to check in with the office daily than not at all.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

CFOs were asked, "During your summer vacation, how often do you typically check in with the office?" Their responses:

 

2015

2012

Several times a day

15%

8%

Once or twice a day

20%

11%

Several times a week

12%

27%

Once or twice a week

21%

2%

Don't check in at all

32%

51%

Don't know/no answer

0%

1%

 

100%

100%

View an infographic featuring the survey results.

"Demands on CFOs, from regulatory compliance requirements to technology and growth initiatives, are at historical highs," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "While this reality makes it difficult for many to unplug completely, the key is to strike a balance. Before checking in with the office, executives should ask themselves if it's necessary, or if they are doing so when they should be relaxing and enjoying their time away from work."

McDonald also commented on the need to set the right tone for staff. "Employees understand executives will need to check in from outside the office from time to time. However, if professionals see senior managers overdoing it and feel pressured to constantly be connected themselves, they may start looking for opportunities offering greater work-life balance."

Robert Half Management Resources offers a five-step checklist for breaking away from work while on vacation:

  • Set expectations. Tell your colleagues how much, if at all, you plan to check in and when. In turn, they will be less likely to contact you outside of those times.
  • Tap your successor's help. Your vacation can be an opportune time for your protégé to take on higher-level projects and prepare for an expanded role. Make him or her your point person and the one you list on out-of-office messages.
  • Trust your team. Although there may be some matters that require your specific attention, let your staff handle as much as they can. Bring in interim professionals to help keep key projects on track.
  • Manage your return. While scheduling a vacation at a good time for the company is a no-brainer, also make sure your return is well-planned. For example, give yourself an extra day so you don't go straight from a red-eye flight to the office.
  • Ease back into work. Allocate time when you return to catching up on email and other outstanding issues. Avoid too many meetings or commitments your first few days back in the office.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has 150 locations worldwide and offers assistance to business leaders and consultants at roberthalf.com/management-resources and on its blog at roberthalf.com/management-resources/blog.


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