Majority of CFOs Check in With the Office During Vacations, Survey Finds

MENLO PARK, CA, May 11, 2005 -- Most financial executives may find it’s too easy to stay connected to work while on vacation this summer.  Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they check in with the office at least once or twice a week during their vacation; 34 percent said they do so daily. 

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world’s premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.

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

Several times daily



Once or twice daily



Several times a week



Once or twice a week



Do not check in



Don't know/no answer






“For CFOs, job pressures build up year-round, and vacations often are delayed because of busy work periods and financial reporting schedules,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.  “Even a brief respite can help executives recharge and refocus once they are back at the office.”

McDonald added, “Technology tools such as wireless e-mail devices, laptops and cell phones make it easy to keep in touch with the office and are frequent companions for vacationing executives.  They offer instant connectivity but prevent much-needed breaks from work.”

McDonald offers several tips for executives who want to be accessible yet still enjoy plenty of rest and relaxation:

·         Designate point persons.  Inform key parties well in advance of your upcoming absence and appoint someone you trust to manage major projects and daily responsibilities on your behalf.

·         Provide staff with clear instructions.  Let your team know upfront what matters would require your immediate attention and those that can wait for your return.  Request they offer solutions to urgent issues they communicate to you.

·         Be specific in out-of-office messages.  State in your out-of-office e-mail responses and voice-mail recordings whom to contact for requests in your absence and when you will return to the office.

·         Determine “check in” times.  If you must check e-mail and voice mail, do so during specific times, such as early morning or evening.  Let your staff know when you will be checking in to avoid interruptions throughout the day.

·         Understand the importance of a vacation.  Recognize that breaks are a necessity, not a luxury.  Don’t minimize the value of taking enough time to recharge.

Robert Half Management Resources has more than 100 offices throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at


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