Jun 21st 2010
Nearly 70 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they check in with the office at least once a week during their vacation. However, it appears they're trying to remain less in-touch.
Sixty-nine percent of CFOs reported that they call in to the office at least once or twice a week during their vacation, down from 74 percent five years ago, according to a recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources.
CFOs were asked, “During your summer vacation, how often do you typically check in with the office?”
“On the heels of this recent recession, managers recognize that, while there is always more work that can be done, taking the time to relax and re-energize ultimately makes them more productive,” 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 work.”
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
“While it is impossible for most CFOs to disconnect entirely, having a strong team in place makes it more manageable to get away," McDonald said. "Executives who groom direct reports to take on leadership roles will have an easier time letting these staff members make business decisions in their absence. Disconnecting from the office also sets an example for employees, encouraging them to take needed breaks.”
McDonald offers five tips to help managers ensure their time away truly feels like a vacation:
- Schedule ahead. If possible, aim to leave the office during a light period or when key staff members are not on vacation. Those in the office won’t be stretched too thin by your absence or feel the need to be in constant contact with you.
- Decide on a point-person early. A few weeks in advance, designate a senior person you trust to manage day-to-day responsibilities during your absence.
- Notify contacts and clients. Before you leave, make certain clients and other business contacts are aware when you’ll be gone. Include the name of your colleague handling your responsibilities on your out-of-office e-mail response and voicemail.
- Divide assignments. Unless the project requires the focus of your most senior person, you may want to distribute tasks to multiple senior staff members to ensure that work gets completed and to avoid overburdening any single employee. Also consider bringing in project professionals to cover large projects.
- Determine your check-in time. If you must check in, try to establish office hours prior to your departure. Provide your staff with specific dates and times you will be checking messages. Resist the temptation to always have your mobile device in hand while on vacation.
About Robert Half Management Resources:
Robert Half Management Resources is a Menlo Park, CA-based provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow Robert Half Management Resources on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalfMR.