More than 3 in 5 execs check in with office during summer vacation: Survey

One-third remain completely disconnected
||Last Updated: 07/10/2012

As executives plan their summer getaways, many of them will not leave the office completely behind, according to a new Robert Half Management Resources survey. Sixty-one per cent of the 270 Canadian CFOs polled said they check in with the office at least once or twice per week while on vacation, up from 58 per cent in a similar survey in 2005.

Thirty-six per cent remain completely disconnected during their vacation.

"As executives focus on multiple business challenges in today's work environment, they may feel that taking a vacation and staying disconnected from the office may put them further behind in terms of productivity," said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. "However, even a short break can help executives feel recharged and refreshed. Making time for a getaway also sets a positive example for other employees who otherwise may feel guilty completely disconnecting while on vacation."

Robert Half Management Resources offered the following tips for executives and managers preparing to leave the office:

Set — and stick with — out-of-office messages: If executives say they’re not checking in, but then begin returning messages on vacation, they send mixed signals. If they’re inaccessible, they should stay that way.

Clarify what constitutes a crisis: An executive’s definition of a crisis may be different from those on her team. They should be clear with staff about what situations require escalation and to whom. If the executive expects to be notified of emergencies, he should provide a way for people to reach him quickly.

Limit surprises: Don't expect staff to "wing it" while an executive is away. The executive should set people up for success in their absence by giving them a heads up on what issues may arise and how they can address them.

Acknowledge great work: When the executive returns, she should thank the people who helped the office run smoothly in her absence. Make note of their efforts in their next performance review.

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