Almost one-half of CIOs checking in with work after hours: Survey

Disconnecting provides 'time to recharge'
||Last Updated: 04/11/2013

There's no clocking out for many chief information officers (CIOs), according to a Robert Half Technology survey. Nearly one-half (47 per cent) said they check in with work "often" or "somewhat often" on evenings and weekends.

However, 30 per cent said they never check in outside normal business hours, found the survey of more than 270 Canadian CIOs.

"How often do you check in with work on evenings and weekends?"

•Often (26 per cent)

•Somewhat often (21 per cent)

•Infrequently (23 per cent)

•Never (30 per cent)

"Many CIOs feel that part of their job is to check in after hours," said Leslie Heathers, metro market manager at Robert Half Technology. "As customers and end users may require technical support around the clock, many professionals in the IT industry feel it is necessary to be available in case any critical issues should arise."

But IT leaders should make an effort to limit the number of times they access email or voicemail, or check in only at designated times, said Heathers.

"Even for the busiest CIOs, disconnecting from the office can provide leaders with additional time to recharge and tackle their day-to-day activities with a fresh point-of-view.

Robert Half Technology offered four tips to limit after-hours work for CIOs and their teams:

Identify the 'mosts.' When every project seems to be a top priority, focus efforts on those that will save the most money, grow the most revenue or open doors to the most new business. Encourage staff to use this same approach to manage their time.

Be realistic about internal resources. Understand your staff's workload, knowledge level and experience. Bringing in outside consultants to manage certain projects may result in faster execution and fewer errors.

Avoid micromanaging. Set milestones and regular check-ins, but otherwise let staff run initiatives when possible. Getting mired in details will slow the process and take away from everyone's already limited time.

Practise the golden rule. Show respect for others' schedules. Avoid planning meetings that, on closer inspection, aren't necessary. Don't keep staff waiting for feedback and approvals.

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