'Can't catch a break'

Survey Finds it's Difficult for CFOs to Make a Clean Break From the Office During Vacation

TORONTO, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ - 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, almost half (43 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they typically are in touch with the office at least once a week while on summer vacation.

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 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in the largest Canadian markets.

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

Don't check in at all


Once or twice a week




"Technology makes it all too easy to connect to work, even on our down-time. It can be difficult to unplug for extended periods, and the connectivity that mobile devices allow for makes it hard to resist checking in," said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. "Financial executives often underestimate how important it is to take time to unwind; returning with fresh eyes makes for a clearer outlook, greater productivity, and better overall decision-making."

King also noted that neglecting to take time away from work affects more than just an executive's individual productivity, it affects employees as well. "With increased emphasis being placed on work-life balance, employees will feel conflicted if they see their managers checking in off-hours. Employees need to know that their wellbeing is supported by senior executives; leading by example is the best way to reinforce that message, and mitigates the risk of losing star employees to a more flexible work culture."

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. If they need additional help, consider bringing in interim professionals to 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 consultants and hiring managers at http://www.roberthalfmanagementresources.ca and on its blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com. Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140, naz.araghian@roberthalf.com

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