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Most Finance Execs Won't Officially Check In During Vacation, Says Survey

Most finance executives will not visit their offices during their summer vacat

Most finance executives will not visit their offices during their summer vacations, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by Robert Half Management Resources.

The results

More-than-half, or 51 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) contributing to the poll indicated that they do not "check in" with their workplace while on vacation. The fraction of these finance executives indicating this behavior was far higher than the 26 percent who did so in 2010 and the 21 percent who specified this in 2005.

The CFOs polled were specifically asked "during your summer vacation, how often do you typically check in with the office?" In the most recent rendition of the survey, 8 percent specified that they check in several times a day, 11 percent indicated that they check in once or twice a day, and 27 percent indicated that they check in several times a week. A small fraction, or 2 percent, said they check in once or twice a week. As stated previously, 51 percent said they do not contact their office during vacation. In addition, 1 percent said they don't know or did not answer.

Robert Half Management Resources, which provides employers with temporary and permanent candidates for senior-level finance, business systems and accounting roles, created the survey. The poll was then given by an independent research firm to 1,400 CFOs from a sample of companies with 20 or more employees.

Implications of the figures

Paul McDonald, a senior executive director for Robert Half, interpreted that the continued trend of finance executives not contacting their offices during vacation is a positive development, saying in the statement that "it may indicate that executives have a stronger level of confidence in their teams and processes, and as a result, feel more comfortable skipping regular check-ins."

He added that "with the prevalence of wireless networks and mobile devices, they know they can be reached easily if needed."

The executive also identified an added benefit of not having contact with the office, saying that "placing trust in a solid team to carry on without your guidance can help you identify potential candidates for succession planning and promotion."

However, not all executives feel capable of disconnecting completely.
"Many leaders continue to oversee lean teams and need to monitor critical initiatives over the summer months, making frequent contact necessary," he stated.