SnapSurvey Shows CIOs Stressed About Work/Life Balance

Some CIOs Feel Caught in Deep Workload

Citing massive Meaningful Use and ICD-10-generated workloads, along with an inability to escape the wireless tentacles that bind them to the office, the majority of CIOs (53 percent) are not content with their current work/life balance, according to the April SnapSurvey.

Conversely, in either a show of support for work they know is important or resignation to a lifestyle they know will not change, 51 percent of CIOs said they families were, in fact, content with the same work/life balance.

Probing CIO discontent further, contributing factors may be that only 16 percent work what might be considered a normal workweek (40-49 hours), with the remainder working far longer – more than a quarter putting in between 60-69 hours per week. And work isn’t just confined to a Monday-through-Friday schedule. In fact, the vast majority (65 percent) said they put in a full week, plus at least another half day on the weekend.

Fortunately, it seems vacation time is a respite from work for most CIOs, with 60 percent saying they are able to take at least three days out of the office without checking email.

(SnapSurveys are answered by the CIO Advisory Panel. To see a full-size version of all charts, click here. To go directly to a full-size version of any individual chart, click on that chart)

  • 50-59 – Some weeks are heavier than others, but they average out.
  • 50-59 – This includes prep work.
  • 50-59 – These days we are connected 24×7 by our smart phones, tablets, notebooks, etc. Work/life balance will need to re-emerge as a focus, and probably will be driven by the incoming generation of IT workers…
  • 50-59 – Some weeks are as high as 60-70 hours, but that is rare.
  • 60-69 – I had one week not too long ago that was 90 hours.
  • 60-69 – All in…office, tele, and home….and trending up.
  • 60-69 – A typical day is at least 12 hours, with another 4 hours minimum each weekend.
  • 80-89 – Things like leadership and management take time – and are incredibly important. eMail is a huge challenge – literally 15-20 hours per week are related to resolving email. Long past are the days of simply sitting and watching a movie or TV show with the family…more likely, I am sitting with the family, watching a movie or TV program and DOING EMAIL.

  • Yes – Most, however, is administrative in nature or following up on in-house business.
  • Yes – Just email catch up.
  • Yes – Catching up on the email I couldn’t get to on Friday.
  • Yes – In aggregate, more weekends that not.
  • Yes – Every weekend, usually Sunday.
  • Yes – This is typical since I’m a Board of Director report.
  • Yes – Sunday evenings, I usually try to catch up on email and get ready for the next week.
  • No – Maybe 1-2 hours a weekend spread across the weekend. Not 3 hrs or more regularly.

  • Yes – Although I peek from time to time using my smart phone.
  • Yes – At least 5 straight business days.
  • Yes – But not much more than three days…
  • Yes – Leaving your BlackBerry and Laptop at home can be very helpful
  • Yes – But getting more and more challenging to do so….the pace of HC change is rapidly increasing and creating a demand for real time interactions more frequently.
  • No – I do vacation, but am always reachable by email and respond to email during vacation routinely. Often in the bathroom, or other ‘down’ times so as not to impact my family’s enjoyment.
  • No – That would be impossible since its a requirement of the job.
  • No – Always checking e-mail.
  • No – I check email even when on “vacation,” although my vacations are usually days that I add onto conferences that are in nice locations. I rarely schedule just a vacation, but I should learn to change this.
  • No – While I almost always am able to get in at least one vacation a year of a week duration, I cannot take that vacation without being “connected” to work.

  • No – There is more stress than is healthy in today’s environment.
  • No – Where I love my work and even more so who I perform it for, in the months to come I have real plans for a modest increase in family time.
  • No – part of my issue extends to my commute … but I do make it an extension of my work day with phone calls, etc.
  • No – Are we ever? It is a constant challenge with the pace and demands on us. Add to that a “workaholic” personality and proliferation of smartphones that keep us constantly connected…..
  • No – Spend way too much time thinking about work or actually working.
  • Yes – Generally. Part of the trade-off is putting in hours after the kids go to bed, so I can be part of their lives while they are awake.
  • Yes – I would love to be untethered at some point – but the nature of our job is 24/7/365. Not every minute is work – but I do feel responsible all the time and can be accessed at anytime. Different people handle this differently, but for me this what I expect of myself.
  • Yes – Fortunately my CEO nags me to take off time.

  • Yes – It helps that, with as many hours as I work, I have the flexibility to telework. This eliminates time wasted commuting and gives me more exposure to my family (children) during the day before/after school. I can put in more hours later in the evening when they’re asleep.
  • Yes – Generally. The Blackberry can be a point of contention.
  • Yes – After nearly 30 years – it’s all they know. Plus, they’d go nuts if I was around too much.
  • No – They worry a lot.
  • No – How do you explain to them what you do and why it’s so complicated…it’s impossible.
  • No – Not completely content…
  • No – As an empty nester, no kids around to look for attention, but two overly busy spouses means not enough time for relaxing and enjoying life.
  • No – But they understand it. My current workload has been pretty consistent my entire career.

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