Though saddled with heavy workloads, the majority of CIOs will be taking some sort of break this summer, with most planning a week out of office, and 21 percent taking even more time.
While away, many (48 percent) will check email once a day, scanning the dozens, if not hundreds, of messages they receive for emergencies. A lucky 15 percent of CIOs are able to completely unplug, leaving instructions they are not to be contacted.
In terms of the need for a break, most were primed and ready, with 45 percent saying “it’s time,” and another 18 percent saying it’s far past that point.
When it comes the thought of returning to work, many find the prospect stressful, with 42 percent starting to feel the heat as the vacation winds down, and 15 percent not waiting that long, commencing their post-vacation stress even before it begins.
(SnapSurveys are answered by the healthsystemCIO.com 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)
1. Are you taking a vacation this summer?
Yes – A long weekend (1-2 workdays)
- More like a series of 3-4 day weekends. We have go-live events throughout the year and time will be taken at strategic intervals…but it does not replace week or two week vacations that can clear out the cobwebs and reset tainted attitudes about work, your company, your situation, your co workers, your business partners, the government, you get the idea.
- Long weekends are about as long as I am comfortable being away right now. CPOE went live about 10 days ago, so much going on.
Yes – 5 days (a full workweek)
- Looking forward to the time off even though it means working longer/harder before and after.
- Just returned from 7 days on the beach, with limited access to technology.
Yes – More than 1 full workweek
- Haven’t taken time off since new job began last Sept.
Nothing planned now but may take a long weekend.
2. If not, why not?
- Death in the Family — Family situation – my Mother passed away and I took time last week to be with my family. Don’t think I can take more. Maybe in the Fall.
3. Do you unplug during your vacation?
Yes – completely. I am not to be contacted
- Probably not for a full 2 weeks though. Also have to check fantasy baseball rosters
Yes – I do not check email, but am available to receive emergency phone calls
- I will tell our team, “Only call me if there is a political coup or our data center is in flames or if a key person calls in rich, or worse”. Other than that, I unplug. In fact, I route all email unless it is from the C Suite or my direct reports to the Trash folder.
No – I check email about once a day
- Don’t respond or generate new mail unless critical. Try to just keep tabs and get rid of the junk. When leave the country, I check out completely.
- Email and cell phones make it very difficult to completely be away. If I go to Italy in the fall I will take a global cell phone just in case.
- I also will take emergency calls.
4. How much do you need a vacation right now?
It’s not an emergency, I’m fine
- I’m good right now because I just returned from a week off. Give me a week or so and I’ll probably need another one!
I could use one, it’s time
- Somewhere between “It’s time” and “I’m fried”
- I don’t seem to have my normal energy so it is definitely time.
Desperately, I’m fried
- We are in our second week of CPOE go live!!!
5. Do you stress about coming back to work after a vacation?
Yes, even before I start the vacation
- Too much going on and too many areas of potential risk.
Yes, as the vacation is winding down
- Don’t look forward to hundreds if not thousands of unread e-mail messages and numerous requests for information and assistance that will put increased pressure on me when I already am working at the max.
- Seems like you have to work in overdrive before you leave and then again when you return to make up for the time, but I still want to take them and be unplugged. It is critical to my continued sanity. Most emergencies are only emergencies due to lack of planning on someone’s part and not things that I am required to resolve.
- Approximately 3 days before the end of vacation I begin thinking about and planning my return.
- Always know there will be plenty to do, but we need our breaks.
- No, not really. Let’s face it. Life is short and jobs are what we do to fill our lives and pay the bills. Lucky are the ones who enjoy their work (like me on the vast majority of days) but even so, I am learning that I need to be defined by more important things than my career… before it is too late.
- Stress no. I do get a little concerned about the amount of time that it takes to get back up to speed, with so many things moving a once.