There’s nothing easy about getting out of the office, but CIOs are doing it. According to the July healthsystemCIO.com SnapSurvey, the vast majority (92 percent) of respondents plan to take a vacation this year.
One CIO said spending time away is a “survival tactic” in today’s hectic health IT environment, and another stated that work-life balance is “paramount to my ability to be successful.”
But despite how beneficial — or even “vital” — it is to take vacation, carving out the time remains a challenge for CIOs. “We are always busy, so there is never a good time to be off,” one respondent noted. “I find just even a short vacation can recharge the battery, so I make sure to take time off and encourage my team to do so as well.”
And being out of the office certainly doesn’t mean being out of the loop. In fact, 38 percent said they check in, either through phone or email, several times a day, and 38 percent check in about once or twice a day. “I am completely connected even when away on vacation,” a CIO said. “Most folks don’t even realize that I am out of the office; it is the only way I could afford to be gone.”
(SnapSurveys are answered by the healthsystemCIO.com CIO Advisory Panel. To go directly to a full-size version of any individual chart, click on that chart.)
1. Are you planning to take vacation time this year, or have you already taken time off?
- One week “with phone.”
- Just got back today and will take another two to three weeks off by year end, if it kills me.
- Harder and harder to do, and when it is done, it can have material operational impacts to the org as a whole. Healthcare is currently ‘out of balance’… and this bleeds through to the personal life.
- As challenging as all our schedules and expectations can be, balance of life/career is paramount to my ability to be successful, and as a result I make time out of the office as I can — albeit not as often as I’d like.
- I took a week.
- My wife and I just took a much needed vacation to the Dominican Republic.
I’m not sure
- I haven’t taken one in over two years. Wanted to take one in the fall, but probably won’t because of Meaningful Use Stage 2 reporting period, starting Oct 1 for us. I expect it to be ugly.
2. How does the amount of time off you have scheduled this year compare with previous years?
I’m taking more time off this year
- More because the job is much more stressful. This is a survival tactic.
I’m taking less time off this year
- Too hard and creates business challenges.
It’s about the same
- I usually take two one-week vacations.
3. Do you find it difficult to justify taking time off?
Yes, it’s a busy time
- VERY hard… and it is becoming a ‘dangerous’ trend in the accelerated burnout of the best talent.
- I think it is a necessary evil. We are always busy so there is never a good time to be off. I find just even a short vacation can recharge the battery, so I make sure to take time off and encourage my team to do so as well.
- This is kind of a combination of both. It’s hard to find the time, but I also think it’s vital to make time
No, I think it’s vital to have time away
- It is crucial for us all to have time away. Nobody has ever died saying in their last breath that they wish they spent more time at the office.
- Difficult to make happen, not justify.
- No, but I do find it stressful in many ways due to the amount of time it takes to catch up from vacation.
- I already lose some PTO due to limits. It is not hard to justify time off, it is just difficult to juggle the schedule to get the time off.
- I am completely connected even when away on vacation — it is almost an expectation. Most folks don’t even realize that I am out of the office; it is the only way I could afford to be gone.
4. How often do you ‘check in’ while on vacation, whether by email or phone?
Several times a day
About once or twice a day
About once or twice a week
5. Does the stress of returning affect your ability to relax and rejuvenate?
Yes, I know I’ll have a mountain of emails/tasks to attend do
Somewhat, but it’s still worth it to get away
Not at all