Stating the Obvious: CIOs Work Hard

By | April 03, 2013

Posted in: Network Security Trends

Always tethered to the clock, an organization's chief information officer (CIO) is more likely to be working nights, than enjoying some quiet time at home, according to a new survey.

The majority of CIOs surveyed -- 73 percent -- said they they check in with work "often" or "somewhat often" on evenings and weekends. Only 14 percent said they never work outside of normal business hours, a somewhat surprising figure considering the complexity and ever-changing threats that demand the time of the average organizational CIO.

"For most CIOs, the job doesn't end at the close of business," said John Reed , senior executive director of Robert Half Technology in a press statement. "With weekend software deployments, and customers and end users around the world who require around the clock technical support, IT groups typically operate 24/7, and CIOs often need to be available if critical issues arise."

The survey recommends of number of ways in which overworked CIOs can pull back a touch.

  1. Identify the 'mosts.' When every project seems to be top priority, focus efforts on those that will save the most money, grow the most revenue or open doors to the most new business. Encourage your staff to use this same approach to manage their time.

  2. Be realistic about internal resources. Understand your staff's workload, knowledge level and experience. Bringing in outside consultants to manage certain projects may result in faster execution and fewer errors.

  3. Avoid micromanaging. Set milestones and regular check-ins, but otherwise let staff run initiatives when possible. Getting mired in details will slow the process and take away from everyone's already limited time.

  4. Practice the golden rule. Show respect for others' schedules. Avoid planning meetings that, on closer inspection, aren't necessary. Don't keep staff waiting for feedback and approvals.

"It's beneficial for even the busiest IT professionals -- including CIOs -- to disconnect when possible. Taking a break from work allows technology leaders to recharge and approach their work with fresh perspectives," added Reed in a statement.

The survey, conducted by Robert Half Technology, was based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees. Robert Half Technology

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