While the days of working 9 to 5 are gone for most employees, it is especially true of those charged with keeping a company's constantly growing technology running at full speed, new research shows.
Just 14 percent of the IT leaders surveyed never keep tabs on employees and what's going on in the office outside of normal business hours.
"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," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.
Despite those added pressures, Reed believes it is still beneficial for IT professionals to disconnect when possible.
"Taking a break from work allows technology leaders to recharge and approach their work with fresh perspectives," Reed said.
Robert Half Technology offers several tips to limit after-hours work for CIOs and their teams, including:
- Identify the "mosts": When every project seems to be a top priority, focus efforts on those that will save the most money, grow the most revenue or open doors to the most new business. CIOs need to encourage their staff to use this same approach to manage their time.
- Use resources wisely: It is important that CIOs are realistic about their team and understand their workload, knowledge level and experience. Bringing in outside consultants to manage certain projects may result in faster execution and fewer errors.
- 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.
- Practice the golden rule: Show respect for others' schedules. Avoid planning meetings that aren't necessary. Don't keep staff waiting for feedback and approvals.
The research was based on surveys of more than 2,300 CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees.