Bad Work-Life Balance May Mean Bad Health

Too many CIOs are taking their jobs to the extreme.

To illustrate our story on CIOs who are "always on" (see "The Extreme CIO"), we wanted to photograph Tom Conophy, CIO of InterContinental Hotels Group. Conophy handles technology and operations for hotels in 100 countries, has 750 IT staffers working for him around the world, regularly works between 80 and 90 hours a week and estimates that he's logged a million air miles since joining the company 14 months ago. He said he could give our photographer 10 minutes.

On the road. In one of his hotels.

That was all the time he could afford to take away from his job.

And Conophy loves his job.

Feature Story

The Extreme CIO: Taking the "Life" Out of Work-Life Balance

Which is great. It's great to love your work, and CIOs do. Why shouldn't they? They're in the thick of the action, on the cutting edge of change and innovation. They create value for their enterprises and make everybody more productive.

But (and you knew there'd be a but) when you work over 60 hours a week, as many CIOs do, something's gotta give.

Like sex.

According to the Center for Work-Life Policy, fully half the respondents to a study of people who work what the CWLP calls "extreme jobs" (defined as those that require at least 60 hours a week, demand 24/7 availability to clients, have unpredictable workflows, entail a good deal of travel and involve a large range of responsibilities—that is, the CIO role) said their job makes it "impossible" to have a satisfying sex life.

Which is not good.

Furthermore, 69 percent said they would be healthier if they worked less.

So don't you think it might be smart to spend a little of your precious time figuring out how to cut back a bit? How to work a tad more efficiently?

How to delegate?

Look, you're not going to quit. You're not going to move to a lakeside cabin and fish your days away (at least not yet), but chances are you need to get a better handle on that old work-life balance thing before the work you love either kills you or seriously impairs your ability to function as a part of the family you also love.

So take the time. Read the story. Get a grip.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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