Homing Instinct

In the corporate world, it's common to hear of an executive stepping down to "spend more time with his family." It's easy to be cynical about such sentiments, especially when the announcements come just as Nasdaq issues a delisting notice for the company's stock or the Feds are rifling through files at headquarters.

But maybe some of those hard-charging execs really do wish they could spend more time at home. In a survey by TheLadders.com, an online job site specializing in executive jobs, 53 percent of those who answered said that, if money were no object and they had small children, they would continue to work but at a reduced load. Thirty-nine percent said they would stay home with the kids. Just 9 percent said they would work full time.

The driving factor seems to be fear, however, more than love of work. Forty-two percent of respondents said they felt executives were "resented for taking time off." And 23 percent said they feared that anyone taking an extended leave to care for family was "too far removed from the action to be effective."

Unfortunately, the survey didn't ask what percentage of the executives' families would say the same thing about their performance at home.

-- Mary Ellen Slayter