KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


Better Options to the Rat Race

Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’

Barely getting’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’

They just use your mind and they never give you credit

It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it

9 to 5, for service and devotion

You would think I would deserve a fair promotion

Want to move ahead but the boss won’t seem to let me

                               -Dolly Parton-

Time was, most workin’ folks could relate to Dolly’s song. Time was, a punch card kept track of the exact number of days and minutes that you spent at your place of employment, and variance required a pre-arranged permission slip. Times have changed.

Business consultant Mark Graban, who works as a senior advisor with Austin -based KaiNexus, a technology-based company that pushes innovation in every variety of industry, is a former engineer who knows about improved and sustained performance in business. During the pandemic, the company went virtual, working from home. As normalcy crept back, with it came all that was learned about possibilities not previously considered. It’s not about hours. A timecard, he suggests, is not today’s measure of productivity, effectiveness, or quality. It’s getting the job done effectively and efficiently. When and where is a more personal choice. More than “work-life balance,” a phrase that’s been used enough, Graban replaces it with “work life integration,” which ultimately connotes a blend that bends rigidity. There are times when the job requires enhanced concentration and devotion. There are times family and personal needs require enhanced devotion and focus. The secret sauce is integrating both for quality of life, and ultimately, isn’t that what we are working at the job to attain? Societal organization often dictates that we define ourselves by our profession. Hello, I’m a doctor,” rather than “Hello, I’m an opera fan who gardens and performs surgery.” What we are is not who we are.

Ultimately, as Graban suggests, rather than set boundaries between professional and personal priorities, we are moving toward integrating needs for a satisfying and fulfilling life.. For some, that’s a four-day work week. For some, that’s a couple who both work part time to save money on child care.

Buzzwords of today: option and integration. A better combination than the words nine and five.

photo: Getty Images

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