WATCH: How should our work lives change as the tech-infused economy evolves?

Authors Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos, co-founders of the Muse, discuss pros and cons of a flexible workplace

By Carrie Sheffield
April 18, 2017 9:30PM (UTC)
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This Salon Talks video was produced by Kevin Carlin

How can we set a healthy work-life balance when the traditional 9-to-5 work day is disappearing? Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos, co-founders of the Muse and co-authors of "The New Rules of Work," joined Salon Talks to discuss the pros and cons of a flexible workplace.

The Muse is at the forefront of career advice and is one of the most popular career sites for millennial workers. Minshew and Cavoulacos have raised nearly $30 million from top VC funds and celebrities such as Tyra Banks to shape workforce development. They argue that work is becoming less time-oriented and more task-oriented.


“It’s about getting your work done, right?” Cavoulacos said. “If I can be sure that you’re getting things done, hitting your marks, results are coming in, I don’t care where or how or when you do it.”

Cavoulacos pointed out that not having a 9-to-5 gig often results in checking email first thing in the morning and right before bed.

“Finding those boundaries," Minshew said, "is going to be one of the next big challenges for individuals rather than employers.”


Minshew said work boundaries and time management means allowing employees to set their own preferences — for example, do workers consider themselves “morning” or “evening” people? She continued:

“I think it’s really tough. Something that we tried to do since the beginning of the Muse is make it clear to everyone we worked with that our own personal choices — and where we drew boundaries — was not where they needed to draw boundaries. And in fact, that we might be working late at night and we did not want them to feel like they were expected to. . . . You do have to be really explicit, because otherwise I think it’s easy for people to assume that ‘If I want this person to think I’m good at my job, I’ve gotta just be constantly responsive.’ And that’s not a recipe for a successful, creative, productive person over the long-term.”

Carrie Sheffield

Carrie Sheffield is a Salon Talks host, founder of Bold and adviser to Lincoln Network. She previously wrote editorials for The Washington Times, covered politics for POLITICO and The Hill and analyzed municipal credit for Goldman Sachs and Moody's Investors Service.

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