Jeff Christian talks to executives all day long, and he has noticed that the way they reply to the question "How are you?" has changed. It used to be that the answer would pertain to the state of business: Fine, not-so-good, kinda slow, pretty busy. Now, the answer is always about time, or the lack of it.
"Everybody I talk to says they're crazed, things are very intense, they don't have enough time to do their jobs," says the Cleveland-based executive recruiter. "I think it's a result of corporate downsizing: Fewer people are doing more work." But weren't the '90s supposed to be a break from the workaholic '80s? "Yes, but wanting more relaxation time is creating more pressure." Oh, great. So what can people do to ease the strain? "Try to connect. Leave your office and ask someone how they're doing--and really mean it." Then, wait to hear that work is making them totally nuts.
EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD