Hey, welcome. My wife and I both work and even shut our kitten out of the bedroom when we sleep (so we can actually sleep, instead of being attacked!). We've stayed home a day or two during the week to get some housework done, but our fear of the kitten being lonely proved unfounded -- he just slept all day.
And sure enough, when we come home now, even if we're later than usual he's still stretching and yawning when we come home.
As for hair, it depends mostly on the type of coats they have. My wife's parents have a 15 yr old orange tabby (short hair) and a 4 year old black cat (long hair). The short hair orange guy sheds like mad -- you can't even get near him without getting fur on you. The longhair guy doesn't shed a bit.
Most cats will shed much less if they're fed high quality food, but if shedding really bugs you, you can brush them (which helps a great deal) or look for pedigreed cats that come from a breed known for shedding less. For instance, traditional Balinese cats don't have an undercoat so they only shed a fraction of what a, say, Persian would. Of course, they're not as floofy either.