The hone doesn't sharpen the knife it maintains the straightness of the edge. Honing is simply helping the line be straight again. A good knife you can simply do one task and then steel it...work again, steel it and it won't lose much of it's actual sharpness.
You absolutely need to use stones. It doesn't take hours. Either rod will work you only need one. You can't use a rod to polish a finish you need stones.
A combination stone of 1,000-5000 grit should be more than enough. You only need lower grit stones to repair abused knives.
Don't stress about sharpening. It can only take a few minutes a session. If you sharpen once a month you'll be ahead of the game. You will also probably be despised by your co-workers...
What is it about chefs/line cooks using awful knives? Seriously once they see how easy you cut things they'll give you a hard time