The Pocket Dictionary For A Changing Workplace

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It’s getting confusing out there in the workplace these days. A new term is invented every day – you’ll see it on TikTok or LinkedIn, then MorningBrew, then the Wall Street Journal – and you have to muster the energy to learn what it means. After all, you don’t want to be made fun of by a Gen Zer on Slack for not knowing what they mean by workcation, quiet quitting, or RTO.

I started to lose track of all the terms myself, so I decided to make a dictionary of all of these new workplace, work-trend terms. Think I missed one? Get in touch and I’d be happy to add it.

Click on a term below to jump to the definition, its synonyms, and where to learn more:

 

What is a 4-day work week?

A four-day work week is a company work schedule in which employees work four weekdays instead of five (Monday – Thursday, for example) and have three days off from work. Typically, a four-day work week consists of 32 hours of work and is considered full time. However, other alternative schedules could consist of 40 hours of work over the four days.

Also known as: 32-hour work week, 4-10 work week, alternative (or compressed) work schedule

Read: 4-Day Work Week: The Complete Overview

 

What is the 100-80-100 model?

The 100-80-100 model is an implementation method of the 4-day, 32-hour work week for companies in which employees receive 100% of the pay as before, work 80% of the time, and are held accountable to 100% of the productivity. 4 Day Work Week Global coined the term.

Read: Why Trial A 4-Day Work Week? | Every 4-Day Work Week Company

 

What is asynchronous work?

Asynchronous work describes work being performed by colleagues that does not happen at the same time. Historically,

Also known as asynchronous communication, async work

Read: Every Company Going Asyc First

 

What is a coworking space?

A coworking space is an office that is used by multiple self-employed people or employees of multiple companies working within the same space.

Also known as flexible office, shared office flexible or shared workspace

Read: What Is A Coworking Space? | 130 Best Coworking Spaces In The US

 

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is a person who travels from place to place bringing their internet-based work and income with them.

Also known as remote worker, location independent

 

What is a fully remote company?

A fully remote company is one that has no physical office locations nor headquarters. Each employee works from home and all daily interactions between employees take place over the internet.

Also known as virtual company, distributed company

Read: Every Company Going Remote Permanently

 

What is a geoarbitrage?

Geoarbitrage is when you move from a high-cost-of-living area to a low (or lower) cost of living location but bring your income with you. Whereas a digital nomad would travel from place to place with their income, a geoarbiter would settle in a new, cheaper place with their income from the previous, more expensive place.

Also known as geographic arbitrage

Read: How To Geoarbitrage

 

What is a Head of Remote?

A Head of Remote is a new type of position or role at a company to describe the leader of workplace experience, processes, operations, and policies for a distributed team without physical offices. As of 2019, there was just one Head of Remote – Darren Murph of Gitlab – but the role has caught on since 2020 as many companies went fully remote in a short period of time.

Also known as Remote Lead, Director of Remote Work

Read: Heads Of Remote To Follow

 

What is a hybrid guilt?

Hybrid guilt is a feeling an employee might get when they feel like they should be in the office that day rather than working from home. This would happen at a hybrid work model company. Darren Murph, Head of Remote for Gitlab, coined the phrase.

 

What is a hybrid work model?

A hybrid work model is when a company plans to have employees working from home part of the time and in an office part of the time.

Also known as flexible working model, hybrid work from home

 

What is a labor arbitrage?

Labor arbitrage is the practice of searching for and hiring the lowest cost labor to deliver goods or services (typically in a different state or country). Offshoring is term to describe the same type of concept. Whereas labor arbitrage or offshoring has historically been used in manufacturing, the growth of remote work is allowing for labor arbitrage in knowledge work (importing and exporting intangible, desk-based work).

Also known as global labor arbitrage

 

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting is a term that came about on Tiktok in the summer of 2022 to describe putting forth the minimum amount of effort, time, and thought into a job to retain it without compromising your life outside of work. Although the term is new, the concept has been around forever, just under other names.

Also known as just getting by, doing the bare minimum, punching the clock

 

What is a remote work visa?

A visa is an official document issued by a country to allow foreign visitors to legally enter the country for a certain amount of time. A digital nomad visa, or remote work visa, is a country-issued program to allow foreigners to work via the internet in the country for a certain amount of time.

Also known as digital nomad visas

 

What is a remote-first company?

A remote-first company offers work-from-home or work-from-anywhere as the default location for their employees and runs on a set of processes that are built for digital interaction rather than in-person interaction. A remote-first company hires people to work from anywhere, meets through video meetings, collaborates through online tools, and mostly operates through a distributed model.

Also known as virtual-first company, distributed company, fully remote company

 

What is return to office (RTO)?

Return to office (or RTO) describes the plans of companies to bring employees back into the physical office after working from home due to COVID lockdowns.

Also known as back to office, RTO, return to the office

Read: The Hub For Return To Office News & Data

 

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a source of income (part-time job, contract work, business) that one brings in outside of their standard job as an employee.

Also known as side job, side gig, secondary income, second job

Read: Side Hustle Statistics

 

What is The Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation is a term coined by Dr. Anthony Klotz, Associate Professor of Management at Texas A&M University, to describe the decisions of millions of workers to quit their jobs during the pandemic. These decisions include:

  • People leaving companies
  • People starting they own businesses
  • People leaving the workforce altogether

Also known as The Big Quit, The Great Reshuffle, The Great Attrition, The Great Renegotiation

Read: What Is The Great Resignation?

 

What is The Great Reshuffle?

The Great Reshuffle is a term coined by Ryan Roslansky, CEO at LinkedIn, to describe the decision of millions of workers to search for more fulfilling roles or careers as a result of the changes during the pandemic.

  • People switching companies
  • People changing careers
  • People moving cities (with the ability to work remotely)

Also known as The Big Quit, The Great Resignation, The Great Attrition, The Great Renegotiation

Read: Great Resignation Or Great Reshuffle?

 

What is The Great Attrition?

The Great Attrition is a term coined by Mckinsey & Co to describe The Great Resignation, but from the employer side – millions have quit their jobs since 2020, a record pace that is disrupting businesses everywhere.

Also known as The Big Quit, The Great Reshuffle, The Great Reshuffle, The Great Renegotiation

Read: ‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’?

 

What is The Great Renegotiation?

The Great Renegotiation, coined by Mckinsey & Co, is another subset of The Great Resignation. Whereas The Great Resignation explains the overall trend of millions of workers quitting their jobs during the pandemic, The Great Renegotiation describes the fierce competition for talent that companies are facing as a result. With more open jobs than job seekers, job seekers have the upper-hand in negotiations with employers.

Also known as The Big Quit, The Great Reshuffle, The Great Reshuffle, The Great Attrition

Read: The Great Attrition is making hiring harder.

What is a virtual presenteeism?

Virtual presenteeism is the act of employees always being “on” and available digitally. The term carries a negative connotation in that a company’s culture would push people to respond quickly and show they are working, rather than actually working.

Also known as e-presenteeism

 

What is a workcation?

A workcation is a trip that includes time for work and time for vacation. The term came about as a result of people taking advantage of the benefits of remote work. Without remote work, people might be able to take a one- or two-week vacation without doing any work. With remote work, people are able to travel somewhere for a month, for example, with two weeks of vacation and two weeks of work – a workcation.

Also known as flexcation,workation, worcation, work vacation

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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