Culture   //   May 9, 2023  ■  9 min read

WorkLife Dictionary: Terms you need to know

It’s official: The workplace has a new language. To make sense of these new developments, a bunch of newfangled terms have edged their way into daily conversations.

Here’s a breakout the most well-used terms you need to know.


Asynchronous Working 

  • Opposite of synchronous working, asynchronous working is when people are communicating at entirely different times of the day and an immediate answer isn’t expected. This could be because they’re in different time zones, or picking up their kids from school, or because they’re working flexible hours that are different to other team members. Whatever the reason, it’s a method of working that allows teams to collaborate and work on something together, but on their own schedules.



  • Doing admin work in bed. Could be because you’re sick, or simply not understanding when to stop working. Or maybe you’re just having a bad hair day.

Biophilic Design 

  • A style of design that centers around merging natural greenery and outdoor vibes – plants, lighting – with indoor, that’s become popular in modern offices. 



Career Cushioning

  • Starting the process of looking for the next job and preparing to move on (just in case) before leaving a current role.


  • A Chief Human Resource Officer deals with talent and culture demands such as creating flexible work options, fostering a more diverse workforce, and determining how to balance recruitment, retention, and potential layoffs. In a once-unlikely move, CHROs are claiming the top rung on the corporate ladder.

Chief AI Officer 

Chief Opportunity Officer


Digital Nomad


Employee Experience Manager 

Employee Engagement Manager

Experience Centers


Gap Career

Great Betrayal


  • Causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator. In the workplace, it is a form of emotional abuse that can occur between co-workers, both on the same level or from their bosses.

Great Reshuffle

  • Describes what many who did resign, did afterward: sought better paid, more flexible jobs or switched careers entirely.

Great Resignation

  • The term coined by economists to describe the mass resignations that began happening in 2021, prompted by factors ranging from safety concerns, the restrictions the pandemic put on people’s lives and the need to care for relatives, to people’s light-bulb moments that life was too short to be unhappy or overworked in their jobs. As The Great Resignation slows, here’s how companies are enticing ex-employees back


Hush Trip

  • When remote workers don’t inform their bosses that they are going to a new destination – even if it’s a tropical island or a known tourist spot.



  • Desk-booking apps that have been adopted en masse by the corporate world so staff can book their desk for the days they plan to be in the office.  

Hybrid Meeting

Hybrid Meeting Moderators 

Hybrid Working

  • Describes the newfound flexibility employers are offering instead of the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. There is no singular blueprint, but it refers to working models where a certain number of days or hours can be worked in the office, with the remainder worked from home or from other remote locations. Here are the 7 biggest hybrid-working challenges, and how to fix them.


Insider Threat 

  • An insider threat refers to someone who steals data or breaks the internal systems of the organization they work for, for their own purposes.

Imposter Syndrome 




Learning Quotient

Labor Hoarding


Neurodiverse Talent

New Normal

  • As employers rethink their physical office space, they’re redesigning them to reflect what their staff needs when they come into work. That includes quiet zones, collaboration zones and meeting zones.


Office Peacocking





Proximity Bias

Psychological Safety


Quiet Promotion 

Quiet Quitting

  •  A recently coined term that refers to the push back on hustle culture and longstanding working norm of going above and beyond at work. Instead, a worker will fulfill the core requirements of a job, and stick to contracted hours to maintain their work-life balance.

Tip-toe through all of the latest “quiet” terms you need to know. Visit WorkLife’s special project: The Quiet Workplace

Quiet Firing

Quiet Constraint


  • When quitting becomes contagious at companies.


Rage Applying

  • The method of mass applying for a range of jobs online, which is often prompted by an individual feeling unhappy at work — whether it’s because they’ve been overlooked for a promotion, or just feel generally unrecognized and under appreciated.


Remote working

  • When a person never visits the office but works remotely — not just from home but from any location.

Increase Productivity: Here are the biggest hybrid and remote-working hurdles and how to fix them

Reverse monitoring

  • With digital natives entering the workforce in increasing numbers, companies are pairing them with seasoned professionals so they can teach them the most efficient ways to use technology. The established workers mentor the new hires in areas like company culture and workplace etiquette. 


  • The now commonly-used acronym to describe the ‘return to the office’, after the easing of coronavirus pandemic restrictions


Social loafing

Social Engineering 




Toxic Positivity 





Zoom bombing

  • When someone outside the company hijacks a Zoom video call.