The Workplace Glossary: Master the Latest Employee Experience Terms

Posted on Tuesday 30 May 2023.

workplace glossary

From WFH to WFA, gig workforce to polywork, quiet quitting to quiet hiring – these are some of many new emerging or popular terminologies we often hear and use daily. But do you know what these new fancy terms or acronyms mean?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. This is the first part of our new blog series, ‘The Workplace Glossary’, covering some popular terminology in the modern workplace.

Our new blog series is dedicated to helping you stay up to date with the latest terms, phrases, and acronyms. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of terms so that you can confidently speak the language of the future.

Why Does Modern Workplace Terminology Matter?

So why is it important to understand these newly emerged terms and acronyms?

The answer is simple. In today’s fast-paced business environment, it is all too easy to slip behind the curve, miss out on opportunities, and become obsolete if you don’t speak the language of technology, business, leadership, or customer service.

So, if you want to stay ahead of the game in the modern workplace, you need to prioritise understanding the modern workplace and its terminology.

As a proactive employer, it’s crucial to stay on top of the latest employee experience trends. By doing so, you can create a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and retention. Keeping abreast of these trends will enable you to create a harmonious and fulfilling work culture that will ensure your employees’ satisfaction and loyalty.

By understanding some of the commonly used phrases, you can also communicate more effectively with vendors and customers. Additionally, this will also help you stay informed about the latest trends and best practices, which can lead to improved employee experience and better business outcomes.

Now that we get that out of the way – let’s get right into the first list!

Learn The Language of The Modern Workplace

workplace glossary infographic

Agile HR – Agile HR refers to an approach to HR that emphasises adaptability, collaboration, and continuous improvement, using agile methodologies like those used in software development.

Boomerang employee – It’s an expression for an employee who leaves a company they work for but then later returns to work for the company once again. This also explains the expressed desires of employees to return to their pre-Covid employers after leaving in search of a better opportunity.

Digital Friction – Digital friction refers to the obstacles and barriers that can impede the flow of digital interactions and transactions, such as slow load times, complex interfaces, or security concerns.

DEI – It stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it describes the focus of organisations to create a work environment that values diversity and promotes fair treatment for all employees.

DEIB – It stands for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Digitally Dexterous – Digitally dexterous refers to an individual’s ability to use technology with ease and confidence, including their proficiency in digital devices, software, and applications, as well as their ability to learn and adapt to new technology.

Digital Detox – Digital detox refers to unplugging digital devices and technology for some time to reduce stress and improve mental and physical well-being.

Digital Burnout – Digital burnout refers to the state of mental and physical exhaustion that can result from prolonged exposure to digital devices and technology.

Emotional resilience – Refers to an individual’s ability to adapt to and cope with workplace stress, challenges, changes, and any unexpected situations or crises.

Employee Experience (EX) – Employee experience refers to the overall perception of an employee’s interactions with an organisation, including their emotions, expectations, and satisfaction with their work environment, colleagues, and leadership.

Emotional Labour – Emotional labour refers to the effort and energy that employees must expend to regulate their emotions and expressions to meet their work environment’s expectations.

Gig Workforce – It refers to independent contractors, also known as freelancers, who usually work on a temporary or part-time basis. It’s estimated that the number of gig workforce will continue to rise.

Great resignation – The term describes the mass resignations that began happening after the pandemic in 2021. It is often connected with the term “Great reshuffle “as it contributed to many people switching their occupations or work.

Hybrid working model – A newfound flexibility employers offer instead of the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. It’s a combination of working from the office and home.

Polywork – It refers to polygamous careers, also known as overemployment. It’s a rising trend in which people have multiple jobs at once.

Proactive rest – to support emotional resilience, organisations can offer things like no-meeting Fridays and support wellness time.

Productivity paranoia A new term by Microsoft researchers describes leaders who fear losing productivity due to employees not working, even though hours worked, the number of meetings, and other activity metrics have increased.

Remote Onboarding – Remote onboarding refers to the process of integrating and acclimating new employees to an organisation when they are working from remote locations rather than in a central office.

Skill-based hiring – Refers to a hiring approach that prioritises candidates’ skills, abilities, and knowledge rather than their previous job titles or education. This type of hiring is focused on finding the best match between the skills required for a job and the skills of potential candidates.

Quiet hiring – A new way to employ in-demand talent is by stretching and upskilling opportunities for existing employees.

Quiet quitting – It refers to the phenomenon of employees disengaging from their work and withdrawing from their job responsibilities without formally resigning.

WFA – work-from-anywhere

📩 What terms or acronyms would you add to this list? Please feel free to contact us and share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!

Antonija Bozickovic

Antonija Bozickovic

Content Creator at SDI



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