Every week, I scan the news for must-know stories about the employee-centric, happier, distributed, and AI-driven future of work.
The Future of Work has many confusing terms.
What's jobfishing? Shybrid? A dispersed team?
This glossary reflects some of the key terms currently associated with the future of work.
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What does the “Future of Work” mean?
“The future of work” describes what the workforce and workplace of tomorrow will look like.
Technological advancements like AI combined with COVID and the remote revolution have changed the workplace, and how people do jobs have changed significantly – and will continue to.
It is a journey rather than a destination, and our working practices and the physical workplace will continue to adapt and change in line with innovative new solutions that help everyone work more collaboratively, efficiently, and productively.
This glossary reflects some of the key terms currently associated with the future of work.
The 100:80:100 model represents the four-day week working model. People receive 100% of their pay (equivalent to a five-day week) for 80% of their time while committing to maintaining at least 100% productivity. It's about achieving work-life balance while optimizing productivity.
3:2 or 2:3 Model:
The 3:2 or 2:3 model signifies the hybrid work schedule. People work in the office for three or two days and remotely for two or three days, promoting a balanced approach to office and remote work.
Read more on the 3:2 or 2:3 Model in our article about hybrid work schedule.
Agile leadership means being adaptable and responsive, guiding teams with flexibility, especially in remote and hybrid setups, where changes happen fast.
Read more on Agile Leadership in our article about managing remote teams.
All -remote (also called Fully Remote) organizations operate without a central office, enabling people to work from home or in co-working spaces. These companies bridge time zones and countries, demanding thoughtful communication strategies. Companies like Upwork, GitLab, and Zapier exemplify this model, emphasizing digital connectivity and collaborative efficiency.
Read more on All-Remote in our article about hybrid remote meaning.
Annualized hours calculate work hours yearly, considering holidays and leave. This approach offers a balanced workload spread across the entire year. People maintain work-life balance by calculating total hours and adjusting for time off, and employers ensure consistent productivity throughout the annual cycle.
API (Application Programming Interface):
APIs act as magic bridges between software, enabling different programs to talk to each other. They facilitate seamless communication for remote and hybrid teams, like a well-choreographed dance.
Asynchronous communication allows flexibility by not requiring immediate responses. Email threads and project management tools facilitate non-real-time interactions. Vital for dispersed teams dealing with time zone disparities, this method allows thoughtful responses without the pressure of instant engagement.
Read more on Asynchronous Communication in our article about asynchronous work.
Augmented Reality (AR) Collaboration:
AR adds magic to remote collaboration with virtual sticky notes and holograms, enhancing teamwork and creativity as if everyone is in the same room, even miles apart.
Blended teams combine office-based and remote workers, creating a diverse workforce. Blended teams merge physical and virtual collaboration, emphasizing adaptability and fostering an inclusive work culture.
Boundary management involves balancing work and personal life in remote setups. It ensures people have time for both without feeling overwhelmed, creating a personal fortress of balance.
A brick-and-mortar business has a physical location for in-person interactions. Online giants like Amazon operate without this structure, showcasing the shift towards digital commerce. The term signifies traditional storefronts, emphasizing the tangible nature of physical businesses.
It's a creative technique where everyone jots down ideas together or at their own pace. Try the 6-3-5 method: six people, three ideas each, in five-minute rounds. Each participant builds on their peers' thoughts, generating 108 ideas in just 30 minutes. It's like a brainstorming whirlwind, resulting in a flurry of creativity!
Cloud-based collaboration provides a shared digital playground where files, tools, and projects live and are accessible from anywhere. It's teamwork without borders, fostering collaboration and flexibility.
Co-located teams work primarily from a central office, enhancing face-to-face interactions. Live meetings, summits, and conferences strengthen team relationships. This structure fosters close, office-based bonds, promoting efficient collaboration and real-time problem-solving.
Co-working spaces offer remote workers shared offices, promoting flexibility and networking. Access to stable internet and resources aids productivity. These spaces provide a professional environment, catering to individuals seeking office amenities without a fixed location commitment.
Read more on Co-Working Space in our article about hybrid office design.
Compressed Working Week:
Compressed working weeks condense 40 hours into fewer, longer days. For instance, four 10-hour workdays maintain full-time hours while offering extended weekends. This approach optimizes productivity and provides people with extended periods of personal time.
Core Work Hours:
Core work hours are like the shared moments on a team's clock when everyone agrees to be available for meetings and discussions. This flexibility empowers people to tailor their schedules around these core hours, ensuring a balance between teamwork and personal productivity. By offering this blend of structure and freedom, core work hours enhance productivity and strengthen team engagement.
Dematerialization transforms work from physical to digital platforms. Virtual workspaces replace traditional paper-based systems, enabling remote collaboration. Digital outputs and cloud-based tools redefine work, emphasizing efficiency and eco-friendly practices in modern workplaces.
Digital etiquette is the code of conduct in the online world, ensuring everyone feels respected and heard in virtual conversations. It's like good manners for virtual interactions.
Digital leaders are tech-savvy trailblazers guiding teams through the digital wilderness. They ensure everyone is comfortable with remote work tools, fostering success in remote setups.
Digital nomads are location-independent, traveling the world while working. They blend work and wanderlust, embracing the freedom of remote work in various locations.
A digital workplace manages tasks through cloud-based tools, enhancing connectivity. It empowers remote teams, ensuring seamless collaboration and effective task management anywhere.
Dispersed teams operate from various locations, overcoming geographical barriers. Effective communication and collaboration tools unite remote workers. These teams adapt to distance by fostering transparent communication, ensuring collective goals are met despite physical separation.
Distance work involves people spread across different locations, utilizing digital communication. Some work remotely, while others operate from physical offices. Technology bridges the gap, enabling seamless collaboration and coordination and ensuring teams remain productive despite physical dispersion.
A distributed workforce collaborates from various locations, sometimes internationally. It creates a diverse and vibrant team, promoting collaboration across borders in remote setups.
Ergonomic Home Office Setup:
Ergonomics creates a home office oasis, ensuring comfort with chairs and desks tailored to individual needs. It fosters well-being and productivity in remote work environments.
Face to Face Meeting (F2F Meeting):
Face-to-face meetings involve in-person discussions with or without digital tools. It facilitates direct, real-time communication, enhancing understanding and rapport among team members. These interactions promote personal connections, fostering teamwork and efficient problem-solving.
Flex Time / Flexi Time:
Flex time permits people to customize work hours, accommodating personal responsibilities. This approach is ideal for work-life balance and ensures people meet their obligations while enjoying increased flexibility. It supports diverse lifestyles, fostering a supportive work environment.
Read more on Flex Time / Flexi Time in our article about hybrid remote meaning.
Flexible Workspace Solutions:
Flexible workspace solutions adapt to your needs, offering different setups for various tasks. They promote flexibility and ease in remote work and accommodate diverse work requirements.
In the freelancer economy, individuals act as superheroes, offering skills and services on a project basis. It signifies freedom, choice, and flexibility in remote work.
Future-proofing skills mean learning today for tomorrow's challenges. It's like planting seeds for a resilient career garden, ensuring readiness for the future job landscape.
Gamification of Work:
Work meets play in the gamification of work, turning tasks into exciting quests. Game elements boost motivation and engagement in remote and hybrid settings, making work enjoyable.
Use our Daily Quest Tool to explore more on the Gamification of Work.
The gig economy comprises freelancers without standard employment agreements. Platforms like Uber exemplify gig work, as do Fiverr and Upwork for desk jobs. The gig economy offers diverse work opportunities, catering to various skills and schedules, but also raises concerns about job security and workers' rights.
Read more on the Gig Economy in our article about the talent marketplace.
Global employers operate across borders, requiring strategic planning. They navigate complex regulations, ensuring compliance in diverse regions. Such organizations benefit from international talent pools, fostering cultural diversity and global perspectives within their workforce.
The great resignation refers to mass resignations driven by safety concerns, work-life balance, and career aspirations. It led many to seek better opportunities, transforming the job market.
Read more on Great Resignation in our article about employee experience management.
The significant reshuffle describes the trend of individuals seeking better-paying, flexible jobs or switching careers entirely after resigning. It reflects a shift in career priorities and aspirations.
Hybrid-remote companies blend in-person and remote work, emphasizing flexibility. While some employees work in offices, others work remotely, requiring seamless communication solutions. This model combines collaborative office environments with remote work options, catering to preferences.
Read more on Hybrid-Remote in our article about hybrid remote meaning.
When a team has a meeting, some attendees are in the same room in an office, while the rest join remotely.
Hybrid Meeting Moderators:
People are tasked with ensuring everyone joining a meeting remotely gets to speak to ensure parity between people in the office and those who aren’t.
Describes working models that have replaced the traditional 9-to-5 schedule with a blend of in-office and remote work. 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 working from home or other remote locations.
Read more on Hybrid Working in our article about hybrid remote meaning.
Hot desking allows flexibility by not assigning desks, enabling choice each day. It promotes adaptability in remote and hybrid environments, enhancing collaboration and teamwork.
Read more in our article about hot desking.
The corporate world has adopted desktop-booking apps en masse so everyone can book their desk for the days they plan to be in the office.
Read more on Hotelling in our article about desk booking software.
Human-centric design tailors digital experiences for ease and enjoyment. It ensures tools and tech are user-friendly, even from afar, promoting productivity and satisfaction.
Inclusive leaders ensure everyone's voice is heard, fostering belonging in remote and hybrid teams. They embrace diversity, creating a supportive environment for all team members.
Read more on Inclusive Leadership in our article about managing remote teams.
Internet of Things (IoT) in Remote Work:
IoT connects devices, making remote work more innovative and more efficient. Smart thermostats and coffee makers enhance productivity, creating a connected work environment.
Jobfishing is a deceitful tactic where scammers target remote job seekers by creating fake companies. They promise flexible benefits, tricking people into working for free or sharing payment details. Stay cautious and verify job opportunities to avoid falling victim to such schemes.
Job sharing is a fantastic alternative to the gig economy hustle. In this setup, two or more individuals split job responsibilities, each handling specific parts of the day or week. According to Forbes, it's like a teamwork dance, boosting productivity by a whopping 3es. Happy sharing!
Knowledge-sharing platforms are digital spaces for ideas and expertise. They foster collaboration, enable team members to share knowledge and promote learning in remote work.
The laptop lifestyle offers the freedom to work from anywhere. It embodies the spirit of remote work, allowing work from cafes in Paris to hammocks by the beach, promoting flexibility.
With so many companies revamping the physical office to reflect how people use it today for team collaboration, onboarding, coaching, and strategy sessions, some businesses are downsizing their headquarters in favor of smaller spaces.
Microbreaks are brief pauses during work for relaxation, refreshing focus, and energy. They promote well-being, ensuring mental and physical health in remote work.
Micromanagement involves excessive control, which can stifle creativity and trust. Clear communication and trust are vital to ensuring a positive work environment in remote and hybrid teams.
Midweek mountain refers to the pattern where hybrid people often work in the physical office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, choosing to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. This approach allows for a balanced blend of office collaboration and remote flexibility during the workweek.
Mobile Workforce Management:
Mobile workforce management orchestrates tasks, schedules, and communication for on-the-go teams. It ensures coordination, enhancing efficiency for remote and hybrid setups.
Multimodal communication uses various channels - text, voice, and video - to cater to team preferences. It promotes effective connection and ensures vibrant communication in remote and hybrid environments.
Neighborhoods (or Zones):
Neighborhoods in offices create diverse spaces like quiet zones and collaboration zones. Redesigning offices based on staff needs fosters a conducive work environment in hybrid setups.
Read more on Neighborhoods in our article about hybrid office design.
Neurodiversity inclusion appreciates diverse neurological functions by recognizing and celebrating how everyone’s brains work. It acknowledges that people have different neurological makeups; every mind is recognized for its unique brilliance. In the future of work, it celebrates these differences as strengths rather than challenges, creating diverse environments where everyone feels safe, respected, and empowered to contribute their best, whether in the office or remotely.
A nonlinear workday breaks work into flexible blocks instead of a continuous 8-hour stretch. Teams can plan set hours for collaboration or allow spontaneous task management. This approach enhances adaptability and productivity, accommodating different schedules and real-time needs within a supportive work environment.
Online Learning Platforms:
Online learning platforms offer interactive classes, promoting continuous learning. They expand horizons, enabling skill development and knowledge acquisition in remote work.
Online Password Vaults:
Online password vaults securely store login credentials, enhancing digital security. Professionals can manage multiple passwords efficiently, ensuring online safety. These tools simplify authentication processes, promoting secure online practices in an increasingly digital work landscape.
Outcome-based performance values result from hours worked. This system promotes goal-oriented productivity, focuses on work's impact, and ensures efficiency in remote and hybrid setups.
Personal User Manuals:
Personal user manuals are snapshots of everyone on the team. They shape values and communication styles. Teammates exchange these manuals to understand each other better. It's like sharing everyone’s user guide with others, fostering deeper connections and smoother teamwork.
Read more in our article about the personal user manual.
There is a sense that people always have to display their best self at work and show that they are acceptable regardless of whether they are stressed, under too much pressure, or need support.
Polywork involves having multiple jobs simultaneously. It reflects the trend of diverse careers, catering to Gen Z and millennials, offering flexibility in work choices.
Proximity bias refers to bias towards physically near staff. Awareness and inclusivity efforts are crucial, ensuring fair treatment for remote and in-office team members.
Psychological safety encourages open communication without fear of reprisals. It fosters a supportive environment where team members feel confident sharing ideas, enhancing collaboration in remote and hybrid teams. In the future of work, Psychological Safety is the warm and welcoming atmosphere that empowers every remote and hybrid member to shine brightly, bringing their best selves to the physical and digital table. It’s where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and where every voice, no matter how soft, resonatesThe secret ingredient turns a group of individuals into a cohesive, creative, and unstoppable team.
Read more on Psychological Safety in our article about managing remote teams.
Quiet constraint involves withholding valuable information. Open communication and knowledge sharing are vital, ensuring all team members have the necessary resources for productivity.
Quiet firing occurs when managers use passive-aggressive tactics. Transparent and respectful communication is essential, fostering trust and a positive work environment in remote and hybrid teams.
Quiet promotions involve additional responsibilities without a pay increase. Recognizing and rewarding people, ensuring fair treatment in remote and hybrid setups.
Quiet quitting emphasizes work-life balance and setting boundaries. It focuses on core job requirements, promoting well-being, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance in remote work.
Rage quitting involves abrupt job departure due to frustration. Addressing workplace concerns and fostering a positive environment is vital, ensuring a supportive work atmosphere in remote and hybrid teams.
Real-Time Communication Apps:
Real-time communication apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams facilitate instant conversations, enable swift decision-making, and enhance team collaboration. These platforms streamline discussions, ensuring timely responses and effective teamwork among geographically dispersed professionals.
Read more in our article about team communication tools.
Remote Collaboration Tools:
Remote collaboration tools act as Swiss Army knives for virtual teamwork. They include messaging, video calls, and project management apps, keeping teams connected and productive in remote and hybrid environments.
Read more in our article about remote collaboration tools.
Remote Employee Engagement:
Remote Employee Engagement is the magic that keeps digital workspaces vibrant and lively, and it’s the art of creating a virtual office where every team member feels excited, valued, and part of something bigger. It's not just about finishing tasks; it's about fostering a sense of belonging, sparking creativity, and building solid connections, even through screens. In the future of work, Remote Employee Engagement means fun virtual team events, supportive digital high-fives for achievements, and open platforms for sharing ideas.
Read more in our article about how to engage remote employees.
Remote-first companies prioritize remote work as the default setting. They provide infrastructure and support for virtual collaboration, emphasizing digital communication tools. This approach fosters independence and empowers people to work effectively from diverse locations, enhancing overall productivity.
Read more on Remote-First in our article about hybrid remote meaning.
Remote Leadership Development:
Remote leadership development hones leaders' skills for distance guidance. Training emphasizes communication, empathy, and trust, ensuring effective leadership in remote and hybrid settings.
Read more in our article about remote team management training.
Remote OK organizations support remote work, offering flexible arrangements. They prioritize virtual communication, allowing people to collaborate seamlessly. Remote-friendly policies create inclusive work environments, accommodating diverse lifestyles and enhancing work-life balance.
Remote Onboarding Experience:
The remote onboarding experience smoothly integrates new members. It provides virtual orientations and mentorship, ensuring new team members feel at home in remote work environments.
Read more in our article about remote onboarding.
Remote Employee Experience:
Remote employee experience ensures seamless onboarding and clear communication. It creates a positive journey for remote team members and fosters a sense of belonging and support.
Read more in our article about employee experience management.
Work retreats promote team bonding outside of the office. Activities, talks, and team-building exercises strengthen relationships. Hosted offsite, these events offer a break from routine, fostering camaraderie and enhancing teamwork. Retreats inspire creativity and unity, creating positive workplace dynamics.
Read more in our article about the team retreat.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Remote Work:
RPA uses software robots to automate tasks, boosting efficiency in remote and hybrid workflows. It reduces manual work, enhancing productivity and effectiveness.
Self-Service IT Support:
Self-service IT support empowers remote workers to troubleshoot tech issues independently. It provides resources, enabling problem-solving and ensuring seamless workflow in remote work.
A term that’s been used to describe how employers have continually pushed back return-to-office days without informing people of any concrete hybrid (or otherwise) plan. This “shyness” to explain a hybrid strategy leads to widespread confusion.
Social engineering manipulates human factors for unauthorized access. Cybersecurity awareness and measures are vital, protecting against social engineering attacks in remote work setups.
Social Isolation/ Social Distancing:
Social Isolation, especially in remote and hybrid work setups, refers to the feeling of being disconnected from colleagues, friends, and the broader workplace community. It speaks to people's necessary physical precautions to ensure safety. Understanding social isolation enables people to address mental and emotional well-being. It emphasizes the importance of creating a supportive work environment where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued in the office or working remotely. By nurturing a culture of belonging, the company can transform the challenges of social isolation into opportunities for stronger, more resilient, and connected hybrid and remote teams.
Read more on Social Isolation/ Social Distancing in our article about the work from home loneliness.
Social loafing occurs when individuals avoid work by relying on others' efforts. Collaboration and accountability are essential, in promoting team productivity in remote and hybrid settings.
Staying in the Loop:
Staying in the loop means staying updated and connected with ongoing plans and activities, including registering for regular updates on the progress of a situation or project. This ensures awareness of developments, fostering efficient teamwork and informed decision-making.
Task Automation Tools:
Task automation tools are like magical helpers. They automate repetitive tasks, allowing remote and hybrid workers to focus on creative and strategic work, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
Read more in our article about the task tracker.
Team Building Activities for Remote Teams:
Team building activities for remote teams are like digital adventures. They include virtual games, quizzes, and challenges, which foster camaraderie and connection among team members, even from a distance.
Read more Team Building Activities for Remote Teams in our article about virtual ice breakers.
Team-level agreements, also known as team norms or operating manuals, set clear expectations. They build trust, bring clarity, and supercharge team performance. They are like roadmaps for teamwork, ensuring everyone's on the same page.
Telecommuting is like bringing the office home. It's about working remotely, using digital tools to collaborate and communicate, and creating a flexible and productive work environment outside the traditional office.
Time blocking is like crafting people’s workday masterpieces. It's about scheduling specific blocks of time for different tasks, ensuring focus and productivity in remote and hybrid workdays.
Effective time management is crucial, especially for remote workers. Time management tools come to the rescue, organizing tasks and schedules. These apps help with activities like note-taking and task batching, handling workloads efficiently, and maintaining a balanced work life.
Read more in our article about time management tools.
Toxic positivity forces relentless positivity, ignoring genuine emotions. It is intended to help people see the positive side of any situation, no matter how dire. Still, it can often lead to grating, forced positivity at work, where people feel pressured to maintain a consistently positive mindset and crush any other concerns.
Virtual backgrounds personalize video calls, adding creativity and privacy. They enhance virtual meetings, creating engaging and visually appealing environments.
Read more in our article about how to run fun and productive virtual meeting.
Describes how businesses have attempted to maintain company culture in enforced remote-working environments. For most organizations, a hybrid work model will remain a high priority.
A virtual meeting is a digital gathering conducted via video conferencing software. It's a fantastic solution when in-person meetings aren't possible due to logistical or health reasons. Virtual meetings bridge distances, enabling face-to-face interactions, fostering collaboration, and ensuring work progresses seamlessly.
Read more in our article about how to run fun and productive virtual meeting.
A virtual office offers the perks of a physical workspace without the need for a physical location. Businesses gain benefits like a professional address, voicemail services, and storage, enhancing the brand image. It provides essential services without the constraints of a traditional office, promoting flexibility and professionalism.
Read more in our article about virtual workspace.
Virtual Reality (VR) Collaboration:
VR collaboration immerses teams in digital spaces. It enhances creativity and collaboration, making remote and hybrid teamwork dynamic and interactive.
Read more on Virtual Reality (VR) Collaboration in our article about remote collaboration.
The virtual watercooler fosters casual conversations in digital spaces. It builds friendships, promoting camaraderie and community among remote and hybrid team members.
Well-being apps support mental and physical health. They provide tools for relaxation and exercise, enhancing well-being and reducing stress in remote and hybrid workdays.
Work From Home:
Working from home means conducting jobs from the comfort of people’s own houses. Thanks to virtual tools and software, communication and collaboration are streamlined. It allows for a flexible work environment, enabling individuals to balance work commitments and personal life effectively.
Read more on Work From Home in our article about hybrid remote meaning.
Work-life balance ensures harmony between work and personal life. It promotes family time, hobbies, and self-care, ensuring overall well-being in remote and hybrid work environments.
Read more on Work-Life Balance in our article about happiness at work.
Workplace Wellness Programs:
Workplace wellness programs are like treasure chests of health. They offer fitness challenges, mental health workshops, and nutrition guidance, promoting well-being and creating a healthy work environment for remote and hybrid teams.
Workation combines work and travel, embracing remote work flexibility. It allows working from exotic locations, promoting work-life balance and adventure.
Zoom fatigue is like feeling tired after a long journey. The exhaustion comes from excessive video calls and virtual interactions, prompting the need for breaks and self-care in remote and hybrid workdays.
Read more Zoom Fatigue in our article about effective team meetings.
Every week, I scan the news for must-know stories about the employee-centric, happier, distributed, and AI-driven future of work.