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10 Buzz Phrases That Defined The Workplace

December 13, 2022 15:59 IST

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

The way we work got restructured during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. And the situation is still fast evolving.

From new-fangled approaches to how to do your job to unannounced massive layoffs all across the world, the workplace is going through changes in this mostly cloudy economic weather.


Ten Workplace Terms That Defined 2022:

Great Resignation

COVID-19, mass deaths and lockdowns made people realise that our time on the planet is truly short and maybe they shouldn't spend so much time in a job they didn't enjoy.

It sparked change. Hordes decided to quit the workforce and spend time living life.

Great Resignation is/was the mass resignation of employees on a whim.


Quiet Quitting

The quiet quitters are at their jobs just for the paycheck and aren't really emotionally or intellectually invested. They do very little.

Quiet quitting refers to employees who put in the bare minimum at work.

Interestingly, the phrase is now being applied to non-work aspects of people's lives too, like marriages and relationships -- for instance 'Is Hari quiet quitting his relationship with Vinita?'



Not new terminology (it's actually a 19th century Irish word for acts protesting the wicked land-tenure practices), recent controversies have brought moonlighting back into the spotlight/sunlight.

In layman vocab, moonlighting is about holding more jobs or doing work, secretly, other than your nine-to-five.

Debates are still going on the ethicality of moonlighting, but it is considered as violation of the employees' code of conduct at many workplaces.


The Great Layoff

Is the global economy stuttering? Rumours began to gain momentum when the world's biggest corporations started firing thousands of employees at all levels.

Amazon, Meta, Twitter and our very own BYJU'S laid off umpteen workers over the past few months.

This uncertainty over job safety is termed as The Great Layoff.

There is still no clear answer why Big Biz is doing so. It’s possible they are bracing for a perceived economic downturn.


Career Cushioning

An alternative expression for an old concept: Building your backup plan to keep your boat afloat in anticipation of whatever comes next with the economy and the job market.

With massive layoffs being whispered about, countless employees are feeling the pressures of a wobbly economy and are anxious about their job security.


Workplace Surveillance

A sweet little word for any stripe of employee monitoring undertaken by the management of a company.

With the advancements in technology, employers have several more ways to track their staff.

Personal data gathering, email monitoring, telephone tapping, location tracking, video surveillance are a few common methods.


Four-Day Workweek

In this employment model, full-time employees can put in 32 hours or four days each week as opposed to the customary five.

Various countries and companies have experimented with the idea and it's gaining momentum all over.

The reason for shrinking the work week? Folks believe this arrangement can help employees achieve a positive work-life balance.


Workplace Burnout

One of the most important conversations currently taking place is on workplace burnout or a specific type of work-related stress that involves emotional and physical exhaustion resulting in job dissatisfaction and loss of personal happiness.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic people's approach to work altered and they died inside.


Digital Nomads

The years 2020, 2021 and even 2022 proved that remote working was a successful experiment. The list of professions that can be done long-distance is getting longer and better every year.

This new workforce tribe has been dubbed digital nomads -- they work remotely while travelling.

Whether in their hotel or a hostel, a co-working space, a coffee shop, or at some random scenic location -- like on top of Ole Smoky or in the shadow of the Taj -- digital nomads work any place that has a reliable Internet connection.

Most digital nomads freelance.


Co-Working Space

As remote work and hybrid work continue to gain popularity, the comfort of a co-working space cannot be underestimated.

These spaces offer a neutral meeting area where people from various professions can do their job side-by-side. If you Google the term, the search results will pull up a few attractive samples right in Mumbai for instance. In a sense any airport is a co-working space too by default.

The main objective is to beat the social isolation of working alone. It also helps in building strong network of professionals.