The new office slang: buzzwords you should know


The way we work has changed over the last few years, but so has the way we talk about work. The rise of remote and hybrid work, the proliferation of video conferencing services, remote management tools, and more have all contributed to office slag that can be heard in workplaces around the world. Let’s dive deeper into what the new buzzwords floating around the office are, and what they mean. 


New office buzzwords + phrases 


Office peacocking

Now that the days of mandatory remote work are behind us, many organizations are looking for ways to entice their employees to come back into the office. One of the more effective ways of doing this is to make their offices a desirable place to be by throwing out the traditional grey cubicles and embracing swanky modern designs. This effort of festooning offices with fun decor and desirable perks like free coffee and food has been dubbed office peacocking.

Quiet quitting

The last few years have brought massive changes not just to the corporate world, but to our personal lives as well. Predictably, this has had quite an impact on our mental health, which in turn has led to issues like burnout in the workforce. Given the troubling economic environment, many workers have been loathe to outright leave their jobs and instead have devised a new solution: quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting is when you don’t quit your job, but you stop going above and beyond in any way. Essentially, you start doing the bare minimum you can do without getting fired. 


Quiet firing

Of course, there are two sides to every coin which means you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that just like there is quiet quitting, there is also quiet firing. Quiet firing is when a manager doesn’t outright fire an employee but instead makes their work environment difficult in the hopes that the employee leaves on their own. This is usually done by failing to provide their employee with adequate support, opportunities, and career development. There is a fine line between quiet firing and creating a hostile work environment, which is illegal in the United States. 

Quiet hiring

The current job landscape has been difficult for employees and employers alike. The competitive nature of the current hiring environment often puts organizations into a difficult scenario where they need more skills and talent, but can’t afford to pay for how the marketplace currently values those services. That’s when organizations turn to a process known as quiet hiring

Quiet hiring is when an organization acquires new skills without hiring a new full-time employee. This can be done either through hiring contract workers or by saddling existing employees with additional responsibilities. 


Act your wage 

Many employees have become disillusioned with the idea of trusting employers and corporations to act in their best interest. As a result, trends like quiet quitting and acting your wage are all designed to empower employees to protect themselves by setting boundaries at work. Acting your wage refers to the idea of only doing the work that you’re paid to do. Of course, it is worth pointing out that these trends can also have a profoundly adverse effect on your career growth. 

Rage applying

When employees find themselves frustrated with their jobs, they may begin to apply to every job listing they can find, a process now known as rage applying. Much like quiet quitting, rage applying is a response to employees feeling unhappy and underappreciated at their current job. 

Coffee badging

In direct response to employer efforts to get workers back into the office, a new resistance strategy has appeared known as coffee badging. Coffee badging is when employees come into the office not to work, but to be seen. They usually stop by long enough to grab a free cup of copy or two and have a few conversations with their co-workers before heading back home. The idea is to spend as little time in the office as possible, while still making sure their employer knows that they are in fact in the office by making themselves noticeable when they are there. 

Proximity bias

This age of hybrid and remote work has brought many benefits to employees and employers alike, but also new challenges. One of these more prominent challenges is called proximity bias. Proximity bias is the idea that preferential treatment is given to the people who spend the most time physically close to us. This can quickly become problematic in a hybrid workplace where some workers find themselves working remotely, and others are in-person in the office. 


Upskilling is a new term for an old trend. It refers to the process of employees learning new skills to expand on their existing skill set. Employers can encourage upskilling by providing their employees with training and development opportunities. 

Career cushioning

The volatility of the current economic environment and the job market has many employees turning towards a trend called career cushioning. Career cushioning is the process of preparing for a potential layoff by applying to other jobs, upskilling or reskilling to make yourself a more competitive candidate, or even diversifying your income stream by taking on a side hustle or two. 

In the evolving landscape of work culture, language adapts too. The dynamic shift towards remote and hybrid work, along with the rise of innovative technologies, has given birth to a fresh lexicon. While we can’t grant you instant hipness, we can ensure you’re well-versed in the linguistic flair of the modern workplace.

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