50 Acronyms, Terms, and Phrases for the Virtual Workplace

If you’re like me and get lost in the acronyms, buzzwords, phrases, and new (and some old) terms in the workplace, then the list below may help.   Some abbreviations can be used in emails or chatting online, some are specific to the virtual workplace or teleworking, and some are just for fun.

  1. 404 – abbreviation for the “Error 404 – Not Found” message displayed when coming across a dead link online.  Can also mean lost or confused, e.g. “After coming out of the weekly staff meeting, I still felt 404.”
  2. Blended Work Team – a team that consists of virtual or remote workers and office-bound workers.
  3. Blended Workweek – consists of days during the workweek when employees are allowed to work from home and days they must be in an office location.
  4. COB – Close of business.  See EOD.
  5. Compressed Workweek – typically allows the bi-weekly basic work requirement of 80 hours to be scheduled over fewer than 10 workdays, i.e. 4-day, 10-hours-per-day.
  6. COOP – Continuity of operations planning.
  7. Coworking – a social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share a common working area. 
  8. Distributed Work – typically refers to the geographic distribution of where work is accomplished. 
  9. Distributed Workforce – a workforce that meets any of the following criteria: 1) individual workers are at different physical locations, 2) most normal communication is asynchronous, and 3) individual workers work in different organizations.
  10. EOD – End of day.
  11. EOM – End of message.
  12. EOT – End of thread.
  13. ESP – Email service provider
  14. Flextime – consists of workdays with both core hours and flexible hours.  Core hours are the designated period of the day when all employees must be at work.  Flexible hours are the part of the workday when employees may, within organizational limits, choose their arrival and departure time.
  15. FWIW –  “For what it’s worth.”  Commonly used in email communications.
  16. Hot Desking – reservation-less-based unassigned seating method in an office environment.  Often confused with hoteling.
  17. Hoteling – reservation-based unassigned seating method in an office environment.
  18. IAM – “In a meeting.”
  19. IM – instant message.
  20. IMO – “In my opinion.”  Commonly used in email communications or IMHO – “in my humble opinion.”
  21. Jellies – Local groups of teleworkers that gather at public places (i.e. coffee shops) to socialize, to collaborate, or just reduce the isolation of working on their own
  22. Job sharing – allowing 2 or more part-time employees to fill one position.
  23. KPI – Key performance indicator.
  24. KRA – Key result area.
  25. MBO – Management by objectives. 
  26. Mobile worker –  a worker who teleworkers because he or she is primarily on the road and does not spend the majority of his/her time in any one location (a.k.a. Road Warrior).
  27. NSFW – Not Safe For Work.  Your college buddy has just sent you a link titled “Check this out! (NSFW).”   Don’t click on it if you value your job.
  28. NWR – Not work related.
  29. OLT – Online Training.
  30. OTP – “On the phone.”
  31. RACI – tool used to assign roles and responsibilities to team members.  Stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
  32. Remote office centers – Distributed centers for leasing offices to individuals from multiple companies.
  33. Remote worker – an employee that works from an office location geographically different than other members of their team or away from the parent organization.  Although the terms are sometimes used synonymously, remote workers do not necessarily work from home.  For example, you may have a team member that works from a sales office in a different region. 
  34. ROWE – Results Only Work Environment.
  35. SMART – used in goal setting, it stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable or Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
  36. SME – subject matter expert.
  37. SNS – Social network site.
  38. SOHO – Small Office / Home Office.
  39. Telecommute – replacing the daily commute into a physical office location with telecommunication links.
  40. Telework – Leveraging technology to perform your job without the limits or boundaries of geography or the need for physical presence.  Sometimes used synonymously with telecommute, however, telework is much broader.  All telecommuters are teleworkers but not all teleworkers are telecommuters.
  41. VC – Virtual Class.
  42. VLE – Virtual learning environment.
  43. Voluntold – Your boss just sent you an email “volunteering” your help on another project. You’ve just been voluntold.
  44. VPN – Virtual private network.
  45. VW – virtual worker.
  46. VWVW – virtual worker at virtual workplace.
  47. WAH – Work At Home, see WFH.
  48. WBT – Web-based training.
  49. WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
  50. WFH – Work From Home.

Have an addition to the list?  Let me know!

-Jason

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