It’s hard keeping up with business lingo, but our handy glossary will make things so much easier. Below you will find many of the terms relevant to the modern workplace.
Hybrid Working: Hybrid working is a flexible working model that allows employees to work from the company office, their homes, and/or public spaces. Hybrid working usually involves booking hot-desks when coming into the office, using hot desking software. Organizations can vary in when they expect employees to come into the office. For a detailed overview, check out this article.
Hybrid Workplace: Also known as Hybrid Office. A hybrid workplace is a flexible workspace that supports a distributed workforce, which may include in-office and remote workers.
All-Remote Workforce: Also known as Telecommuting. A model of working that expects employees to work from home or anywhere other than the company office.
Agile Working: Agile working is an approach to completing tasks with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints by optimizing people, processes, and technology. It usually involves giving employees a great deal of autonomy to choose when and where they work.
Flexible Working: Flexible working is an approach adopted by organizations that enables employees to work according to their needs for a better work-life balance, e.g., flexible hours, staggered start-times, or remote working. See also: Flex Hours.
Flexible Workplace: A flexible workplace is an office space with creative or non-fixed workspaces that any employee can utilize as required. See also: Hot-desking.
Flex Hours: Flex hours is a scheduling process for employees that enables them to change their working hours to accommodate their lifestyle. See also: Flexible Working.
Hybrid Meeting: A hybrid meeting is a meeting or an event that involves a mix of in-person and virtual participants.
On-Site Working: On-site working relates to the activities carried out by employees in the company office or location, as determined by their employer.
Hot-Desking: Hot-desking is an office space utilization practice which involves employees booking available desks, instead of being assigned a particular desk/space/office. This can be booked through a formal hot-desking software or managed informally. For a more detailed outline, read this article, See also: Flexible Workplace.
Hotelling: Hotelling is similar to hot-desking but with greater levels of control and formal organization. Employees share desks on a rota basis, but they are required to pre-book and check in with a concierge or central booking system to access their spot.
HRIS: Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) refers to software designed to help businesses meet their core HR needs and improve productivity.
Head-Down Work: Head-down working refers to individuals who are focused on or function within a single silo, task, or deliverable. They may not attempt to understand or collaborate with other parts of the organization. It may also refer to a working style that involves extreme concentration, free from distractions. See also: Deep Work.
Deep Work: Deep work relates to professional activities performed in a state of extreme concentration. See also: Head-Down Work.
Co-Working Space: A co-working space refers to an arrangement where subscribers share an office space, where some may be hot-desking and others have fixed spaces. Common amenities (e.g. coffee, printers, reception staff) are shared.
Collaborative Work: Collaborative work is when two or more people work together to complete a project or task and share a common goal that benefits the team or company.
Collaborative Space: A collaborative space within an office incorporates zones for small teams to share their knowledge and ideas while retaining some quieter areas for more focused work.
Collaboration Zones: Collaborative zones are breakout areas or formal spaces designated for collaborative working and ideation. See also: Collaborative Space.
Neighborhoods (in an office): Office neighborhoods refer to role or activity-based areas within an office. Neighborhoods are arranged by job functions (e.g., Marketing, Finance, Sales) or cross-functional teams that work together frequently (e.g., front-end and back-end app developers). Neighborhoods are commonly managed using office space utilization software.
Huddle: Huddles refer to short, focused meetings. They can involve a whole team or just a select few individuals and are geared to resolve a particular task or question affecting the group.
Huddle Rooms: Huddle rooms are small meeting rooms equipped for quick team meetings (huddles) that can be used for unplanned working sessions and small team discussions. These are typically not bookable on a centralized room booking system.
Brown Bag: A brown bag is an informal meeting or session that usually takes place at lunchtime. One or more of the attendees present to the group on some aspect of their job. The term refers to employees bringing their own lunch to these meetings.
HVAC: HVAC refers to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC may sometimes refer specifically to the environmental controls deployed remotely to ensure the optimal functioning of a large data center.
Work From Home (WFH): Work from home is a workplace policy that refers to an employee working remotely from their own residence instead of the formal office.
Work From Anywhere (WFA): Work from anywhere is an approach in which organizations allow employees to execute their daily tasks in a flexible way, including working remotely or partially from the formal office. See also: Flexible Working.
Return to the Office (RTO): Return to the office is a coordinated plan whereby employees safely return to their formal workplace. The term has gained popularity during the 2020 pandemic as a result of companies working towards bringing employees back to the office.
Activity-Based Working: Activity-based working is a style of working that allows employees to choose from a variety of settings to perform different tasks. It is usually combined with an office layout that facilitates various activities, e.g., typing, phone calls, etc.
Working Pod: A working pod is a self-contained workspace that workers can utilize to perform tasks that require privacy or deep concentration. These can sometimes be booked using a hot-desking software.
Assigned Workstation: An assigned workstation is a dedicated desk, office or area that is allocated to and only utilized by a single worker.
Cubicle: A cubicle is a partially-enclosed office workspace designed to minimize distractions within an open office by separating neighboring workspaces with partitions.
Building Management System: A building management system is a computer-based control system that monitors and manages energy, ventilation, and cooling within a building.
RFID: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless system comprising tags and readers, typically used as part of the access control system for a building.
Call Booth: A call booth is an enclosed modern office furniture solution that provides workers with privacy and quiet in order to make phone calls.
Work Booth: Work booths are usually mobile, semi-enclosed, screen-based units where individuals can work more privately. Also see: Working Pods.
BYOE/D (Bring Your Own Equipment/Device): BYOE/D is a policy whereby companies expect employees to bring and use their company assigned mobile devices to the workplace, and do not have stationary computing workstations.
Kiosks: Digital, integrated kiosks are typically visitor access control systems that reduce queues and enable rapid check-in.
Desk-Person Ratio: The desk-person ratio is the prescribed number of employees to available seating in workspaces. In general, hybrid workspaces support fewer seats than total employees. See also: Hot-Desking.
Space Optimization: Space optimization is the automated process of creating and utilizing free space or spaces that can be vacated, therefore rearranging assets and operations more efficiently.
Room Tablets: Room tablets are digital displays mounted inside or outside a meeting room and display key features about the room, the room’s meeting schedule, meeting attendees and company. A room tablet software solution is normally required.
Digital Signage: Digital signage uses LCD, LED, and projection to display images, videos, wayfinding map, media streaming, and other important information to visitors.
Facilities Management: Facilities management focuses on the efficient delivery of logistics, support services, and management of visitors and employees as related to real estate.
Bossware: Also known as 'tattleware'. Refers to software used to track and monitor productivity of employees working remotely. Softwares in this category have become especially popular during the global pandemic of 2020.
Fun Zones: Fun zones are areas within an office or building dedicated to relaxation and entertainment. Employees can access fun zones to relax or interact socially.
GDPR: The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation sets the guidelines for collecting and processing personal information for residents of the EU.
Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS): The IWMS is a software platform that allows organizations to optimize and prioritize the use of workplace resources, including their facilities’ assets and infrastructure.
Interactive Floorplan: An interactive floorplan is a simple and easy-to-digest representation of the office layout on a special-purpose software, such as one for wayfinding, hot-desking, or office resource management.
ISMS: An ISMS or Information Security Management System is an organizational approach to a company’s information security. It’s used to centrally and efficiently manage, monitor, review, and improve information security from a single hub.
Lockers: Compartments where employees can securely lock away and store their personal possessions in a shared office space. These are commonly found within hybrid workplaces where employees do not have assigned workstations.
Hygiene Lockers: Hygiene lockers are contactless, germ-repellent storage units where workers can safely store their personal belongings in an office environment.
Sanitization Station: A sanitization station is a kiosk or stand where hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes are provided to staff/visitors, usually to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Employee Monitoring Software: Also called 'bossware' and tattleware'. Refers to software used to track and monitor productivity of employees working remotely. Also see: bossware.
Future of Work: Future of work is a term that refers to the shifts in how work will be done over the next ten years, as influenced by technological, epidemiological, social, and generational changes, e.g. hybrid and remote working and smart buildings.
Nap Pods: Nap pods or sleep pods are structures or chairs used in the workplace that allow employees to take short sleep breaks.
2FA/MFA: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a type of multi-factor authentication (MFA) deployed to strengthen security by requiring two authentication factors to verify your identity, usually when accessing a company network remotely.
Occupancy Sensors: Occupancy sensors detect motion within the building and relay the information to the larger Building Management System in order to control lights, ventilation or temperature to maximize energy efficiency. It is also used to monitor occupancy limits.
Contact Tracing: The process of identifying and categorizing the in-person interactions an individual or group of people had during a given period. This approach is typically used to control outbreaks of infectious diseases within a building, floor or area.
COVID-19: An infectious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus was first identified in China in 2019, and in 2020, the WHO declared it a pandemic.
Quiet Zones: Rooms or areas within an office where silence is maintained. No talking, cell phones, or other disturbances are allowed. Quiet zones are commonly utilized for deep work.
Occupational Health and Safety: Occupational health and safety refers to the laws, standards, and internal programs concerned with the health, safety, and welfare of people at work.
Ergonomics: An applied science that designs and arranges people and equipment in order to enable more efficient and safe interaction.
Social/Physical Distancing: A set of measures designed to prevent the spread of infectious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other.
QR Code: A code that stores information as a series of pixels within a grid that can be read by a digital device, such as a smartphone.
Recurring Bookings: Bookings of meetings and resources that occur at the same time, on some cadence (usually weekly or monthly).
Same-Day Bookings: A same-day booking is where the visitor/guest books a slot, desk, or room on the same day as their intended arrival or visit.
Scheduling Software: Scheduling software is used to manage and track managers’ and their employees’ time and schedules. It can be used to assign workers to shifts and duties. Within flexible workspaces, scheduling software is used to book hot desks and rooms.
Smart Bookings: Booking an appointment, desk, room, or resource using a software that allows for an optimal booking suggestion based on several known and unknown criteria to the user. They can be used in modern, flexible workspaces, offices, restaurants, hair salons, and clinics.
SSO: SSO or single sign-on is an authentication scheme that allows users to log in to multiple related and independent software systems with a single ID and password. An SSO will enable users to log in once and access various services without re-entering their information.
Visitor Management: Visitor management allows organizations to track the usage of their building or office. A visitor management system records visitor information and provides documentation of their whereabouts, the reason for their visit, and the time of arrival and departure.
Vendor Access: Vendor access is a form of privileged access management that protects the organization against external threats that come from the organization’s usage by external vendors to support, maintain and troubleshoot certain systems within the corporate network.
Wayfinding: Wayfinding refers to the myriad ways people navigate through and orient themselves within a physical space. Wayfinding tech allows users to find their way around a large indoor area using their smartphones.
Workspace Heat Maps: A workspace heat map is a data visualization technique that depicts some aspect of how the physical workspace is being utilized. This is often used in office settings to identify over- and underutilized spaces to optimize usage.
Workspace Capacity: Workspace capacity is the maximum amount of workers that a workspace can contain at a specific time. Workplace capacity may be determined by the number of desks and workstations present or by recommended occupational health and safety standards, e.g., COVID-19 protocols.
Zoom: Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing and virtual meeting tool that uses audio, video, and chat. It became extremely popular after many organizations turned to remote working in 2020.
Virtual Conferencing: Virtual conferencing is a mode of communication between multiple participants whereby meetings or presentations are held using online communication tools.