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Business Buzzwords Everyone Will Be Hearing More of in 2023 Corporate jargon is becoming increasingly common among employees and social media users as they try to navigate a confusing job market. A growing list of business buzzwords are surfacing across the internet and the office, only further confusing employees and employers further as their direct meaning continuously changes.

By Pierre Raymond Edited by Kara McIntyre

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Labor market conditions have never been more confusing as of recently, seeing droves of tech employees being laid off, while the U.S. reports its lowest employment figures in more than five decades. To make situations even more confusing for many employees is the growing list of corporate buzzwords that have been surfacing on social media and shared around the workplace.

While the usability of these words can vary across different businesses and industries, trying to keep up with their direct meaning and what their effect can have on you can be tiring as the labor market continuously undergoes dynamic changes. These buzzwords are being used simultaneously inside and outside the office, as many social media users are taking to the internet to express their experience of having to navigate the confusing labor market against the backdrop of wider economic uncertainty.

Yet, as annoying as they may be to some of us, many of our coworkers can't get enough of them — including them in meetings, presentations and any general conversation they may have with a colleague or business partner in the workplace.

In fact, business buzzwords and corporate jargon have become so popular in recent years that 7 in 10 respondents in a recent survey said they have used some business or corporate jargon themselves. Even more interesting is the 2 in 5 saying they've heard corporate speak being used in and around the office daily.

Like with anything these days, it's hard to say whether these buzzwords are just social media frenzy or marketing hype. Regardless of which side of the fence you may be considering the use of corporate buzzwords or jargon, understanding how these phrases are used in the workplace can save you a lot of confusion and mitigate those ambiguous interpretations you often experience at work.

Related: Don't Say It: These Are the Most Annoying Corporate Buzzwords, According to a New Survey

Productivity paranoia

Some employers have a concealed fear that their employees aren't doing enough at work or getting through their workloads. Tech giant Microsoft explains it as "where leaders fear that lost productivity is due to employees not working, even though hours worked, [the] number of meetings and other activity metrics have increased."

This is a common feeling among employers and entrepreneurs that are operating remote-only businesses or in a hybrid work environment. Though there may be some truth behind this catchphrase, it often turns into managers spying on employees and employers creating an environment of micromanagement.

Big Quit

Similar to the Great Resignation, which witnessed droves of employees leaving their jobs in response to toxic work conditions, the Big Quit, in this case, refers to millennial and Gen Z workers leaving their current jobs in hopes of finding something more meaningful. The latest research indicates that around 70% of workers in these two age groups are considering quitting their jobs in a few months.

Quiet hiring

Instead of bringing onboard new staff or hiring external contractors and freelancers, employers and managers will often assign more work to current employees. Quiet hiring is a tactic that helps companies minimize employee overheads, increase productivity turnaround and overworking employees without proper compensation.

Related: Avoid These 10 Corporate Buzzwords and Phrases If You Don't Want Your Millennial Employees to Hate You

Quiet firing

Better known as "constructive discharge," quiet firing is the act of denying employees opportunities for growth or raises that can ultimately lead them to quit. In some instances, employers and managers will make the working life so miserable for an employee, that they end up leaving the company due to bad working environments.

Toggling tax

A new buzzword that came to life in recent months, toggling tax, refers to the amount of time employees lose when jumping between tabs and apps. According to researchers for the Harvard Business Review, toggling between different applications and tabs during the working day can cost employees five working weeks per year.

Paper ceiling

The paper ceiling is another new workplace trend that has witnessed an uptick in recent months. The concept refers to the barriers created in the workplace for job seekers without a formal college degree or diploma. The concept negatively impacts job seekers who apply for vacancies online, as hiring algorithms will often disregard their applications if they do not have a formal tertiary education.

Rage applying

Millennials are three times more likely than their older and younger counterparts to change jobs according to one study. Roughly 21% of millennials have changed jobs within the last year, and more than a fifth will switch jobs in the coming year. In this case, rage applying is the process of applying for several other jobs as a response to negative and frustrating work conditions.

Related: Here's Why You Absolutely Have to Stop Using Jargon at Work

Career cushioning

With layoffs piling up in the tech industry, and the risk of a recession, employees are discreetly lining up an alternative plan in case of sudden layoffs. Career cushioning can mean employees looking for new jobs online while on the clock or scheduling interviews during their lunch breaks. It can also be the act of taking additional classes or courses to improve resumes or taking on freelance gigs as a way to network with potential employers.

Not all of these buzzwords are that new, and in some cases, you may have come across them before, at least on social media where much of the hype surrounding these activities is being shared. Although the work environment is constantly changing, we'll be sure to see a growing number of innovative, yet creative business buzzwords we can circle back to later in the year.

Pierre Raymond

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of OTOS

Pierre Raymond is a bilingual project consultant/business analyst with over 20 years of experience in financial services and data management IT solutions.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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