9 Buzzwords that reshaped workplace culture in 2023

Emerging workplace trends like 'Lazy Girl Jobs,' 'Quiet Quitting,' and 'Loud labour' are reshaping the modern work landscape. Let's dive into these internet sensations and understand their impact on your office in the real world.

9 Buzzwords that reshaped workplace culture in 2023

Sunday December 31, 2023,

5 min Read

2023 has been a rollercoaster year in the workplace, especially for young professionals who weathered significant disruptions, from shifting employee priorities, and mass layoffs amid economic slowdowns to the return to office desks. These shifts, influenced by the pandemic aftermath, introduced a new lexicon to the workplace.

Emerging from online discussions among career experts, HR professionals, and the younger workforce — primarily millennials and Gen Z — these trending phrases found their genesis on TikTok. Initially known for its entertaining content, TikTok has evolved into a space where professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers converge, reshaping digital work dynamics. This shift has empowered millennials and Gen Z to express their workplace attitudes more openly, fostering conversations that were once unprecedented in traditional office settings.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 9 top workplace buzzwords that shaped the end of 2023 and are poised to influence work culture in the coming year. So, grab your coffee, take a seat, and let's dive in!

The scale seems to be tilting towards hybrid work rather than remote work

Lazy Girl Jobs

Contrary to its name, the ‘Lazy Girl Jobs’ trend isn't about slacking off; it signifies a shift toward prioritising work-life balance over the traditional grind, it's about working smarter, not harder. TikTok users are showcasing their pursuit of flexible, remote, or part-time roles that allow them to pursue passions beyond the workplace.

This movement has spotlighted the value of flexibility and well-being in the workplace, compelling companies to reconsider work dynamics. Emphasising outcomes over hours and offering remote options, this shared mindset, is reshaping work approaches.

In 2023, these priorities became more than just preferences; they felt like necessities.

Bare Minimum Mondays

A variant of the ‘Lazy Girl Jobs’, ‘Bare Minimum Mondays’ is an approach of encouraging employees to prioritise self-care and handle essential tasks on Mondays, easing into the week to reduce stress and potentially enhance productivity later. Also similar to 'quiet quitting,' it prompts a more flexible work environment, albeit facing criticism for potentially affecting productivity and deadlines.

This practice aims to tackle the Monday blues by avoiding an overwhelming to-do list and transitioning smoothly from the weekend without anxiety.

Quiet Quitting

If you're active on social media, chances are you've come across the concept of 'quiet quitting'. This trend, popularised on TikTok, embodies the practice of employees exerting minimal effort without officially resigning.

Quiet quitting manifests through reduced engagement, like avoiding additional tasks, not participating in meetings, or declining over time, all while maintaining the status quo and the same paycheck. It's a way for individuals to coast through their roles, often when they're biding time until they find another job.

Research suggests nearly 50% of the workforce exhibits traits of quiet quitting, prompting companies to focus on employee engagement and career development to retain talent and maintain a productive work culture. However, the darker side emerges as 'quiet cutting,' involving restructuring or reassignment without layoffs, leading to confusion and anxiety among employees fearing job loss.

Coffee Badging

As the name rightly suggests, the 'coffee badging' trend is all about hybrid workers briefly clocking in, grabbing a coffee, chatting, and then vanishing home to work remotely. 

This strategy aligns with minimum office presence while maximising remote benefits, reflecting a resistance to strict in-office rules. Its lasting impact depends on individual work styles, company culture, and ongoing communication between employers and employees.

Surveys indicate around 58% of hybrid workers admit to this sly practice, reflecting a strong preference for flexible work and a touch of office coffee.

Loud Labouring

While ‘Loud labouring’ has always existed, Gen Z has popularised this term to describe those who excessively publicise their efforts rather than focusing on actual work, potentially disrupting workplace dynamics. 

Managers should be wary of employees who consistently boast about their workload but show limited productivity. Recognising and rewarding this behaviour can demotivate quieter, hard-working employees. Social media awareness has highlighted this trend, emphasising that self-promotion belongs outside the office environment.

Personality Hire

Employers now seek ‘personality hires’, a playful take on hiring based on vivacity rather than traditional qualifications, as showcased on TikTok. 

Though light-hearted, this trend recognises the value of emotionally intelligent employees in fostering team communication and social connections, particularly in remote work settings.

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Rage Apply

Amid frustration or feeling undervalued at the present organisation, disheartened employees engage in rage applying’, aggressively sending out job applications. 

This workplace trend reflects dissatisfaction, whether from missed promotions, undervaluation, or general discontent in the work environment, aligning with broader patterns of employee dissatisfaction and employer conflicts seen across various trends.

Act your Wage

Inspired by 'acting your age,' 'acting your wage' emphasises adhering strictly to job descriptions without exceeding designated responsibilities, fostering a better work-life balance. 

Much like quiet quitting, this approach sets clearer boundaries between professional duties and personal life, reflecting a growing sentiment among employees dissatisfied with jobs that demand more than what they're compensated for, a sentiment amplified by the #ActYourWage trend on social media.

Productivity Paranoia

Some employers harbour a hidden concern that their employees might not be sufficiently productive or manage their workloads efficiently. 

Microsoft refers to this as a workplace trend "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 feeling is prevalent among employers and entrepreneurs in remote-only or hybrid work environments. While there might be some validity to this notion, it often leads to managers surveilling employees and fosters a culture of excessive oversight.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's Chief Executive, highlighted how remote work has triggered a "productivity paranoia" regarding whether employees are delivering enough while working from home.

As new technologies reshape work dynamics and prioritise employee wellness, it's evident that our business jargon is undergoing an intriguing expansion. These buzzwords are about finding resonance both within and outside the workplace, as people use social media platforms to navigate the complex job market amid broader economic uncertainties.

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