WFH Glossary: 100+ Remote Work Words and Definitions

Technology empowers organizations across the world to support distributed teams of remote workers. Are you new to the remote workforce? Looking for the right glossary to start speaking the same language as your virtual coworkers? Keep reading. Below you’ll find 100+ WFH words and definitions to keep you up-to-date with the latest trends in remote work.

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When it comes to remote work, it’s important to be agile. Agility, in this context, refers to a project management method that simplifies tasks and tracks incremental progress.


Those who wish to work in a virtual office will often hear the words ‘all-remote’ or ‘fully remote’ used interchangeably. This term refers to organizations that do not have a physical office space or headquarters for their employees. In all-remote work settings, employees may work from home, a co-working facility or anywhere they choose.

Annualized hours

For some remote organizations, it’s best to calculate working hours in an annualized context. For instance, an organization may add up the total number of available work hours (excluding holidays) to arrive at an adjusted figure for working hours per week.

Asynchronous Communication

If you’ve recently entered the remote workspace, you have heard the term asynchronous communication or shortened phrases such as async. This style of communication is defined by the lack of expectation for an immediate response. When colleagues communicate asynchronously, they do so knowing that the other party may not be able to respond right away. This type of communication can be found in email threads and during project coordination using software like Slack, for example.


Blended Team

When it comes to remote teams, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Some teams have remote workers and in-person employees.

See related terms below: hybrid teams, hybrid-remote

Blended Workweek

Similar to a blended team, a blended workweek is a division of time spent in the office and working from home. Employees who work for hybrid companies may be offered the opportunity to work remotely a portion of the time.


A blogger is an individual (contractor or employee) who is tasked with writing content that is published on a blog. At remote companies, bloggers can tackle a variety of topics from business to social trends and everything in between.

Brick-and-Mortar Business

Businesses with physical office space, storefronts, or headquarters are known as brick and mortar properties. In virtual workspaces, these types of businesses may be referred to as ‘traditional’ offices as well.


Cloud Storage

In the world of remote work, the cloud refers to digital storage that can be accessed via the internet. Remote teams rely on cloud storage or cloud computing to share files, data, and documents across teams.

Co-Located Team

Unlike a hybrid company or fully remote team, co-located teams work onsite and in the same physical location. As companies transition out of traditional offices, this term may arise in conversation among folks who have experience working in traditional office spaces.

Creator Economy

The world is becoming increasingly digital as time passes. The term ‘creator economy’ refers to the upward trend of businesses that rely on digital nomads, content creators, and social media influencers to make a profit.


Cybersecurity is integral to the longevity of remote teams and the protection of the data exchanged in the virtual office. At its core, cybersecurity is about putting a protective barrier between hackers and the company’s valuable networks, devices, programs, and data.

Forms of cybersecurity vary from company to company but can take the form of two-factor authentication and VPN sets up that encrypt sensitive information.


Deep Work

Coined by Cal Newport, this term describes the concept of diving deep into a workflow in a distraction-free environment conducive to intense concentration. For many who work remotely, deep work is much easier to access because there aren’t as many external office distractions as there are in traditional offices.


In the context of remote work, dematerialization refers to the transition to digital everything. Offices are going virtual and employing digital nomads to produce digital-based works. More and more each day, we dive deeper into digital space.

Digital Nomad

The term digital nomad refers to a person whose income and travel plans are not interconnected. Digital nomads can move around the world working remotely and living in whatever geographic location of their choosing.

Digital Workplace

When someone mentions the digital workplace, they are referring to an organization’s entire ecosystem – where communications and tasks are managed using today’s technology.

Distributed Team

Distributed or dispersed teams are comprised of employees who live in different cities, states, and even different countries.



This acronym means the end of the day. Abbreviated terms such as this one can be used to indicate when a remote worker intends to complete a project.


This abbreviated term stands for Email Service Provider


Expatriates or ex-pats are individuals who live outside of their country of origin. 

Explicit Communication

This form of communication refers to written and spoken language that is explained with a great level of clarity and understanding. It is the opposite of implicit communication. 



This abbreviation refers to face-to-face interactions. 

Flex Time

At some remote organizations, employees are not bound to a strict 9-5 pm schedule. At companies that offer Flex time, employees are able to choose their ideal working hours. 


This term refers to an individual who is self-employed and engaging in contracting or subcontracting work. 

Fully Distributed Team

These teams are completely comprised of remote workers. 

Fully Remote

Similar to the term above, fully remote refers to organizations whose complete staff work remotely. 

Future of Work

Technology influences the global workforce’s push toward’s digitalization. This term refers to trends, insights, and reports that predict what is to come next for the international workforce


Garden Office

This term describes a workspace that is set up in an outdoor setting, such as a garden, field, or yard. Offices-with-a-view are trendy among those transitioning out of a traditional office environment and can be seen a lot in warmer states such as Florida or California. 

Gig Economy

The gig economy is a description of the popularity of temporary work within the job market.

Global Employer

Any organization that operates and hires international talent can be considered to be a global employer. 



This term can be used to describe a virtual meeting room that coworkers use to discuss work strategies or connect casually. 

Happy Hours

In a traditional office, happy hours refer to dedicated outings with coworkers (usually involving trips to restaurants or bars). Virtual happy hours can be quite different in execution but the premise is still the same. Happy hours in the remote workplace can keep virtual teams motivated and productive. 

Home Office

A home office is a dedicated workspace that someone operates out of their home. Many remote work employees work from a home office or another dedicated work environment. 


Organizations that operate virtually and in person are called hybrid-remote companies. 

Hybrid Team

A mixed team where some co-workers work in a traditional office and others work remotely, is considered to be a hybrid team. This term is used interchangeably with a blended team. 


Independent Contractor

Individuals who run their own business and are contacted to do services are considered to be independent contractors. 

Information Technology Security

Computer security or information technology security is the intentional and strategic protection of information from networks. See cybersecurity. 

Instant Message

An instant message is information sent via a website or mobile application that appears on the recipient’s device as soon as the message is transmitted. 

IoT: Internet of Things

The term Internet of Things (often truncated to IoT) describes any network that is connected to the internet via a complex web of technologies. The things that are connected can range from smart devices such as headphones, mobile phones, smartwatches, smart refrigerators, speakers, and more. 

This term may come up often in casual conversation in the remote workplace or even as a serious talking point depending on the industry your country operates in. 

IP: Internet Protocol

When someone mentions IP or Internet Protocol, they are referring to the method in which data is transmitted from one device to another via the internet. 

IRL: In Real Life

IRL is shorthand for real life. Remote workers collaborate online, communicate via instant messaging apps, engage in social media, and often don’t see their coworkers in person. 

IRL is a term used to describe events and other interactions that take place in person, face to face. 


Job Sharing

In some remote organizations, more than one person fills a single position. That is called job sharing. For instance, it’s not uncommon for some companies to have two part-time employees performing the same role. 


Knowledge Worker

A knowledge worker can be defined as someone employed or contracted to work with, generate or process information. 

Knowledge workers occupy a variety of job positions and have titles that vary from company to company. Some job titles for knowledge workers can include the following:

  • SEO experts
  • Graphic Designers
  • Content Writers
  • Editors
  • Social Media Coordinators and more. 


Live Receptionist

A virtual or live receptionist is a service that performs administrative tasks for a remote office. The duties of a live receptionist can include answering phones and scheduling appointments. 

Location Independent

For digital nomads, the world of remote work is so enticing because it is location-independent – meaning their streams of income are not tied to a specific geographic location. 


Meeting Room

Meeting rooms are virtual spaces designed for conversation and collaboration among colleagues. 

Mobile Worker

Another word for a remote worker. 



The term off-site refers to meetings and company events that take place outside of the office. This term can be used frequently on hybrid-remote teams or by those who occupy traditional office space. 

Online Password Vaults

A password manager or vault is a cloud-storage-based software program that is used to securely aggregate passwords in a single location. 


On-site meetings are simply meetings organized inside of an office environment. On-site meetings can be conducted by remote or hybrid remote teams with the goal of bringing employees together for in-person interaction. 


Remote workers can have a variety of meetings – many with multiple team members from different departments at an organization and some with a single individual. Simply put, meetings that just involve two people are called one-on-one meetings. 


Outsourcing is the process of hiring another person, contractor, or business and delegating tasks to them that are usually executed by employees native to your company. 


Real-Time Communication Apps

Real-time communication applications are software programs that enable remote workers to communicate instantaneously – nearly in real-time.

Remote Desktop

The term remote desktop refers to a tool that allows users to control another electronic device. 

Remote Employee

Remote employees are digital nomads, mobile workers, and virtual office staff. This remote work glossary is full of synonyms for these terms – all enforcing the idea that you can find a job working remotely and live anywhere you want. 

Remote Hiring

Remote hiring is the process of recruiting, training and onboarding new hires to a remote or hybrid team. 

Remote Worker

See definition for a mobile worker, digital nomad, or remote employee. 


An organization that primarily employs remote workers who will not work in a physical office is considered to be remote-first. Many remote-first companies have never had an office and intentionally seek out individuals from diverse backgrounds and geographical places of origin. 


A retreat is an on-site meeting that gathers employees with the goal of facilitating human interaction and boosting employee morale. 


Satellite Office

Some companies have more than one office location. A satellite office is a secondary office space that a company is using. It is usually smaller or in a different city than the organization’s primary office or headquarters. 

Many remote-first or fully remote companies do not bother with the operational costs of having an office environment. However, companies who are transitioning to fully remote or hybrid-remote work may warrant that a company has multiple office spaces – including a satellite office. 

SSoT: Single Source of Truth

Remote work relies on transparency so having an SSoT or single source of truth is imperative. An SSoT is a place where all data, instructions, and project details are recorded. This practice of streamlining communication reduces confusion and helps increase efficiency among remote workers. 


When it comes to goal setting, having a solid structure is needed. SMART is an acronym that stands for goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound


A single person who starts and operates a business on their own is called a solopreneur. This term is a portmanteau of the words “entrepreneur” and “solo”. 

Staying in the Loop

Keeping someone up to date or making sure they “stay in the loop” is a part of every workplace protocol. It is the practice of keeping others informed about a project’s progress. 

Synchronous Communication

Unlike asynchronous communication, synchronous communication is relayed and transmitted in real-time. Examples of synchronous communication include phone conversations and face-to-face interactions. 



Often used interchangeably with WFH or working remotely, telecommuting is actually slightly different. When a worker telecommutes, those aren’t necessarily permanent employment arrangements. Telecommuting can be used to describe working from home temporarily or as a part of a hybrid-remote situation. 

Time Management Apps

Web or mobile-based applications that empower employees to track time and create moments of deep focus – all with the goal of increasing productivity. 

Thought Leader

Thoughts leaders are individuals who have influence in an industry due to their innate abilities or educational investments. 

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is the process of securing access to electronic devices or web applications. In order for users to access these programs and devices, they must enter multiple forms of verification for security purposes. 


Video Call

In the remote workplace, video calls or video chats are ways to communicate across space and time. Video calls help coworkers interface on a daily basis to get projects complete and to connect on a human level. Video calls enable co-working space to be created within the virtual office and overall, play an integral role in company-wide communications. 

Virtual Assistant

A VA or virtual assistant is an individual that provides administrative services to a company or solopreneur. 

Virtual Phone System

When discussing virtual phone systems, one is referring to cloud-based telecommunications that enable users to make calls via the internet. Virtual phone systems are compatible with computers, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices. 


This acronym stands for virtual private network. A VPN or virtual private network is an encrypted network that allows remote workers and other individuals to handle sensitive data without worrying about outsiders accessing it. 


Web Conference

A web conference or conference call is a virtual meeting that often involves more than two participants who are located in different geographic locations. 


An acronym for work from anywhere – which is what most digital nomads or remote workers do! 


An abbreviation for work from home.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life interface or work-life balance is about the cross-over between home and work-life. When it comes to remote work, those lines can be blurred. However, striking a healthy work-life balance is incredibly important – as it often leads to burnout or a lack of productivity depending on where the majority of one’s energy is focused. 


Zoom Interview

You’re familiar with Zoom, right? It’s the web video conferencing software that because a household name during global lockdowns in 2020. Nowadays almost everything happens on Zoom from happy hours to interviews. 

Zoom interviews may not use the features that Zoom software offers, specifically, but may rely on some sort of video chat service to connect with candidates.