Beyond the Buzzwords: Why Trendy Bandwagons Doesn’t Solve Real Workplace Issues 

Beyond the Buzzwords: Why Trendy Bandwagons Doesn’t Solve Real Workplace Issues 

Many trends and changes have happened in the working industry due to the pandemic. Companies experimented with work models, trying to find the perfect one for them. Employees shifted from traditional work arrangements to remote ones.

As the world is starting to return to normal, industries are implementing changes once more based on experiences gathered over the past three years.


Relationship between Buzzwords and Trends 

According to Daniel Zhao, the lead economist at Glassdoor, a number of business buzzwords have gained popularity thanks to people trying to accurately describe the shift in their work and how it affects them.¹

Using a general definition, trends refer to a general direction of development. When put into the context of the working industry, trends explain vital changes that happen in how people work.

Trends can be affected by different factors from changes in tech to a shift in ideology. For example, people who used to prioritize work in the office realized they can do the same quantity and quality of work at home. This realization resulted in remote or hybrid work trending all over the world.

Once there a trend is happening, these catchphrases are used to represent them quickly and efficiently. A single buzzword can be understood by thousands of people in different fields of work all over the globe.


New names for old concepts 

The interesting thing about the recent business buzzwords is that they are not new at all!

Even though they are based on current employees’ experiences, the circumstances that sparked the trends and buzzwords we have now date back to even before the pandemic began.

The following are examples of buzzwords and the reasons behind them:


Rage Applying

This is a practice where an employee applies to numerous job openings fueled by negative feelings in their workplace.

These feelings can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some may feel unhappy because of the unbearable weight of their workload while others may be feeling anger toward the higher-ups.² Another reason could be their lack of purpose at work.

Regardless of the cause and terminology, this is simply an employee applying while still employed because they feel unhappy about their current situation.


Chaotic Working

Even though this is a newly coined term that became famous in 2023, it is sometimes synonymous with the concept of malicious compliance where workers strictly follow the rules but find a way to go against them at the same time.

For example, a company rule is to “Give discounts when a coupon is presented.” Chaotic working would give discounts to anyone with a coupon regardless if it is still valid or if it’s even from the same company.

At other times, chaotic working is simply breaking rules and justifying the action using another one. An example is giving free services because they were instructed to “help customers”.


Shift Shock

This term refers to the feelings of newly hired employees whose expectations about the job were not met.

According to a study done in 2022 by The Muse, 72 percent of respondents experienced a shock when they realized their dream jobs were not what they expected at all.

Although it’s a new buzzword, ‘shift shock’ simply refers to resigning because of the actual nature of work or the culture within the office was not what was expected.


How to use workplace buzzwords to your advantage 

It’s true that buzzwords are just new names for old concepts, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

As an employer, you need to take these words and phrases seriously. Your employees are not just jumping on the bandwagon. Hearing these popular terms being bandied about in your company can lead you to discover actual workplace issues that you thought weren’t even there.

It’s time to use them to your advantage. The following are five steps that can help you turn these trendy terms into tools to improve your company.


1. Understand the trends.

To begin finding the issue, you need to first understand current office and social media trends related to work.

Knowing the terms is not enough. You need to know what they mean and their implications inside the workplace.

Allot time and effort into researching buzzwords. Some questions you can try to answer are:

  • What is the meaning of the buzzword?
  • What actions are taken by employers when participating in this trend?
  • What are the reasons behind the buzzword?
  • What are observable signs that a person might be doing the buzzword?


2. Put yourself in employees’ shoes

Among the researched questions, the most difficult to answer is the last one. So, it’s better to go beyond an online search.

You know the meaning of the buzzword and the reason behind it. Adopt your people’s perspective. If you felt the same way, what would you do? How would it affect your performance?

Let’s use “quiet quitting” as an example. You know that this previously popular buzzword means putting in the bare minimum at work”. It’s mostly caused by people feeling overwhelmed with their workload or underappreciated in general.³

With this in mind, what are the signs of the undesirable action? It could be people clocking out the moment the clock strikes five. It could also be not showing any enthusiasm when working.

Create a checklist using what you’ve researched and how you think your employees will act. Once you have that, take the time to look around the office. Are there any employees that check all the boxes?


3. Find the root cause.

If you’ve observed some people who are possibly participating in a trend, don’t call them out on it.

Humiliating an employee can only lead to less productivity and more negative feelings.

Instead, take what you know about the buzzword and find its root cause. What is the actual problem that should be addressed?

For example:

  • Rage Applying – what is causing the rage? Is it due to improper compensation? Too much workload? Toxic environment?
  • Chaotic Working – why don’t the employees care enough for the company? Are they being treated unfairly? Are there issues with the rules being enforced?
  • Shift Shock – what is the source of the shock? Which part of the job did not meet the employees’ expectations? Do you need to improve the position? Do you need to edit the job description?


4. Create meaningful action.

Once you have identified the main issue, or at least narrowed down the possibilities, it’s time to act.

Corporate buzzwords remain as they are when issues are not solved. It’s useless to know and use these trendy terms if you won’t try to fix the issues attached to them.

When planning actions, don’t be afraid to involve others. Use your resources wisely.

You can ask the help of your Human Resources department to create new rules and regulations to follow. You can involve your managers or even department representatives to figure out the best course of action.


5. Be open to feedback.

Most important employee retention and increase productivity, you need to listen to whether the solutions you gave were helpful or not.

Responding to these terms isn’t as exact as mathematics. It requires experimentation to find out the best response for your company and your employees.

If you didn’t get it right the first time, you can try again. What’s important is that you’re trying to respond to the buzzwords and not treating them as passing trends.



Since 1985, DAVIS Companies has been creating powerful partnerships and exceptional opportunities for our clients. We have heard numerous buzzwords in our years of service so you can expect we already know what to do to help you.

Whether old or new problems, we can offer a solution. Contact us today to start your consultation.



  1. Telford, Taylor. “These buzzwords show how work changed in 2022”. The Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2022,
  1. Delouya, Samantha. “From ‘quiet hiring’ to ‘rage applying’, here’s the top workplace buzzwords of 2023 – and what they mean” World Economic Forum, 23 Feb. 2023,
  1. All Business. “Quiet Quitting Is A Sign Of A Deeper Problem – Here’s What It Means” Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022,

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