Sometimes the workplace can feel like it has its own language with acronyms being used in every sentence and each year it feels like more and more of these workplace acronyms are being added.
While workplace acronyms definitely save time when it comes to sending emails, instant messages and in general day-to-day office talk, if you’re new to a particular work environment or simply haven’t been told what they mean it can be pretty confusing and difficult to keep track.
In this handy Work Honors guide, we translate the top 10 most common workplace acronyms into what they’re short for and when you should use them. So the next time you’re WFH, you’ll only need to OHIO and by EOD you’ll be an absolute expert.
An acronym is an abbreviation of the first letters from a phrase. An acronym itself isn’t considered a word in a true sense, an acronym is more of a code that makes phrases easier to write and easier to read.
You’ve probably come across an acronym without even realising! ‘LOL’, ‘TTYL’,’WTF’ are all common day-to-day social examples of acronyms. These acronyms are pretty new as well only really being used in modern language since the 90’s when text speech became a thing.
But acronyms have been around forever and you may not have even realised. When telling the time for example, ‘AM’ stands for ‘Ante Meridiem’, which is Latin for ‘before noon’. Another common one is ‘GIF’ which actually stands for ‘Graphic Interchange Format’.
So what exactly is the point of an acronym? It can make phrases easier to remember, quicker to write and for some folks, they like to think it makes them look like they know what they’re talking about when they throw these out in meetings. But we’d recommend not being that person.
WFH means ‘Work From Home’ or ‘Working From Home’.
A common one being used at the moment, WFH is a phrase used to let others know they are working remotely from their home.
Some workplaces have made WFH permanent, others are offering it as an option to their employees, but no matter where you work or what industry, WFH is now being used more commonly than ever before.
WFH comes with its perks of course – There’s no commute to tackle everyday and in some cases even more flexible working hours. As long as you have a quite place to work and a decent internet connection, WFH can make doing your job far easier and a lot less stressful.
Example usage sentence: I won’t see you tomorrow as I’m going to be WFH.
OOO means ‘Out Of Office’ and can be used to tell colleagues or clients that you are not available for a certain amount of time.
But what’s the difference between WFH and OOO? Before working remotely became a far more common practice, OOO was used much more widely than it is today.
OOO was often used in auto-response emails, telling those emailing you that you were ‘Out Of Office’ and that you would respond to their emails on your return.
Out of office can mean many things, it could be that you’re literally out the office for whatever reason, it could be that you’re in meetings or it could simply be a well-recognised reason for you not responding to any emails for a set amount of time because you’re just plain busy.
Example usage sentence: Many thanks for your email, I am OOO until 4pm on Tuesday, I will respond on my return.
EOD means ‘End Of Day’. An alternative is COB which means ‘Close Of Business’.
Ever received an email from someone that says ‘I need this by EOD’. If you have, then it means you better get to work as that person has requested you get whatever it was to them by the end of the day.
EOD can be quite subjective and there is no ‘official’ time for EOD. It’s quite a broad, slang term that basically means end of the work day.
Problems can arise when different companies have different times they clock off. Especially when more and more people are working from home with flexible hours, aligning EOD can sometimes be tricky, so try and get confirmation of a time EOD is actually referring to.
Example usage sentence: Please can you send me the report by EOD tomorrow.
TLDR means ‘Too Long, Didn’t Read’.
It may seem a little harsh, but in a world where everything is becoming more and more efficient, reading a 500 word email can be far too time consuming.
TLDR is quite a direct and seemingly negative acronym and so should be used sparingly and appropriately. This is probably one of those acronyms you want to keep internally and not mention to your clients.
In short, TLDR is a useful phrase to say ‘I don’t have time to read what you have written’. Use it when you are genuinely busy to say to colleagues ‘I honestly don’t have time to read that’. The sender should then hopefully rephrase into something shorter and more succinct.
Example usage sentence: TLDR. Sorry I am stacked today, please can you summarise?
KISS means ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’.
This isn’t a romantic acronym nor is it in reference to the 70’s rock band, KISS is used to remind colleagues that simplicity is always the best way forward.
Keep it simple stupid may seem a little negative, but KISS is easy to remember and one to remind others (and yourself) if meetings or plans are getting a little too complex.
Some may feel that simplicity isn’t the best direction and we should always strive to be doing the most complex and original thing possible. But at the end of the day, simplicity is usually key to success.
Example usage sentence: Perhaps this is plan is a little complex, let's KISS instead.
SMART means ‘Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely’.
You may have heard of SMART goals, and while they sound like a clever goal to have, SMART actually stands for a whole lot more.
It’s quite a chunky acronym with a lot going on there. The idea is to ensure that the goals you are setting are specific and therefore not too board, measurable so you know once you’ve succeeded, achievable so you know it’s possible, realistic so you know it’s even worth giving it a go and timely meaning it can be achieved within good time.
SMART goals are commonly used in a lot of workplaces and a lot of times this acronym is thrown around quite a lot with the assumption that everyone knows what it means. It’s quite a long one, so you’ll be forgiven for Googling it every now and then.
Example usage sentence: Let’s set some SMART goals to track progress.
B2B means ‘Business to Business’ and B2C means ‘Business to Consumer’.
This one can throw a few people off because of the fancy number ‘two’ within the acronym and both being visually similar. It’s important to know that both are essentially the opposite of each other.
B2B is a term used for when a business does business with another business. This could be a supplier selling materials to a business that then uses those materials in production or a company selling services to another business.
B2C on the other hand is when a business sells directly to the end consumer. This could be as simple as a shop selling good to customers or a business selling services to customers.
Example usage sentence: Our team focuses on the B2B side of the business while the other team looks after B2C.
CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management’.
An acronym you may have heard the sales team mention is CRM. Usually referring to a piece of software rather than a deeper relationship, a CRM is a way to keep customers and enquiries organised.
Not all companies use a CRM, but many larger ones do. CRMs can be useful for organising enquiries but also sales. Think of it as a piece of really useful software that allows you to see where customers are in a cycle and allows you to communicate with them and keep track of all communication.
Example CRMs may be something like Hubspot or Salesforce, but there are plenty of others out there and which one a company uses differs depending on their individual needs.
Example usage sentence: Let’s take a look at the customer data in the CRM.
CEO stands for ‘Chief Executive Officer’.
You’ve likely heard this acronym being thrown around a lot, but did you know exactly what it stands for? Chief Executive Office sounds very regal and it is, it’s usually the title given to the person in charge of a company.
It’s important to note that the CEO isn’t always the owner of the company, there could be a board of directors for example who own the company and appoint a CEO to lead the company.
A CEO is essentially the person in charge of making all of the main decisions. They may be your direct boss, they may be your boss’s boss, but the main thing to remember is they’re the person in charge.
Example usage sentence: We’ll need to get this signed off by the CEO first.
Acronyms can be confusing, but they don’t have to be! Once you know the meanings behind the most common ones, your workplace can be a more efficient place to be.
But efficiency isn’t everything and it’s important to ensure employees are rewarded for their hard work, which is why Work Honors is the ideal platform.
If you’re an employee who’d like to be rewarded for your contributions or a workplace owner who’d like to increase retention and attract the best talent, get in touch today to see how Work Honors can make this happen.
If it's time for change where you work, get in touch with us today. We're happy to answer any questions you may have and advise you on how you can make the best from the Work Honors platform. No pushy hard-sell, just a chat with one of our lovely team.