Resources

Employer/Employee Commuter Assistance

Glossary

Alternate Work Location: An approved location, other than an employee’s official worksite, where official business is performed. Locations typically include the employee’s home, a coworking space, or a telework center.

Asynchronous Communication: Communication that does not rely on immediate responses or on people being present (physically or virtually) at the same time. This type of communication uses technology tools to allow workers to share information, collect feedback, and brainstorm with colleagues. Examples include emails and online document  collaboration tools.

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transmitted over a particular internet connection at any given time. Bandwidth is different from internet speed, which is the rate at which data is transferred.

Blended Work Team: A project team that includes both teleworkers and on-site employees.

Central Worksite: The central worksite, headquarters, or official duty station where an employee would report to work if not teleworking.

Cohort Scheduling: Assigning specific employees or groups of employees to work in the office on a regular schedule of specified days. For example, one group might work on-site on Mondays and Wednesdays and another group on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Collaboration Days: Scheduled days for all members of a team to be in the office for team collaboration, brainstorming meetings, and discussions.

Compressed Work Schedule: A nontraditional schedule that allows employees to put in a full week of work in less than five days. Examples include working four 10-hour days per week or working an extra .9 hours (approximately 54 minutes) every day for nine days and having the 10th day off.

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP): A set of policies and procedures that describe how a company’s essential functions and operations will be sustained in cases of emergency, natural disasters, or other events that disrupt office or building access.

Core Hours: Set times when everyone is working. The work location does not matter. Core hours are typically less than eight hours to allow flexibility for employees to start work before the core hours or end work after.

Coworking: The use of shared office space and equipment by remote employees from different companies and by people who are self-employed.

Distributed Team: A group of employees working on the same project or in the same organizational unit who do their work at different locations. Locations could include homes or offices in other states or countries.

Ergonomics: The science of adapting the work environment to meet the worker’s need for comfort, efficiency, and safety. This includes the design and placement of furniture and equipment.

Flexible Work Hours: The flexibility for employees to decide what time to start and end their workday as long as they maintain the company’s core work hours and work a full day.

Focus Fridays: A designated day (Friday or any day of the week) on which no meetings or conference calls are scheduled to allow an entire office or team to focus on work tasks.

Hoteling/Office Hoteling: An alternative to permanently assigned workstations that allows telework employees to reserve the use of a workspace when they plan to work on-site.

Hot-Desking: A system in which employees can use any available work area or workspace on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hot Spot: An internet access point. The term is typically used in reference to internet connections that people can access when they are away from their home or office, such as those provided by libraries, coffee shops, and other businesses.

Hybrid Work Model: A work arrangement in which employees spend some time working in the office and some time working from a remote site.

Nonlinear Workday: A workday in which an employee goes back and forth between work and nonwork activities. The employee still works a full eight hours, but the eight hours are not continuous. This type of schedule can help with work-life balance.

Remote Worker: An employee who works full time from a location outside the office — typically at home or at a designated coworking space.

Remote First: An arrangement in which companies make working away from the office the normal or preferred work arrangement.

Return to Work (RTW or R2W): A common phrase used for returning to the worksite after working full time from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Satellite Office: A secondary office, usually smaller than the main office, where employees can work.

Shared Office Space: Office space that is used by more than one employee but at different times.

Staggered Schedules: Schedules in which employees start work at different but set times. Typically, the schedules include overlapping time.

Telework: From the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010: The term “telework” or “teleworking” refers to a “work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of such employee’s position, and other authorized activities, from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work.”

Virtual Private Network (VPN): A secure and encrypted connection that employees can establish from their home network or a public network to ensure privacy and anonymity.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): A phone system hosted online that allows calls to be made and received from internet-connected devices.

Work-Life Balance: The balance of time focused on work and personal life, where work is performed optimally without sacrificing important personal time. Employers that provide schedule flexibility and prioritize work-life balance tend to have a more productive workforce and have better success in hiring and retaining employees.