Article: Prompt Engineering to Conscious Quitting: New-age workplace terms you should know

Life @ Work

Prompt Engineering to Conscious Quitting: New-age workplace terms you should know

From quiet quitting to quite firing to the game-changing role of prompt engineering, here are some new work jargons you should know
Prompt Engineering to Conscious Quitting: New-age workplace terms you should know

With more and more workplace related terms going viral and catching everyone’s attention, do you sometimes catch yourself a little out of touch? We have for you a quick guide to what these terms mean and a little about their background:


Prompt engineering is the process of developing and managing chatbots and other AI tools to communicate effectively with humans. It requires a combination of technical skills, communication ability, and creativity.

Prompt engineers need to be familiar with programming languages like Python and possess excellent writing skills to create effective prompts. They must also have a deep understanding of human behaviour and language to create natural-sounding responses.

The goal of prompt engineering is to maximise the effectiveness of AI tools, and it involves designing prompts that consider the context of the conversation, the user's tone, and intent. Prompt engineers must also be aware of potential bias in the algorithms they create and work to mitigate any issues that arise.


Quiet quitting is a thing of the past, as the rise of "conscious quitting" takes center stage in the modern workplace. With workers choosing to leave jobs that don't align with their personal values, the Net Positive Employee Barometer revealed that almost half of U.S. and U.K. workers would consider quitting for this reason. As former Unilever CEO Paul Polman suggests, we are on the brink of a new era of conscious quitting, where employees vote with their feet to shape the future of work.


Quiet Quitting is when an employee chooses to do just his/her job, nothing more, nothing less and doesn’t go above and beyond for his/her organization.

As this term has gone viral, it has elicited every possible type of response – we have had opinion pieces in favour of it, against it, calling it ‘old wine in a new bottle’, a misnomer and what not. In the post-pandemic world, a lot of emphasis is being placed on employee well-being and mental health, which is perhaps why Quiet Quitting has struck a chord, especially with the younger workforce.

Also read | Blog: Why Quiet Quitting is really about entitled employers


Quiet Firing is when a manager actively creates a hostile work environment for an employee, with the aim of making the employee quit on his/her own. This could be done by delegating excessive work, enforcing strict and unreasonable deadlines, not sanctioning leaves etc.

We weren’t quite done with the discussions around Quiet Quitting (have we all been doing it all this while, is it truly possible, what are the repercussions and so on) when we were introduced to the term Quiet Firing. And before we knew it, we had lists around how to spot it! 


Productivity Paranoia refers to growing distrust between employers and employees, due to which the managers can sometimes resort to somewhat overarching means to ensure employees are being “productive”. 

The term went viral almost as soon as Microsoft’s Satya Nadella said it. “We have to get past what we describe as ‘productivity paranoia’ because all of the data we have shows 80% plus of the individual people feel they’re very productive – except their management thinks that they’re not productive,” Nadella said. 

Also read | Productivity Paranoia: Here is how leaders can navigate hybrid work without it


Proximity bias is the conscious or unconscious bias or favouritism shown by people in positions of authority towards those employees who are in a closer physical proximity. Examples of proximity bias include a manager rating the work of employees working from office more highly than those working from home. 

One of the main reasons why this term's popularity has skyrocketed recently is the shift in working culture that we are globally going through. Post the pandemic, a lot of organizations have chosen to give employees the flexibility to either work from home or office or a mix of both. As employees choose to work from home, many feel that those choosing to go to office have things easier. This stems from the outdated viewpoint a lot of managers still have – that people from office are more productive. Even as study after study has shown people work just as efficiently from home, the bias has persisted. 


Knowing that your team members at work value your opinion, ideas and queries constitutes psychological safety at work. It is when an employee knows that he or she will not be relegated to the side or unnecessarily humiliated for voicing concerns or, say, questioning the status quo. 

Many studies have shown that organizations that allow employees to speak freely, are receptive to criticism and encourage feedback see lower attrition rates and greater overall productivity. With the coronavirus pandemic shining a much-needed spotlight on mental health and wellness, discussions about psychological safety are the next logical step in the right direction. 


Toxic positivity is the strong belief that no matter how bad or dangerous or difficult a situation, one should remain happy and have a “positive mindset”. 

While to some toxic positivity may feel like an actual way of “handling” a problem, more often than not what it does is undermine the feelings and emotions of someone already undergoing mental distress. This forced suppression of feelings can harm a person’s mental and physical wellness. While we all know and deal with people who believe in “toxic positivity” in our personal life, toxic positivity becomes especially problematic in the workplace. This is because toxic positivity can not only diminish trust and engagement, it can also impact an employee’s productivity. 


Short for flexible time, flextime is when an employee can choose the time they log in and log out of work, as per their convenience. 

While there are organizations that have had flextime for a while now, flextime has now become the standard across industries and organizations as employees prioritize their mental health and seek to find the perfect work-life balance. While some companies mandate the number of hours an employee must work for during the week, some do it on an hours-per-day basis. The recent focus on flexibility in the workplace has resulted in very strong push for flex time across organizations for all employees. 

HR 4.0

HR 4.0 refers to the latest revolution to hit the world of human resources. With it, HR is moving away from the traditional, manual and bureaucratic roles and is becoming more automated as it focuses on strategic issues within the organization. 

HR 4.0 is closely linked to Industry 4.0 under which the manufacturing industry is revolutionizing its way of working. HR 4.0 shows that the industry realizes how times have changed and so have the needs and requirements of an employee.  An important inflection point that differentiates HR from HR 4.0 is digital transformation. As organizations take to adopting online tools, the trend is reaching the HR function as well. 


Employer of record refers to a third-party company that takes over t entire duty of paying the employees. This includes taking care of benefits, taxes, insurance and the works.

EOR services are particularly important to companies that are present across multiple countries and have a global workforce. With each country, sometimes even different regions within a country, having their own set of rules and regulations, it can become difficult for organization to navigate the laws without slowing down. EOR services can ensure your business remains compliant to local laws during its global expansion. 

One of the reasons all these terms have become a part of our day-to-day conversations at work is perhaps how every employee can relate to them at a personal level. As employees deal with everything from great bosses who value mental health to micromanagers who wish to drive them out, these short, catchy terms help us convey a lot about our job life in a couple of words. 

What are your favourite viral, workplace terms?

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Topics: Life @ Work, Watercooler, Strategic HR

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