New words – 25 October 2021

Colleagues holding a meeting in a multi-functional office space with glass walls
Kelvin Murray / Stone / Getty

pivot space noun [C]
an area of an office that can be used for different purposes

Pivot spaces – or multi-functional areas of the office – are not new, but social distancing measures and a focus on improving the employee experience in the office are making them a key feature of tomorrow’s workplace … With employees now returning to the office and coronavirus still a lingering threat, more businesses are thinking about how to best adapt their spaces. Designed well, these pivot spaces can help to make the office somewhere people want to be.
[, September 2020]

ask gap noun [S]
UK /ˈɑːsk.gæp/ US /ˈæsk.gæp/
the difference in the salary earned by people who ask for (and receive) a higher amount and those who do not

Research shows that the pay gap, which is well documented, partly stems from the ‘ask gap’: the difference in salary expectations between groups, which undercuts women and minorities in particular. Closing this gendered and racialised ‘ask gap’ can pay major dividends for careers, reducing long-term salary inequality.
[, 18 June 2021]

polywork noun [U]
UK /ˈpɒl.i.wɜːk/ US /ˈpɑː.li.wɝːk/
the activity of having several different jobs at the same time

Slightly different than a necessary hustle but still falling into these new lifestyles of Millennials and Gen Z is the concept of polywork: the rejection of traditional full-time jobs in favor of pursuing multiple jobs to fulfill multiple interests. Someone might work as a social media marketer while also being an investor, a writer, and a podcast host; they might also run a nonprofit, manage investments and field more creative roles such as producing plays.
[, 6 August 2021]

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