Remember when we used to wear business casual attire to the club? Yeah, me too. Fashion is full of trends that we’d quite simply like to forget.

The workplace is no different. There’s always a new trend popping up — like how we used to entertain ridiculous job titles such as “chief birthday officer” and “mischief champion.” In recent years, we’ve seen quiet quitting turn into quiet hiring, with a little sprinkle of productivity paranoia for good measure.

But sometimes, these trends stick. This is most evident in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than go from fully remote work back to a full-time office schedule, many opted for the best of both worlds: hybrid working.

New hybrid work trends

Despite some naysayers believing it wouldn’t last, hybrid work is here to stay. In late 2023, Gallup noted that nine in 10 employees prefer remote work flexibility, while 80% of the chief human resource officers in Fortune 500 companies surveyed had no plans to reduce that flexibility.

Hybrid working has transformed the lives of employees across the globe, allowing them the freedom to work from home when they need to while still retaining a strong presence in the office. As our own Valerio Nocera pointed out, cutting out the commute creates extra time for exercise and personal travel, allowing employees to live happier, more well-rounded lives.

And the hybrid work transformation has given birth to some trends of its own. Here are just some of the buzzwords you might have seen crop up over the past few months:

Office peacocking

Office peacocking is when companies try to lure employees into the office building with the promise of flashy perks such as ping-pong tables, plush couches, and pancake stations. Like a peacock spreading its glorious feathers, they want you to see all the pretty things they have to offer.

Coffee badging

Coffee badging is going to the office with the sole purpose of swiping your badge, grabbing a coffee with some coworkers (aka eyewitnesses that can verify you were in fact at the office), and leaving as soon as possible to finish your workday at home. The Owl Labs State of Hybrid Work 2023 report noted that 58% of hybrid employees engage in coffee badging.


QuitToking refers to the practice of an employee live-streaming their resignation on social media. It is essentially a “quit my job with me” video, a twist on the “get ready with me” videos that litter your feed. This trend is rising in popularity, with #quittok currently attached to over 2,600 posts on TikTok. Due to the flexibility offered by hybrid work, employees can quit from the comfort of their own home rather than a formal office setting.

Before you dismiss these trends as fleeting fads, take a minute to see why they are actually trending right now. They give a big insight into the current mindset of both employers and employees. 

  • Workers are “coffee badging” because they feel obliged to show their face and convince their employers that they’re still a hard worker, even if that work is not primarily done at a hot desk. Also, they likely find it difficult to concentrate in a noisy environment, which is why they need to go home to get any real work done.
  • Employers are “office peacocking” because people haven’t returned in their droves to the office. For the most part, employees would prefer to be at home on their own plush couch.
  • Gen Zers are “QuitToking” because they feel powerless and want to take back control over their employment amid the looming threat of layoffs. They also prioritize their mental health over a job that is not suitable for them, and want others to know it’s OK to do that.

So, although these trends won’t be around forever, companies can learn from them and focus on changes that have real, lasting impact, rather than short-form perks.

How to turn these trends into transformations

As Magdalena Nowicka Mook told Fast Company, “Rather than jumping headfirst onto rapidly fleeting buzzwords, leaders should drive their application of workplace trends from a future of work strategy.” She advises leaders to sort the wheat from the chaff and decide which trends hold real value, such as reskilling and values-driven policies.

For this article though, let’s focus on the aforementioned hybrid work trends.

Trend: Coffee badging
Transformation: This trend shows that workers still want to socialize with their colleagues but prefer to be at home for tasks that require their full attention. Your company could consider having a designated “meeting day” at the office to talk through all the issues that can be resolved more easily face to face. You could also block off some time purely for social interaction, like “open-door hours” or a Friday afternoon activity. This indicates that the rest of the day(s) should be spent on head-down tasks, hopefully deterring any Chatty Cathys from sliding by your desk.

Trend: Office peacocking
Transformation: Rather than assuming you know what your employees want, try asking them what they actually want. Obviously, a pension plan and more PTO days will be high on the list, but you might find out that employees have preferences when it comes to the smaller perks. For example, people are more likely to value a high-grade coffee machine over a trampoline in the office. Opt for practicality, not novelty.

Trend: QuitToking
Transformation: This is a little trickier as there are a million reasons why an employee might choose to leave a company and some of them you can’t control. However, the practice of sharing it on social media may suggest some bad blood between the employer and employee, so the root of this should be addressed. Companies should establish a culture of trust and transparency so employees are loyal and don’t feel the need to “out” them for any shady practices. Managers should also have regular check-ins with employees to identify any issues that might cause them to quit, and see if they can be rectified. 

Real transformation takes time — but it’s a lot more valuable than any passing trend.