Remote Work Glossary

Remote Work Glossary

Deel's glossary explaining the most commonly used words and terms related to remote work.

Anja Simic
Written by Anja Simic
August 12, 2021

Asynchronous communication

A type of communication where a person provides a piece of information (or a message), and there is a time lag in other person's reaction or response. Often used in distributed teams.

Brick-and-mortar business (also bricks and mortar, B&M)

A type of business that has a physical presence or face-to-face point of contact with customers.

Co-located company

A company whose employees are working from a physical office or single location. Opposite of remote or distributed company.

Co-working space

A place where multiple companies or individuals work from.

Conference call/meeting

A type of call or a meeting held between several participants, team members or employees.

Digital nomad

A person who changes their location from time to time and work while being on the go. This is a popular lifestyle choice for freelancers and remote workers who are not bound by working from a traditional office.

Digital workspace

The opposite of physical office, this means that there is no physical location and that all the work is done with digital tools.

Distributed company

A company whose employees are working from multiple locations outside of the traditional office and their presence in a physical office is not required.

Distributed workforce

A workforce that is not present in a traditional office/ physical location. Similar to distributed company.


An individual who is hired by a company and is working under a service agreement. An employee is required to perform work by terms set by the employer (company) under the employment contract.

Face to face meeting (also F2F meeting)

A meeting between two people, usually from the same team or between a manager and a team member. Also can be referred to as 1:1 meeting.

Fixed contract

A contract that has a fixed compensation that will be paid to the service provider upon completion.

Freelance work

Project-based work that is done by individuals who are contracted by a client or a company.


A person who works for multiple clients/companies at a time on short or long-term projects.

Future of work

A concept that will allow work to be performed with the use of advanced technology.

Gig economy

A labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.

Hybrid company

A type of company whose employees are partially present in a physical office while others are working remotely, or the whole company has a schedule of when they can WFH, and when they come to the office.

In-person meeting

A meeting done in a physical office or location.

Independent contractor

An individual who is hired to perform services to a client or a company. The independent contractor has the freedom to perform the work on own terms and the company is only controlling the service outcome.

Legally-binding contract

A contractual agreement between two or more parties, that is used as a proof of an agreement in case of legal disputes.

Local labor law compliance

A set of laws and regulations around labor that are specific to a country.

Location independent

The freedom to live and work wherever one pleases. It's a lifestyle that enables a person to travel, change locations and still work wherever they are.

Milestone contract

A type of contract that breaks down the services to be provides into stages (milestone) for easier coordination.

Off-site meeting/retreat

A meeting/retreat held outside of a company's premises, often at a remote site or in a different city/country.


A company can use outsourcing to contract someone to perform work outside of the company itself.

Pay as you go contract

A type of contract that doesn't have fixed compensation. It is usually used for contractors that have hourly rates.


An action of performing a payment for services or good received.


The total amount of wages paid to the employees; a list of all the employees and their salaries within a company.

Remote hiring

A process of hiring that is done remotely, outside of a company's physical office through digital tools.

Remote OK

A phrase that refers to company's acceptance of having workers/employees who are working remotely. Usually seen on job listings to indicate the company is also accepting candidates who do not live in the same city as their HQ or office.

Remote worker (also free-range worker)

A person who is not bound by a physical office and can work from anywhere.

Remote-first company

A company that was built on the premise of remote working. Building the team, culture, and processes are planned and executed for remote workers primarily.

Scrum meeting

A meeting organized daily during a sprint that serves as an alignment call to help team members stay organized. Usually held at the same time and place every day.

Self-employed (person)

A person who is working independently, either as an individual or as a business owner.


A term used to define independent contractors who are working in the independent trade.

Sprint: A continuous development cycle set within a certain time frame (a week, month or other). Within a Sprint, a planned amount of work is executed by a team.

Stand-up meeting

A short meeting, usually held every day used for a team to align, distribute tasks and report.

Synchronous communication

A type of communication where a response or a reaction is needed right after a person sends a message to another person.

Team retreat

A longer meeting with a purpose of team bonding, working on a project or any designated activity. Usually happening at a remote location or a different city/country.


A synonym for remote working, slightly archaic. This means working from home using digital tools to perform work.


See telecommute.

Virtual meeting

A meeting held online with a use of digital communication channels such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts or others.

Virtual office

A company that doesn't have staff present in a physical office but has a physical address used for mailing and other office services without the overhead and lease expenses.

Work from home (also WFH)

The ability to work from the comfort of your home. This can be a permanent setup or a type of "leave" you take (example: I am taking a WFH day today.)


A combination of work and holiday when a person does work while being outside of an office.

Deel makes growing remote and international teams effortless. Ready to get started?






Legal experts