Common Workplace Abbreviations & Business Acronyms You Should Know

An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase. In written English, we use abbreviations to shorten common sentences to save time. This post will explain most commonly used abbreviations that are used in a business setting.


1. ASAP

ASAP = as soon as possible (If this is an Email from your boss, drop everything else and work on the report!)

E.g. “Send me the report ASAP”.

2. FYI

FYI = for your information (When you share information to keep people in the loop, it’s FYI.)

E.g. “FYI, this is the update I got from the team.”

3. BTW

EOD = end of day (End of day can mean before closing time or before you or Roohi leave for the day, whichever happens first.)

E.g. “John, I will send you the details by tomorrow EOD”.

5. ATTN

ATTN=attention (Used to indicate who a letter is for)

E.g. “Attn: John Smith” 

Commonly Used Workplace Abbreviations

6. N/A

N/A= not applicable (It is used to indicate when information in a certain table cell is not provided, either because it does not apply to a particular case in question or because the answer is not available.)

E.g.  “How old is your son?: N/A” (because the person is still single).

7. COB

COB =Close of business (Used to refer to the end of a working day, usually when stating a deadline)

E.g. “This is just a reminder that the survey is still open and will remain open until COB today

8. COD

COD = cash on delivery (It is a mode of payment; you pay when the goods are delivered.)

E.g. “We don’t have to pay the printer now. It’s COD.”

9. TBD

TBD = to be decided (You will know it eventually.)

E.g. “No. of participants: TBD”

10. RSVP

RSVP= Répondez s’il vous plait (RSVP is indeed French and it stands for répondez s’il vous plaît. It literally means “please respond”. RSVP is now a fixed idiom, even in French.)

E.g. “RSVP to John by April the 20th”

Other Business Abbreviations You Should Know

Some abbreviations can be used in emails or chatting online, some are specific to the virtual workplace.

  1. Acct – Account
  2. Ad– Advertisement
  3. Approx – Approximately
  4. APR – Annual percentage rate
  5. BS- Bachelor of Science Degree
  6. B2B – Business to business
  7. BA – Bachelor of Business Administration Degree
  8. CEO – Chief Executive Officer
  9. CFO – Chief Financial Officer
  10. Co. – Company
  11. Corp. – Corporation
  12. CSR – Customer Sales Representative
  13. Dept. – Department
  14. Div – Division
  15. Ea. – Each
  16. EST – Eastern Standard Time (the time on the East Coast of the United States and some Canadian provinces)
  17. FAQ – Frequently Asked Question
  18. FWD – Forward
  19. GDP – Gross Domestic Product
  20. Govt. – Government
  21. HQ – Headquarters
  22. Inc. – Incorporated
  23. ISO – International Organization for Standardization
  24. Jr. – Junior
  25. Lb. – Pound (weight)
  26. LLC – Limited liability company
  27. Max – Maximm
  28. MBA – Master of Business Administration Degree
  29. Memo- Memorandum
  30. Mfg– Manufacturing
  31. Min. – Minium
  32. Mo – Month
  33. No – Number
  34. Pkg – Package
  35. PO – Purchase order
  36. PR – Public relations
  37. Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 – First quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter
  38. Qty – Quantity
  39. R&D  – Research and Development
  40. Re – In regards to, regarding
  41. Recd. – Received
  42. ROI – Return on Investment
  43. SWOT – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
  44. Temp – Temporary Secretary
  45. VP – Vice President
  46. W/ – With
  47. W/O – Without
  48. Yr. – Year
  49. 404 – Abbreviation for the “Error 404 – Not Found” message displayed when coming across a dead link online.  Can also mean lost or confused, e.g. “After coming out of the weekly staff meeting, I still felt 404.”
  50. COOP – Continuity of operations planning.
  51. EOM – End of message.
  52. EOT – End of thread.
  53. ESP – Email service provider
  54. FWIW –  “For what it’s worth.”  Commonly used in email communications.
  55. IAM – “In a meeting.”
  56. IM – instant message.
  57. IMO – “In my opinion.”  Commonly used in email communications or IMHO – “in my humble opinion.”
  58. KPI – Key performance indicator.
  59. KRA – Key result area.
  60. MBO – Management by objectives.
  61. NSFW – Not Safe For Work.  Your college buddy has just sent you a link titled “Check this out! (NSFW).”   Don’t click on it if you value your job.
  62. NWR – Not work related.
  63. OLT – Online Training.
  64. OTP – “On the phone.”
  65. RACI – tool used to assign roles and responsibilities to team members.  Stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
  66. ROWE – Results Only Work Environment.
  67. SMART – used in goal setting, it stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable or Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
  68. SME – subject matter expert.
  69. SNS – Social network site.
  70. SOHO – Small Office / Home Office.
  71. VC – Virtual Class.
  72. VLE – Virtual learning environment.
  73. VPN – Virtual private network.
  74. VW – virtual worker.
  75. VWVW – virtual worker at virtual workplace.
  76. WAH – Work At Home, see WFH.
  77. WBT – Web-based training.
  78. WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
  79. WFH – Work From Home.
  80. 401k – A common type of US retirement savings plan

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Common Workplace Abbreviations & Business Acronyms You Should Know

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