Goblin Mode Explained: When Notice Period Meets Work-From-Home

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Goblin Mode Explained
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The Goblin Mode is a new buzzword. Now it has been chosen as the Oxford Word of the Year. Thousands of people voted to honour the term with the stature of being the Oxford Word of the year. Many people wonder what this word exactly means and what makes it so popular. Some people also look at it as another fancy phrase for ‘Quiet Quitting’ or being lazy at work. But as with any other term, there is much more to it than the obvious and instant judgements.


What is Goblin Mode?

The ‘Goblin Mode’ is a slang term that refers to a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations. It is more about taking care of yourself than it is about doing less or participating in the race of expectations and perfection.


Why Should We Indulge in it Occasionally?

The term is gaining popularity because we all feel like taking those occasional breaks. Intervals when we can cut out from the outside world and keep our distance from all the standards and expectations as individuals. Constantly following rules and struggling to maintain the criteria can get tiring sometimes.


The occasional breaks where you can be a little selfish and take care of your needs first rather than worrying about outside expectations are therapeutic. The fast-paced life we live today can be stressful, and switching on your ‘Goblin Mode’ now and then really takes the steam away. Frequent time-outs can help you get back to your daily hustle with more energy.


Common Goblin Mode Versions

As the story and the popularity of the slang goes, the term ‘Goblin Mode’ can be used to refer to multiple scenarios, and it resonates with a vast portion of humanity, let’s take a look at some interesting behaviour from our employees.


Goblin Mode Lite: Notice Period

The most common and obvious reason for Goblin Mode activation is the onset of the notice period. We choose to call it ‘Goblin Mode Lite’. An open secret in the workplace. It’s quite obvious why we call it the Lite version for Goblin Mode, as an employee is officially working but practically putting in the bare minimum.


The employee on the notice period often feels free to do little less than what is expected from them. There’s complete disregard regarding what their peers and manager might think about their performance. Doing the least is their goal of the day throughout the notice period. Their efforts become self-centred, and they lose the will to go that extra mile for their performance.


Goblin Mode Default: Work-From-Home

We all know that the Goblin Mode is nearly synonymous with work-from-home arrangements. The sense of responsibility to carry out the job and motivation to go above and beyond practically vanishes. Comfort is the first priority, and what comes next is marking their attendance in the meetings.


Employees shy away from giving input as long as possible. The good old network issue is always to rescue when asked for opinions. Goblin Mode is almost practised as default in the ‘Work from home’ set up by the vast majority of the workforce today.


Goblin Mode Ultra: Notice Period meets WFH

Goblin Mode ultra is unapologetic and a Golden combination of the notice period and work-from-home. What is expected from them immediately takes a backseat. Employees need to be more responsible for fulfilling their minor and significant obligations.


There is no fear of judgement as they are out of sight. Most people will not bother to insist that the person on their notice period attend meetings discussing strategy for the next two years or more. Goblin mode Ultra is the dream of every employee who looks for a period of minimum responsibility at work.


How can HRs Tackle Goblin Mode Employees?

Irrespective of how dreamy and fun the ‘Goblin Mode’ sounds, it’s not good for the organization’s productivity. Goblin mode at work is synonymous with lesser productivity due to a decline in effort. That makes it the managers’ and HR team’s responsibility to ensure that employees don’t enter the Goblin Mode’ at work. Here are some solutions to maintain the productivity of the business.

  • Give employees enough leaves and ensure they utilise it. So, they get recharged occasionally and can come to their work with their best performance.
  • Get good timesheet software for managers to observe the team performance and ensure the expectations are communicated correctly to the workforce.
  • Create a healthy work culture and realistic targets, so employees don’t feel stressed or experience burnout and avoid extreme behaviour such as ‘Goblin Mode’.
  • Work on employee engagement and satisfaction to motivate them to carry out their responsibilities.
  • Provide all the tools, and support employees need to maintain their productivity.



The term ‘Goblin Mode’ is about taking care of yourself now and then and pulling away from keeping up with expectations. We observe employees indulging in the ‘Goblin Mode’ while working from home or serving their notice period. The HR team and managers should create a supportive environment to motivate employees and maintain productivity.

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