The Vocabulary to Talk About Remote Work in French

vocabulary remote work in french

Companies of all sizes have embraced remote work in 2020. With a varying level of preparedness, employees are participating in the largest remote working experience. In France as well as in other countries, it is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that forced employers and employees towards remote work.

This article is about remote work in French. It aims to help learners to improve their language skills and to grow their French for business vocabulary in the context of remote work.

In this article, you’ll better understand:

Why everyone is talking about remote work?

Remote work is reshaping the way people work and live. Many remote workers have done it for more than 10 years and have some advice to give. According to them, becoming a productive remote worker is a journey and it takes practice.

A large number of articles and discussions are about mistakes to avoid and other best practices. There is also another related topic that focuses more on how to set up routines and stay in shape.

There is no doubt that maintaining and reaching a high productivity level while working from home is a new challenge that many employees need to address. Hence, new remote workers have to put a significant amount of effort into self-awareness and discipline. This is also a subject that is getting a lot of traction.

Once the lockdown measures will be lifted, many employees will be unwilling to go back to the office every day as they become well versed in the art of working remotely.

Many organizations will also turn a larger part of their workforce to become remote workers. In fact, many organizations already recognize the benefits of remote work and are willing to put efforts and thoughts to build a remote culture. Many are wondering if this could put an end to the office as we know it?

Remote Working & Distance Learning

Online learning and remote working aren’t new, but our changing world made them a necessity.

Of course, the repercussions of this global experience are countless. However, the post-pandemic predictions are bright for remote work as well as for distance learning. Starting the early days of lockdown in 2020, many learners started working on their French language skills during isolation.

Many language learning programs are already online. Master Your French also operates fully remotely in order to provide French learners and students with online resources to learn French, improve their pronunciation, and practice their listening skills.

Check the online courses available at Master Your French and prepared by Mylène. You can also boost your distance learning and learn French with the free videos on YouTube.

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How to say remote work in French?

There are many terms to refer to remote work in French. Here are the 3 most common ways to say remote work in French:

  1. télétravail
  2. travail à distance
  3. travail à domicile

A brief history of remote work

In English, remote work has many terms that evolved over the years. In the 1970s, Jack Nilles coined the term telework and telecommuting. The literal translation of telework is télétravail in French. This is the term that you’ll mostly use to refer to remote work. It is the French term to refer to remote work in 2020.

About remote work in French

As getting prepared is important, we’re going to cover the essential vocabulary of remote work in French and the related tools, objects, and materials that you’ll need to become a productive remote worker!

Now that you know that the word télétravail in French means remote work, let’s discover the vocabulary useful for a remote worker learning French.

basics remote work laptop desk webcam connection

The basics of remote work in French

Once you decide to embrace remote working, you might need to consider the items in the following sections as a checklist. A remote employee must be well equipped in order to be able to go fully-only. The basics to work remotely for most of the remote workers are:

  • a computer / laptop : un ordinateur / un ordinateur portable
  • a desk: un bureau
  • a desk chair: chaise de bureau
  • a second monitor (optional): un deuxième écran

Getting connected & its vocabulary

No matter the work you do, having an internet connection is vital when working remotely. It’s probably one of the most important things that remote workers should get right. Let’s see the vocabulary related to the Internet and remote work in French.

  • an internet connection: une connexion internet
  • a wifi connection: une connexion wifi
  • a high-speed internet connection: une connexion internet rapide
  • fiber optic: fibre optique

Is your internet connection good enough? Is it secure enough? How many persons are sharing with you the same internet connection?

Many companies provide their employees with laptops with VPN software already installed.

  • a secured connection: une connexion sécurisée
  • a VPN: un réseau privé virtuel

It is also possible to get internet connectivity issues and sometimes you have to wait until your internet service provider (ISP) fixes the problem. Within the outage window, it’s good to have a plan B so that your work is not totally interrupted:

  • an ISP: un fournisseur d’accès internet
  • connectivity issues: des problèmes de connexion
  • an outage: une panne
illustration internet security virtual private network

The vocabulary to collaborate

Are you familiar with cloud-based tools that your company uses? As a remote worker you should! Collaboration and sharing tools play a central role when co-workers have to share their digital work or any document:

  • share a file: partager un fichier
  • backup the files: sauvegarder les fichiers
  • synchronize data: synchroniser les données
  • transfer the data: transférer des données
  • a screen share: un partage d’écran

Project management vocabulary

Project management tools are usually used to plan and to track projects. Every person has a number to tasks, user stories to complete. Time tracking and progress can be tracked using project management tools whether you’re working remotely or not.

  • project tracking tools: outils de suivi de projet
  • project management: management de projet
  • to plan: planifier
  • a task: une tâche
  • user stories: les stories utilisateurs

Vocabulary & Meetings

Be sure that you have all the software and required tools so that you can get the work done, synchronize your work data, and attend virtual meetings. A good internet connection is often a must-have to be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues.

This is particularly required for successful video calls because 93% of communication is non-verbal. Therefore, be sure that you can turn on the video during the virtual meetings with other members of your remote team. Video conferences, via Zoom or Skype, as well as other virtual meetings, are part of what is called synchronous communication tools: communication is in real-time.

There are other types of direct messaging tools that can be used to communicate synchronously or asynchronously. It is important to learn how to manage tools like Slack and Emails in an asynchronous way so that you don’t get distracted when trying to focus on your work. Here is how to refer to these tools, required for remote work, in French.

  • software(s): un logiciel / des logiciels
  • communication tools: outils de communication
  • a video conference: une visio conférence
  • a virtual meeting: une réunion virtuelle
  • a remote team: une équipe à distance
  • instant messaging: messagerie instantanée
  • a headset: un casque
  • a webcam: une webcam
illustration power of virtual remote team heroes

Online-Offline vocabulary in French

Last but not least, take regular breaks from work. Go for a walk and schedule offline time. This is important to keep you in shape, to keep you happy while working remotely, and to spend some time with your kids and partner.

You can be online at anytime from anywhere but that doesn’t mean that you should be reachable all the time. A remote worker has to plan his offline time, when to get disconnected from the online work.

  • voice mail: message vocal
  • notification: notification
  • send a message: envoyer un message
  • mobile phone: téléphone portable
  • reachable: joignable
  • available: disponible
  • online: en ligne
  • offline: hors ligne
  • away: absent
  • virtual coffee chats: pause café virtuelle
  • out of sight out of mind: loin des yeux loin du coeur

Resources about remote work

To learn more about the status of remote work in France I recommend that you :

  1. Check out this article The Rise of Remote Work in France: Facts And Figures
  2. Watch its related video that covers the status of remote work in France, how popular it is in France, as well as the essential vocabulary in this context.
  3. Check the following article about le vocabulaire de l’enseignement à distance et du télétravail that presents the terminology of more than 80 concepts in the context of education and remote work in French.

Ready to start working remotely?

Many companies around the world have embraced the work from anywhere movement. Plan virtual coffee chats with colleagues to talk about random topics and ask the questions that you usually don’t raise in regular meetings. Check the following blog to learn more about asking questions in French.

It’s always important to connect with your colleagues. This is one way to improve your relationship and an opportunity for you to set up expectations with other team members. Over-communicating during these virtual coffee breaks is a good practice. No more out of sight, out of mind!

Now you can say that you’re ready to start working remotely! And learning French!

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