I'm trying to think of a better way to say "working in the business" as opposed to "working on the business", but what kind of work is that called?

Some ideas I have:

  • technical work
  • front line work
  • employee work

This would be in the context of a business owner talking about different tasks within a business. Let's say an employee is behind or the company is short staffed, the business owner steps in and does [blank] activities.

  • 1
    Internal work? As in work done internally.
    – Hank
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 17:19
  • Yea, something along those lines. That makes me think of internal work, like back office work done for the internal benefit of the company rather than normal operating activities - hey, maybe you helped with that one haha. I kind of like that - Operational work. We'll see if anyone else has good ideas too :-) Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 17:20
  • So you're just trying to describe the normal work that is the main purpose of the business? Like a sales caller making sales calls? Like Day-to-day operations?
    – Hank
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 17:21
  • Yea, pretty much - like the everyday work that needs to be done. It could be for anyone's position. Let's say they call out sick or the company is short staffed, the business owner steps in and does [blank] activities. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 17:23

4 Answers 4


You could say that he stepped in and did some hands-on work.

Hands-on -- Cambridge Dict.

adj. Someone with a hands-on way of doing things becomes closely involved in managing and organizing things and in making decisions: She's very much a hands-on manager.

  • 1
    Oh, this is a good one too. Similar to Primary work, but more hands-on. Definitely along the lines of what I'm trying to get to. Thank you for the kind answer. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 17:35
  • 3
    You could, in a similar vein, say that 'the business owner stepped in and got his hands dirty'. This would imply that the work is hard, dirty, or demeaning, and so I think this is a sub-answer to this (imo correct) answer.
    – Jeutnarg
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 22:33

Perhaps routine work will fit:


  • Commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity.



Consider daily grind.

Definition: the routine of everyday life; the tedious pattern of daily work.


  • Well, it’s Monday. Time to start another week of the daily grind.

  • Play at Work: An Antidote to the Daily Grind

  • Between discovery and well being, escape the daily grind during these two relaxing days.


Did some more research and come up with these:

Front-Office work.

It describes work that is revenue generating for a company.

Primary work.

Work that needs to be done first.

Core work.

As in, work that relates to the business' core competency or is essential to running the business.

Operating work.

This is perfect as it includes operational activities.

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