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Image / Editorial

Survey Reveals The Overused Office Jargon Everyone Hates


by Jeanne Sutton
14th Dec 2015
Survey Reveals The Overused Office Jargon Everyone Hates

We’ve all experienced it. That moment when you’re in a boardroom, thinking about your next meal, and someone uses the term ‘blue sky thinking.’ Or they utter something about ‘thinking outside the box.’ And then as you all leave the meeting, the verb ‘touching base’ is invoked. At times like that, we wonder what our paleo ancestors would think of us. Going from hunter-gatherers who could skin an elk – maybe – to automatons who speak a nonsensical language and’stare at a glowing screen for hours at end, worried someone will ask them about those excel skills their LinkedIn claims them to possess.

Of all the annoying things about the modern workplace, office jargon is the worst. It ranks above printers, which are universally crap, and kitchenettes with a microwave crusted in two-day old carrot soup. In fact, a recent survey from the UK claims 70% of workers switch off when they hear the kind of talk we term office jargon. Of the 2,000 office workers polled, four in 10 say they are utterly baffled by phrases like ‘moving the goalpost’, the Metro reports.

Animal charity?SPANA, conducted?the research into this modern phenomenon of language?and found the 50 most annoying office jargon phrases. Be prepared for an oncoming eye-twitch.

1. Blue sky thinking – empty thinking without influence
2. Think outside the box – think creatively
3. Touch base offline – lets meet and talk
4. Close of play – end of the day
5. Going forward – look ahead6. No brainer – so obvious

7. Action that – put into practice

8. Drill down – investigate thoroughly

9. Thought shower – brainstorm

10. Flogging a dead horse – waste your efforts

11. Hot desking – sharing several desks with colleagues

12. Heads up – notification

13. It’s on my radar – I’m considering it

14. Joined up thinking – thinking about all the facts

15. Bring to the table – contribution to the group

16. Punch a puppy – do something detestable but good for the business

17. Run this up the flagpole – try it out

18. Cracking the whip – use your authority to make someone work better

19. Moving the goalposts – change criteria

20. EOP – end of play

21. Working fingers to the bone – working very hard

22. Game changer – fundamental shift

23. It’s not rocket science – it’s not difficult

24. Hit the ground running – start work quickly

25. Ping – get back to

26. Low hanging fruit – easy win business

27. Singing from the same hymn sheet – all on the same page

28. Strategic staircase – business plan

29. Park something – hold an idea

30. Benchmark – point of reference

31. COB – close of business

32. Reach out – contact

33. Re-inventing the wheel – steal the idea from someone else

34. Dot the I’s and cross the t’s – pay attention

35. Best practice – most effective way

36. Al Desko – lunch at the desk

37. Backburner – de-prioritise

38. Pick it up and run with it – move ahead with an idea

39. Play hardball – act forcefully

40. This idea has legs – good idea

41. Synergy – two things work together

42. I’m swamped – busy

43. It’s a win / win – good for both sides

44. Look under the bonnet – analyse the situation

45. Quick and dirty – quick solution

46. Peel the onion – examine the problem

47. Out of the loop – not involved in the decision

48. Wow factor – amazing

49. Helicopter view – broad view of the business

50. Elevator pitch – brief presentation

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