The Most Irritating Office Buzzwords In The UK

Most annoying office buzzwords

Working in an office often means that you have to put up with many irritants. From people who just do not understand how to talk quietly, to those people who enjoy eating the most fragrant of lunches. It’s unfortunately just a part of office life!

While these may be the more obvious annoyances that can be thought of, there is also the rise of what is termed ‘office jargon’. These are the strange words that you will often only ever hear in the office and never outside.

A survey from jobs site Glassdoor queried 2,000 employees about some of the most hated office jargon, producing a list full of terminology and words that are often baffling outside the walls of an office.

What Is The Most Annoying Jargon?

According to almost a quarter of respondents (24%), one of the buzzwords that employees in the UK hate the most is ‘touch base’. This is often used between colleagues when they want to meet or talk about a specific problem or issue, so they would say for example ‘we’ll touch base on this later’.

Closely following this is ‘blue sky thinking’ with 21% of people finding this an annoyance. The reasoning behind this phrase as described by Glassdoor is when someone has creative thinking that is not actually grounded in reality. So it sounds like a nice idea, but in theory not realistic.

Something that may be commonly heard in company jargon is ‘we’re on a journey’, often used to show that a company or team has not managed to reach its objective. Presumably the intent behind this is to encourage a team feeling and a drive to move forward.

The following jargon makes up the rest of the list that irritates employees:

  • Game changer – 13%
  • No-brainer – 13%
  • Thought shower – 11%
  • Run it up the flagpole – 11%
  • If you don’t like it, get off the bus – 10%
  • Mission statement – 10%
  • Pick it up and run with it – 10%
  • Punch a puppy – 9%
  • Let’s get our ducks in a row – 9%

How Can You Avoid Using These?

Often these buzzwords simply end up being fancy words that add a ‘corporate‘ feel to someone’s speech or email. If you find yourself using these words, take a moment to consider using other terms. Instead of adding jargon like this, simplify it down as there can usually be a much less jargon heavy phrase to use.

For example, instead of saying ‘touch base’ consider just saying ‘we can talk about this later’. If you wouldn’t use the term in your everyday life, there’s not much reason to use it in the office either.  As well as reducing the amount of strange office buzzwords, it can also make your words much easier to understand.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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