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12 of the most annoying buzzwords people use in the office



Hi! So nice to e-meet you! Can I borrow you for a sec? I just wanted to touch base and ping over a bit of information for you to cast an eye over! I hope that’s OK?!

Basically what’s happened is that job website Glassdoor have had a bit of a thought shower and surveyed 2,000 UK office drones about the buzzwords and phrases we hate most when it comes to work chat, and it definitely applies to most offices around the world.

Hopefully the findings will move the goalposts when it comes to the office jargon we use in the future, and with a bit of blue sky thinking we can kick out these irritating phrases for good.

Anyway, I just wanted to pick your brains to know what you think about them? Which buzzword grinds your gears the most? Keep me in the loop!

Touch base – 24%
Officially the most hated office phrase. When you say touch base, what you really mean is ‘talk’, which takes much less time to say, and makes you sound much less irritating. So just say talk, yeah? You’re not on a spaceship, you don’t have a ‘base’.

Blue sky thinking – 21%
What better way to trigger some creative thinking than with a horribly overused phrase that makes all your employees want to die!

We’re on a journey – 13%
No you’re not, you’re sat stationary in your office chair – the one that’s giving you terrible back problems – leaving it only for 15 minutes a day to go to the Pret round the corner and grab the same cheese sandwich you’ve eaten for lunch every day for the past three months.

Game changer – 13%
“This is a real game changer for the company” = “We will realise about six months’ time – five months too late – that this small change to how the company operates has actually been totally inefficient, given you all more work to do for no extra reward, and been a huge pain for everyone.”

No brainer – 13%
If you didn’t need your brain to come up with it then it probably isn’t a very good idea, is it?

Thought shower – 11%
This was brought in as an alternative to brainstorm, which we’re not supposed to say anymore, but I contend that literally any other phrase in the entire world would be better than ‘though shower’. “Let’s go into that meeting room and have a quick dog peanut”, “Shall we just pop over to those sofas and have a 10-minute microwave meal?”, “I’ve booked out the room upstairs at 2pm so we can get together for a clown crowd”. All better.

Run it up the flagpole – 11%
Shove your flagpole…

If you don’t like it get off the bus – 10%
If I get off the bus then how am I supposed to drive away from you in it, leaving you in the scorthing sunshine all alone. Huh? HUH?! Exactly.

Mission statement – 10%
Again, this is not a spaceship, and you are not an astronaut. Though if you could become one and then kindly launch yourself into the Sun, that’d be grand.

Pick it up and run with it – 10%
This phrase is even worse when you remember that it means doing someone else’s work for them. I don’t even want to do my own work, or run, so don’t make me run with someone else’s work.

Punch a puppy – 9%
Thankfully I have never heard anyone actually say this out loud, but apparently it means doing something horrible for the long term good of the company. I’m not sure how punching a puppy will do any good for it in the long term, and this phrase is almost certainly used almost exclusively to refer to firing people, so I hate it already.

Let’s get our ducks in a row – 9%
What? Please leave me alone in silence and peace.

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