Of all the things that define Britain’s working culture in 2017, few divide opinion as strongly as office buzzwords and jargon. Now, new research has settled once and for all which phrases and cliches employers should stamp out of the workplace to restore a sense of reason.
After surveying the opinions of 2,000 UK office employees, recruitment site Glassdoor has announced a game-changing list of 12 buzzwords threatening to push staff over the edge.
The 12 most infuriating office buzzwords as submitted by UK employees
- Touch base – 24 per cent
To meet in person and talk about a specific issue.
- Blue sky thinking – 21 per cent
Creative thinking that breaks away from confined, ordinary ideas.
- We’re on a journey – 13 per cent
Suggesting a team has not reached its mission but is on its way.
- Game changer – 13 per cent
Something that dramatically changes assumptions about how things are done.
- No-brainer – 13 per cent
Something immediately obvious or irrefutably a good idea.
- Thought shower – 11 per cent
A meeting to freely discuss new ideas in their early stages.
- Run it up the flagpole – 11 per cent
To trail or present an idea to see what kind of reaction it gets.
- If you don’t like it get off the bus – ten per cent
Suggestion that someone should just leave a company if they’re not happy.
- Mission statement – ten per cent
An assertion of values an motivations with regard to a company and its work.
- Pick it up and run with it – ten per cent
Continuing with a project that was started by someone else.
- Punch a puppy – nine per cent
To do something horrible for the long–term good of the company.
- Let’s get our ducks in a row – nine per cent
To fix different interests, parties and priorities in preparation for an event.
According to Gareth Jones, business manager at furniture retailer Kit Out My Office, office buzzwords are often used to elevate menial tasks, but were generally innocent in their use.
Jones added: “The modern working life is fast-paced, and as such we strive to deliver information in a clear and concise manner. The downside of this is it is a breeding ground for jargon. Setting a collective resolution in your office to stamp-out jargon could definitely help to improve morale.”
We asked Twitter which office buzzwords were the most controversial
Low hanging fruit, Bottom it out, Skin in the game…
— Jessica Morgan (@cornwalljess) July 26, 2017
Blue sky thinking! And WIGIG! — Poppy-PR (@Poppy__PR) July 26, 2017
“Let’s take this offline…” — Ben Hunte (@BenInLDN) July 26, 2017
“touchbase” and “All hands on deck” 😩😩 — Jakiya Rahman (@BurgundyPanda) July 26, 2017
“Cascade that information down.” Oh right. You mean “tell people.” — Christopher Graham (@tophergraham) July 26, 2017
“Reach out” — Emily Rogers (@EmilyRDent) July 26, 2017
Commenting on the rise of workplace jargon, Dr Julia Claxton, principal lecturer in leadership and organisational development at Leeds Beckett University, suggested untrammeled use of office buzzwords could have a more sinister impact.
“Hurt feelings, unclear goals and ambiguous strategies are just a few examples of issues that can arise and contribute to low morale and are the basis of an ineffective team that can be easily avoided,” she said.
Revealed: The UK’s ten worst sickie excuses used to get out of work
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.