Let's hit the ground running by peeling the onion on why office jargon is best practice for communication.
AKA, let's start by examining if office jargon is most effective for communication.
It would appear the answer is no.
The modern day office is a minefield for employees it seems, with 70% of workers saying they switch off when their boss starts saying things like ‘think outside the box’ or ‘strategic staircase’.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 office workers in the UK, also found that four in 10 workers are often completely baffled by such phrases.
Other management speak guaranteed to confuse employees includes references to ‘low hanging fruit’, ‘a thought shower’ or the ‘helicopter view’.
This further backs up a study by Institute of Leadership & Management in 2014, which found that management speak is used in almost two thirds (64%) of offices, with nearly a quarter (23%) considering it to be a pointless irritation.
'Thinking outside the box' (57%), 'going forward' (55%) and 'let's touch base' (39%) were identified as the top three most overused pieces of jargon at the time.
“If you’ve ever sat in a meeting wondering what on earth colleagues are talking about, it seems you’re not the only one," says Jeremy Hulme, chief executive of animal charity SPANA, who conducted the research.
"We conducted this tongue-in-cheek survey to find out what bothers British workers and it’s clear that office jargon is a source of annoyance and confusion in workplaces up and down the country."
Just under a third of people admit they’ve had to look up the meaning of certain phrases used by another colleague. How many of the below have left you bemused?
The 50 most annoying phrases in UK offices
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 ahead
6. 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