In a professional environment or indeed anywhere else for that matter, the manner in which we communicate with others is highly important. Generally, any given individual with want others to like them and to respect their opinion, but particularly in the office there are a few select phrases and buzzwords which, while not outwardly offensive or otherwise socially unacceptable, could well have the opposite effect.

Indeed anyone who regularly makes use of these phrases is sure to garner little but the irritation and annoyance of their colleagues. Fortunately, online office furniture retailer Kit Out My Office has continued their annual survey of more than 2,500 office employees across the UK in order to ascertain the most hated office jargon. Within the survey responses and rankings were provided for both the most ‘annoying’ and the most ‘irritating’ phrases, and the difference is worth noting.

The most irritating office phrases of 2017 are:

1. Think outside the box
2. Hit the ground running
3. Do more with less
4. Can I borrow you for a second?
5. Amazeballs

The most annoying office phrases of 2017 are:

1. Think outside the box
2. It’s not rocket science
3. Amazeballs
4. Going forward
5. Can I borrow you for a second?

In contrast, the least annoying office phrases of 2017 are:

1. It is what it is
2. Best-practice
3. No brainer
4. Cool beans
5. Move the goalposts?

As anyone who likes to keep track of such trends will note, many of the responses are the same as in previous years; though this year did provide a few new entrants. Gareth Jones, who compiled the survey, commented on how office jargon is often used as a tool to make a task or job seem bigger or better than it actually is.

He said, “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 New Year’s Resolution in your office to stamp-out jargon in 2018 could definitely help to improve morale.

“We honestly hoped to see a little more variety versus last year, as we hoped people would start cutting out annoying office phrases. However, they’re still being used widely, which provides us with a reason for continuing to undertake the survey,” added Mr Jones.

Dr Julia Claxton, Principal Lecturer in Leadership and Organisational Development at Leeds Beckett University, also commented, “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.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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