Survey reveals the top 50 most irritating office lingo

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10th December 2015 12:17 - Business Support

A survey of 2,000 office workers, by working animal charity, SPANA, has revealed that many employees find office lingo such as ‘reach out’, Survey reveals the top 50 most irritating office lingo‘peel the onion’ or it’s on my radar’ cheesy and annoying.

Of the respondents, 70 per cent said that they don’t listen to their boss after hearing office phrases such as ‘the strategic staircase’ or ‘think outside the box’. As well as this, it was discovered that 40 per cent of the respondents do not understand what their boss is saying when they use such terms.

The survey revealed that other management speak such as ‘low hanging fruit’ and ‘helicopter view’ is certain to puzzle workers. However, despite the confusion and annoyance surrounding office speak, 15 per cent admitted to occasionally using terms such as ‘it’s not rocket science’ and ‘run this up the flagpole’ to sound like they know what they’re talking about.

Chief Executive Officer at SPANA, Jeremy Hulme, said of the research findings:

"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.

"If you've ever sat in a meeting wondering what on earth colleagues are talking about, it seems you're not the only one.”

25 per cent of the respondents admitted to trying to incorporate as many management phrases as possible in order to pass the time.

Just less than 1 in 3 respondents said that they have had to search for the definition of a certain phrase following a conversation with a colleague.

1 in 5 British people admitted that they have attended a meeting where they were unsure what was being said. A further 1 in 5 said that they have experienced a confusing phone call, whereby the person on the other end used that much office speak, that they did not know what was being said.

Of the respondents, 70 per cent said that those who use management speak came across as trying to be someone they are not and 74 per cent said that management speak in the office is pointless and annoying.

A quarter of the respondents said that they are ashamed of themselves when they realise that they have used such phrases. A further 1 in 5 said that annoying office lingo makes them enjoy their job less.

The market research found that the top 50 most annoying management speak phrases are:

1. Blue sky thinking
2. Think outside the box
3. Touch base offline

4. Close of play
5. Going forward
6. No brainer
7. Action that
8. Drill down
9. Thought shower
10. Flogging a dead horse
11. Hot desking
12. Heads up
13. It's on my radar
14. Joined up thinking

15. Bring to the table
16. Punch a puppy
17. Run this up the flagpole
18. Cracking the whip
19. Moving the goalposts
20. EOP
21. Working fingers to the bone
22. Game changer
23. It's not rocket science
24. Hit the ground running
25. Ping
26. Low hanging fruit
27. Singing from the same hymn sheet
28. Strategic staircase
29. Park something
30. Benchmark
31. COB
32. Reach out
33. Re-inventing the wheel
34. Dot the I's and cross the t's
35. Best practice
36. Al Desko
37. Backburner
38. Pick it up and run with it
39. Play hardball
40. This idea has legs
41. Synergy
42. I'm swamped
43. It's a win / win
44. Look under the bonnet
45. Quick and dirty
46. Peel the onion
47. Out of the loop
48. Wow factor
49. Helicopter view
50. Elevator pitch

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