The bottom line is… we are sick of jargon! Most office workers believe business-speak is a sign of incompetence, survey shows
- ‘Blue-sky thinking’ topped a list of the most-hated workplace jargon
- ‘Low-hanging fruit’ and ‘touch base’ also came out near the top of the list
- Enreach polled 1,500 workers and said the jargon was trying too hard to impress
You might think business jargon can help you stay ahead of the curve – but most office workers believe it shows you do not know what you are doing.
And ‘blue-sky thinking’ – meaning trying to find completely new ideas – is the most annoying workplace phrase of all, according to a survey of Britons.
It topped the list on 27 per cent, while 26 per cent of respondents said ‘think outside the box’ is the most grating.
‘Blue-sky thinking’ topped the list on 27 per cent, while 26 per cent of respondents said ‘think outside the box’ is the most grating jargon
Next are ‘low-hanging fruit’ – something that is easily attained or dealt with – and ‘touch base’, meaning briefly make contact, on 23 per cent, the poll of 1,500 office workers found.
A whopping 90 per cent of respondents feel some people use jargon to try to cover up their shortcomings.
Nearly half (46 per cent) said colleagues who deploy these phrases come across as trying really hard to impress, while 43 per cent just find them irritating.
Duncan Ward of communications firm Enreach, which conducted the research, said: ‘At a time when we still may not be face to face with our colleagues, simple, clear communication is one of the most important things that we all need.’
More than a fifth (21 per cent) of the 1,500 people polled say they would run a mile if they went to a job interview and their potential employer kept using business jargon.
And 44 per cent said if they had a pound for every time their boss used office jargon, then they would be rich by now.
But almost two-thirds (64 per cent) confess they find themselves sometimes using the dreaded jargon themselves.
Mr Ward added: ‘Our research shows that communicating effectively at work is vital, as so many of us haven’t got time to waste.
‘Business jargon is clearly making that difficult, with the results from this study demonstrating that phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’ are unhelpful and even off-putting, and that people would prefer to understand more clearly what their colleagues mean.’