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15 office jargon phrases that HR managers hate

Melissa Jones  |  22 September, 2016

Today’s workplace is overcrowded with buzzwords, clichés and jargon. Some of these words and phrases are more common, and irritating, than others. A survey of HR managers, conducted by Accountemps, has found out which are the most annoying or overused buzzwords at work. Here are some of the top 15 culprits.

Think outside the box

Saying this just proves you’re well and truly stuck inside the box.


“Oh I was really hoping for your dishonest opinion” said no one. Ever.

Reach out

You’re going to call or email someone. 

Touch base

Again, you’re going to call or email someone but this just makes it sound like its already going to be a complete waste of your time.

Let’s take this conversation offline

So you’d like to talk about this another time? Why don’t you just say that?

It’s not rocket science

No, it certainly isn’t, unless you work for NASA, in which case this statement can stand. But just because something isn’t rocket science, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard!

Strategic + any word

Should you ever not be thinking strategically when you’re at work?

Pick your brain

Just no. Ask me what I think.

Let me get back to you

Just admit you don’t know, that’s ok, we don’t all know everything.  

Forward thinking

You should always be evaluating and considering how you can move forward. 

Crunch time

If there is one way to add pressure to an already high pressured situation such as a deadline its to call it this. Helpful.


A notorious offender, but not the worst by any means. Does anyone even know what is meant when this is used?


I know, let’s swap around the order of the words to make this phrase seem dynamic. Plus, when do you ever want to do something that takes away value?


Just say you’re going to use something!

Off the grid/unplugged

So you’re not going to check your emails or take calls. I’m sure you’ve earned the privilege, just say it for what it is.

Comment and let us know which corporate jargon you really can't stand.

Why not check out this video from Weird Al who just sums up the use of workplace buzzwords so well!

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