Our most hated business jargon is revealed…

A new nationwide study has revealed the most hated business jargon phrases, according to the nation’s office workers, with “blue sky thinking” voted the most annoying.

The term is used to mean coming up with completely new ideas that are not limited by current thinking or beliefs, and 27 percent of those polled said it drove them up the wall.

“Think outside the box” (think in an original way) came second, with 26 percent of the vote, and in third place “low hanging fruit” (the most obvious or easy things that can be done) with 23 percent.

Also to make the list of the UK’s most infuriating office jargon was “touch base” (23 percent), “stay ahead of the curve” (20 percent) and “ducks in a row” (20 percent).

The study, by Telford-based communications solutions specialist Enreach, revealed that “there’s plenty of ways to skin a rabbit” (18 percent) and “throwing a curveball” (17 percent) were also terms that wound British workers up.

Other pet peeves when it comes to office jargon include “game changer” (17 percent), “moving the goalposts” (16 percent), “bring to the table” (16 percent) and “ballpark figure” (16 percent).

Office workers also can’t stand business jargon like “riding the wave” (15 percent), “synergy” (14 percent) and “drill down” (14 percent).

And it’s no surprise that almost one in two office workers (47 percent) admit business jargon is the most annoying thing ever.

In fact 46 percent say that colleagues guilty of using business jargon come across like they’re trying really hard to impress, while 43 percent just find them irritating.

Over a fifth (21 percent) of the 1,500 working Brits polled claim they would run a mile if they went to a job interview and their potential employer kept using lots of business jargon.

And amusingly 44 percent said if they had a pound for everytime their boss used office jargon, then they would be a millionaire by now.

Yet almost two thirds (64 percent) confess they find themselves sometimes using the dreaded jargon – with one in ten (eight percent) saying they can’t help but do it constantly.

A spokesperson from Enreach said: “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.

“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. Jargon phrases are clogging up valuable time with vague ideas, when people actually need to be making the most of their work hours to maintain a proper work-life balance. As a business we make a conscious effort to avoid jargon and unhelpful acronyms and deliver first class, easy to understand communications to our customers.”

The study also found that 90 percent of workers believe some people use business talk and phrases to try and cover up the fact that they have NO IDEA what they’re doing.

And then three in ten employees (31 percent) can’t understand what their boss is talking about thanks to the constant use of business jargon – with a quarter admitting they’ve been completely baffled by work documents full of these terms.

68 percent think more people working in business should be trying to make communication more straightforward, with 36 percent arguing that office jargon is stuffy and outdated.

The data also revealed that just under a fifth (19 percent) of the office workers polled confess they have a “work personality” that’s completely at odds with who they are outside of work.

In fact, over a third (35 percent) admit that the way they talk at work could be considered cringeworthy.

1 Blue sky thinking 27%
2 Think outside the box 26%
3 Low hanging fruit 23%
4 Touch base 23%
5 Stay ahead of the curve 20%
6 Ducks in a row 20%
7 There’s plenty of ways to skin a rabbit 18%
8 Throwing a curveball 17%
9 Game changer 17%
10 Moving the goalposts 16%
11 Bring to the table 16%
12 Ballpark figure 16%
13 Riding the wave 15%
14 Drill down 14%
15 Taking a deep dive 14%
16 Playing hardball 14%
17 Shift a paradigm 14%
18 Level playing field 14%
19 Synergy 14%
20 Deep dive 13%
21 Close of play 13%
22 Onboarding 13%
23 Raising the bar 13%
24 A tiger team 13%
25 The bottom line 13%
26 Moving forward 13%
27 On the same page 13%
28 Stop before the wheels fall off 12%
29 Get granular 12%
30 On your radar 12%