13 June 2018
How to irritate your colleagues

It may have not occurred to you, but the question ‘Can I borrow you for a sec?’ is a certified way to annoy your colleagues. Who knew? The latest research conducted by jobsite discovered that the harmless question is in fact the most used phrase (41%) but also the most annoying (31%). You are probably remembering the time you said that exact phrase only a few days ago – we know that we are!

Reed conducted the survey on 2000 workers and found the most overused sayings. The phrase to reach the number two spot was  ‘How long is a piece of string?’ (33%) shortly followed by ‘Move the goal post’ (28%). I don’t know about you, but we haven’t heard those in a long time!

Mark Rhodes, Marketing Director at

‘As we spend a large proportion of daily lives at work, business jargon can sometimes help us identify with colleagues and it’s easy to pick up and repeat common workplace sayings. But, as our research has shown, it can also be confusing and in some cases, extremely irritating. In fact, many companies implement a jargon-free policy in the workplace to ensure conversations are easy to digest. So, rather than fall back on clichéd workplace phrases, think about the point you want to get across and how to express it in a more simple and direct way – you may actually see more positive results.’

Maybe next time in the office, be aware of what sayings have been found to irritate people. Ever heard of the saying ‘Teamwork makes the dreamwork?’. Well 9% of British workers stated how that was the second most irritating phrase used in the work in environment  followed by ‘win-win’ (9%) and ‘blue sky thinking’ (8%).

The recent study also discovered that not everyone knows what half the sayings actually mean! Reed found that:

‘Dial it up’ is the most misunderstood expression in the workplace, with two fifths (42 per cent) believing it means ‘make a phone call’ rather than ‘amplify’. A further 41 per cent think that ‘What’s the red thread?’ is code for ‘What’s the risk?’ when in fact it means ‘What is the consistent theme?’ Another two in five (42 per cent) believe ‘let’s take it offline’ means ‘let’s discontinue this email conversation and continue it face-to-face’ when it actually means ‘Let’s discuss that after the meeting in private’.

It is no surprise that slang and abbreviations made the list:

‘OMG’ (26%)

‘LOL’ (19%)

‘On fleek’ (4%)

So next time you open your mouth, just think about what is about to come out. After all, teamwork does indeed make the dream work. LOL!

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