banned in the office

There are some cliched corporate phrases that get thrown around in the office that we would be very happy to never hear again, or at the very least, change how they are used. There are some serial offenders such as ‘blue-sky thinking’ and ‘ping over’ when referring to emails, and the more we hear them the more we cringe inside.

We’re not alone though! Research carried out by Glassdoor discovered that 7 out of 10 people switch off as soon as phrases like the aforementioned, or ‘helicopter view’ (what?!), are mentioned in the office. Some workplaces have gone one step further by introducing a strict no jargon policy.

We recently had a chat in the office about which phrases we think should be banned in the office which then spawned the creation of this blog post – we’ve listed out some of our favourites below with a reason why we would veto each one.


Game changer – unless you’re Cristiano Ronaldo bearing down on goal Juve or Serena Williams in a Wimbledon final, you’re probably not a literal game changer. People have a tendency to use this if they’ve come up with an idea during a ‘thought shower’ (that’s another one to ban right now). And, whilst it’s great to celebrate good ideas, maybe don’t call it a ‘game changer’.

Park something – if something has to stop for the time-being, it’s just as easy to say that you’ll take it off your list rather than proverbially ‘parking’ something. Unnecessary wording that can be simplified and mean the exact same thing.

It’s on my radar – it sounds like a fob-off – like you forgot something or didn’t even remember in the first place, to say something is ‘on your radar’ is a bit cringey. Just say you’ll look into it or you’re aware of it.

Synergy – ugh. Next please!

Drill down – into what? Are you drilling for gold? Maybe figuratively speaking, but this phrase doesn’t really mean anything. Rather than ‘drill down’ something, just try and ‘discuss’ and ‘finalise’.

Does that make sense? – a helpful one but this made it on our list because of its overuse, does that make sense?

Just – Perhaps we just use this one a little too much too. Just wanted to check your thoughts?

110% – this simply cannot be done. There are variations of this percentage too, in one instance we’ve definitely heard someone reckon they gave it ‘1,050%’. No you didn’t.

Hit the ground running – we’re all for starting a piece of work with enthusiasm and passion, but we don’t just start that way, we carry it through to the end. This one doesn’t sit quite right with us.

Touch base – simply too buzzwordy for our liking.


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Nicole Jowett