Pier Recruitment
Brighton and Hove Recruitment
Brighton and Hove Recruitment

Annoying Phrases we are all guilty of using in the Workplace

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Annoying Phrases we are all guilty of using in the Workplace
(honestly we all do it, but why…just why)?

Almost every office or workplace across the nation has at least a few people who insist on using annoying phrases, euphemisms and jargon in most of their conversations. Admit it – even you have probably done it?

The reason why we find this jargon-laden gobbledygook so annoying, is that it generally sounds pretentious and makes the actual meaning of the conversation incredibly hard to ascertain.

For example, why use the phrase; “I need to hammer out a few calls to make sure I catch the low hanging fruit. I’ve touched base with a few people so far but can’t seem to get my ducks in a row, can I pick your brains to make sure we are on the same page?” Surely it would be so much easier to say; “I’m going to call a few people as there is some easy business about and I can’t be bothered to put much effort in to anything difficult right now. I’ve spoken to a few people already but I’m not very organised, so can I have a bit of help to double check I’m doing the right thing”. Was that easier to understand? – Yes, I thought so too!

Below are 40 (I know!) of our most disliked phrases in the Pier office, chances are you’d have heard quite a few of them before!


It’s on my radar. – Oh excellent, you have a radar? I wondered what that noise was in here!

Teamwork makes the dream work. – This may be true, but are we seriously going to use one of the cringiest phrases on the planet to explain this? Pass me the bucket. Now.

I am a self-starter. – Weren’t we all? Once upon a time?

Win-win. – Firstly, 10/10 for originality, you’ve done yourself proud on the creativity front! Secondly, it’s probably not win-win is it? No. You’re coming off better? I thought so.

Keep me in the loop. – Where is this loop and how do we get in it? Is it a theme park ride or some kind of box?

Bang-out an email. – Okay, does this sound like a bad verb choice with X-rated connotations, or is it just me?

Work hard, play hard. – Again, a slightly unnecessary choice or words. How does one actually play hard? Play football with a bowling ball?

Let’s take this off-piste! – We’re going skiing? SNOW WAY?! (See what I did there).

I’ve got a lot on my plate. – You don’t even have a plate……

You snooze you lose. – Not sure about this, sleep sounds pretty good to me!

If you pay peanuts, you’ll get a monkey. – This is not practical, but who would refuse a pet monkey?

It’s nice to put a face to a name. – Are you a detective? I didn’t do it, I swear!

Can I borrow you quickly? – I’m sorry, this is just creepy.

Push back on that. – There isn’t anything behind me…I can push you for saying that though?

The door is always open. – Blimey, you must spend a fortune on heating!

It is what it is. – Why thanks for that Sherlock. Specialist subject the bleedin’ obvious!

Let me pick your brains. – No. Ewwww.

Let’s touch base. – I don’t have a base and even if I did, I wouldn’t let you touch it.

I love number-crunching. – Why not just go to the gym?

The phones won’t pick themselves up! – This is definitely a great invention idea!

Let’s get our ducks in a row. – My ducks are quite argumentative, I don’t know about yours?

*walks in 10 minutes late* Good afternoon! – Again, you are SO original. Also, thank you for drawing attention to the fact I over-slept.

Are we on the same page? – I kinda’ hope not if you’re going to use that phrase.

It’s not about the money. – Are we sure about this?

We need to move the goalposts. – We’re in an office, not on a football pitch.

Working hard or hardly working? – Maybe you can decide this whilst you think about some new phrases to use?

You need to give 110%! – I was never good at maths, but I’m fairly sure this isn’t possible?

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. – Don’t worry I have a trolley.

Think outside the box. – I am not in the box and neither are you. Doesn’t this mean we are always thinking outside the box?

How long is a piece of string? – It can be as long as you want it to be, I guess?

There is no ‘I’ in team. – This is true, but there is one in ‘I’d love you to go away’!

Let’s put our cards on the table. – Do you want to play poker?

We just missed the window of opportunity! – This is either the most magical place ever or a really weird-sounding programme we missed on TV?

All hands on deck. – Again, we are in an office. Not on a boat or football pitch! Are you lost?

It’s a no-brainer. – Surely you’d be in a very bad way without a brain.

Dive deeper. – Leave me alone to float about in my rubber-ring. I’m perfectly happy.

At the end of the day. – How do you know what is going to happen? Last time I checked you were not a psychic, you just like to over-use annoying phrases.

Moving forward… – Well I wasn’t going to walk like a crab.

Back to the drawing board. – There is only a whiteboard in here…

Hammer-out. – Okay, pass the toolbox and I’ll give it a go.


Well, there you have it. Do you agree with our choices? Please, next time you over-use a euphemism or other kinds of work-related phrases, please take time to think about what you have just read.

Just call a spade a spade. It makes much more sense. – Literally.

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