Have you ever said something perfectly innocent at work and ended up quite taken aback at the lukewarm response you received? Do your motivational Monday morning speeches end up leaving your team more deflated than they were before they heard your words of wisdom?
Perhaps the problem is that you’re using one, some or even all of the most irritating workplace phrases as voted for by UK employees. If you want to avoid being given the cold shoulder, here are the phrases you really should be avoiding.
The most irritating workplace phrases
10) ‘Just playing devil’s advocate’. It seems as though if you have an opinion about something, your colleagues want you to be committed to it.
9) ‘Blue sky thinking’. Creativity is a given in most jobs so it’s likely that this phrase annoys people because it’s stating the obvious.
8) ‘I’m stacked’
7) ‘Pick your brains’. Most of us will have heard this phrase at some point but apparently our colleagues/employees don’t like it one bit. Try something more sincere such as ‘I would really value your opinion on this’.
5) ‘Keep me in the loop’
4) ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’. If you don’t want to irritate your colleagues, try to avoid cheesy phrases such as this one.
3) ‘Think outside the box’. This is very similar to ‘blue sky thinking’ which emphasises once again that UK workers really don’t like it when people state the obvious.
2) ‘How long is a piece of string?’ It would appear that being ambiguous won’t win you any friends in the office either.
1) ‘Can I borrow you for a sec?’ This may seem like a perfectly polite way of asking someone for their time but according to this survey, it is officially the most annoying thing you can say in the office.
The most overused sayings in the workplace
As well as being questioned about the phrases they find the most annoying, British workers were also asked what they think are the most overused.
10) ‘Move the goalpost’
9) ‘Can you shed some light on this?’
8) ‘Back to the drawing board’
7) ‘How long is a piece of string?’ As well as the second most annoying phrase you can use, this has also been voted the seventh most overused.
6) ‘All hands on deck’
5) ‘Get the ball rolling’
4) ‘Keep me in the loop’. Another one that has featured in both lists – it was also voted the fifth most annoying phrase.
3) ‘Think outside the box’. Both the third most irritating and overused phrase.
2) ‘Can I pick your brains’. Again, not only are you probably saying it too much but you can guarantee that doing so is annoying your colleagues.
1) ‘Can I borrow you for a sec?’ It seems as though British workers really don’t like this saying. Not only was it voted the most annoying, but also the most overused.
What do you think are the most annoying or overused phrases at work? Feel free to let us know your thoughts below.