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Hated Office Jargon Makes Employees Tune Out More Than Bringing Synergy

Synergy and teamwork are important elements in any business environment but more people hate those terms than any others in offices.

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Hated Office Jargon Makes Employees Tune Out More Than Bringing Synergy

Teamwork is an important part of any company, but it’s near the top of the list of the most hated office jargon according to a recent poll of 1,000 employees across the U.S., but nothing brings people more than synergy, at least when it comes to buzzwords they hate most.

Here’s more about the recent hated office jargon poll from an MSN report:

Even while working remotely, many office workers are still exposed to buzzwords when they “touch base” with the boss over email, Teams, Slack and Zoom.

Some phrases tend to get under people’s skin more than others and a 2019 GetResponse survey polled 1,000 U.S. employees to determine the absolute worst of the worst.

Synergy was crowned the most hated office jargon with about 4.3 percent of respondents naming it their least-favorite phrase uttered by their coworkers, managers or clients. Teamwork comes next, with more than 3.4 percent of respondents naming it their most hated office jargon.

Touch base followed with about 2.1 percent of the respondents saying it’s their least favorite saying they hear in and around the office.

I wasn’t asked to participate in this poll, but I can tell you without question my most hated office jargon is “ideate.” Apparently, it’s a word but why can’t those who use it just say “think?” I also don’t love when someone says they’ll ping me—and I didn’t exactly know what it meant until very recently.

Related: Can You Guess What AV Keywords Customers Search to Find Their Next AV Experience?

In general, I try to avoid office jargon at all costs, but it’s an easy crutch for business leaders to lean on when they’re trying to deliver an important message to their employees. What they might not realize is if they rely too much on office jargon, employees are more likely to tune them out than back them up.

How many of these examples of most hated office jargon do you use regularly with your employees or do you have others you rely on most? Can we all make a deal to think twice the next time we’re about to spew one of these phrases next time and maybe find a simpler, clearer way to express ourselves?

Hated Office Jargon

About the Author


Craig MacCormack is a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering local and national news and sports as well as architecture and engineering before moving into his current role. He joined Commercial Integrator in January 2011.

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  • Bob O’Neil says:

    Two of my personal favorites aren’t on the list, but they are offenders nonetheless.

    I have worked in AV Sales and Design for many years; working with GCs, Consultants and Architects.

    A few years ago I began to hear people who should know better talking about “architecting” an AV design. This reminded me of an ad for mens clothing that was epic in its pretentiousness because it referred to “a collection of shirtings”. (I have never spent a dime with that store since.)

    Architects are licensed and I suppose there are those who embrace the word now as a verb, but I believe that contributes to how language becomes diluted.

    Number two is “utilize”. We have resources to help with our work; we should use them as is necessary. If you’re a magazine writer and are paid by the word, or the letter you may embrace utilize in lieu of use. But remember they’re different words with different meanings. Utilize is to make or render useful…that’s not the same as “utilize your marketing team to tell our story”.

    We work in a great industry and our work is honorable. No need to make things more murky with these two terms or the Hit Parade assembled by Mr. MacCormack. He did a great job.

    Our job is to stop relying on junk words and phrases.

    The Elements of Style is still relevant to anyone who uses writing in their work.

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