‘Give 110 per cent’ is officially the most annoying phrase. Picture: iStock
‘Give 110 per cent’ is officially the most annoying phrase. Picture: iStock

40 cringe-worthy office terms your co-workers secretly hate

EVER caught yourself "giving 110 per cent" or "thinking outside the box"?

If so, you might be making your co-workers cringe.

New research suggests that seven in 10 workers are guilty of using the most cringe-worthy phrases at the office - with "give 110 per cent" the leading offender.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with a company called Jive Communications, looked at the communication behaviours of 2000 American workers and compiled a list of the 40 most cringe-worthy office phrases.

And if you have ever "hammered it out" or "circled back" then you probably had many a co-worker roll their eyes after a conversation with you.

Ever stood at the water cooler and stumbled into a conversation between two colleagues? Then you've probably heard some uttering awkward phrases like "let's ballpark this" and "run this up the flagpole".

What about "synergy"? Ranked at 13, this is a word that many people at the office can't stand to hear.

While we've all gone "back to the drawing board", 27 per cent of workers can't help but shut down and stop listening when anyone feels the need to use that phrase at the office.

According to 72 per cent of workers, these annoying words and phrases are used out of habit.

However, that doesn't mean that there aren't token office jokesters who use cringe-worthy phrases at work to test their workmates.

In fact, 29 per cent of employees use these phrases for this exact reason, while 22 per cent use them for assimilation purposes.

"We've all been guilty of using these phrases, whether out of habit or not," senior vice president of Jive Communications John Pope said.

"While many of these phrases are helpful in conveying a message, I think this study will open a lot of people's eyes.

"It will help many of us to think twice about overusing phrases in the office, as well as the best way to communicate with or motivate those we work with."

And even though six out of 10 people can't even understand some of these annoying phrases, it doesn't seem like this trend is going to be ending any time soon.

As a result, while you may not understand what someone means when they says "blue-sky thinking" or "boil the ocean", you might just have to get used to hearing these phrases more often than not.

"These phrases definitely aren't going anywhere anytime soon," Mr Pope said.

"There's a reason they're so well-known and exercised within office spaces. However, overuse has diluted the meaning of many phrases.

"If you're constantly told to give a project '110 per cent', over time it will lose its power and effect. Our goal should be to use such jargon sparingly, and when the moment calls for it."


The Top 40 most cringe-worthy phrases:

1. Give 110 per cent

2. Think outside the box

3. Hammer it out

4. Heavy lifting

5. Throw them under the bus

6. Don't count your chickens before they've hatched

7. Pushing the envelope

8. Let the cat out of the bag

9. Let's circle back

10. Win-win situation

11. Blue-sky thinking

12. Boil the ocean

13. Synergy

14. Low-hanging fruit

15. Take it to the next level

16. Barking up the wrong tree

17. Going forward

18. Let's ballpark this

19. Run this up the flagpole

20. Back to square one

21. There's no I in team

22. Back to the drawing board

23. Paradigm shift

24. Elephant in the room

25. Raise the bar

26. Drill down

27. Best thing since sliced bread

28. Deep dive

29. Skin in the game

30. Reach out

31. Touch base

32. Play hardball

33. Don't reinvent the wheel

34. Kept in the loop

35. The bottom line

36. Down the road

37. I'll loop you in

38. Hit the nail on the head

39. ASAP

40. Team player

This story originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission.

FULL LIST: Bundaberg Magistrates Court appearances today

Premium Content FULL LIST: Bundaberg Magistrates Court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Bundaberg Magistrates Court

FLASHBACK: Fishing inspectors never seen again after patrol

Premium Content FLASHBACK: Fishing inspectors never seen again after patrol

One man was on his first patrol, the other on his last, both vanished, while...

LIVESTREAM: Watch action from day 2 of state cricket titles

Premium Content LIVESTREAM: Watch action from day 2 of state cricket titles

Watch the Queensland under 16 cricket boys finals