In these trying times, we have to be agile, you know?
So yes, I will need you to hop on a Zoom call so we can close the loop and get this sorted.
If you’re guilty of saying anything along the lines of this, please, stop.
The Buzzsaw, an online tool that gets rid of buzzwords from press releases and blog posts, has revealed their list of the most annoying bits of jargon used in workplace emails from the past year.
As you’d expect, there are a lot of Covid-specific terms and phrases people have been chucking around with wild abandon at work – and it’s getting on everyone’s nerves.
‘Trying times’ is one turn of phrase that keeps popping up, often used as justification to get people to put in more out-of-hours work.
The same goes for ‘agile’ (eg. ‘we have an agile workplace where we’re all quickly adapting to the new normal’) and ‘we remain cautious’.
The list is based on submissions from editors and news correspondents around the world, so you can tell that these are the buzzwords that are being used with mind-numbing frequency.
Interestingly, the most cringe-inducing workplace word in 2021 has nothing to do with working from home or constant Zoom calls.
Taking the top spot is ‘cohort’, which judges described as the ‘latest expensive-sounding variation of the Human Resources Department’.
‘I miss the good old days, when group, team and colleagues were good enough,’ the added.
Top 10 most cringeworthy phrases in work emails for 2021:
And some of The Buzzsaw’s ‘dishonourable mentions’…
- Human capital
- Reach out
- Circle back
- Bake (as a noun)
- Going forward
- Build the dish
Source: The Buzzsaw
Before you pat yourself on the back for never typing any of the things on the list, do bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive recap of all irritating email habits.
Previous research has found that there’s plenty more you can do to piss off your coworkers, from starting emails with ‘hey’ to asking to ‘touch base’.
More most-hated workplace phrases:
Source: Premier Inn
And some more despised email cliches:
Source: Perkbox Insights
Next time you’re about to hit send on an office-wide email, we’d recommend going through your missive with a fine-tooth comb, and cutting out all jargon, cliches, and general annoyances.
Perhaps start by permanently removing the word ‘actionable’ from your vocabulary.
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