Press Center / Press Releases / 2017-07-26


A new Glassdoor survey reveals that the UK’s most annoying office buzzwords are “touch base”, followed by “blue sky thinking” and “we’re on a journey”. 

LONDON (26th July, 2017) - A new Glassdoor survey(1) released today reveals that the UK’s most annoying office buzzwords are “touch base”, followed by “blue sky thinking” and “we’re on a journey”. Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, identified what words irritate UK employees the most in order to offer advice to job seekers on the use of office jargon.

The UK’s most annoying office jargon:

  • Touch base (according to 24 percent of employees)
  • To meet or talk about a specific issue
  • Blue sky thinking (21 percent)
  • Creative thinking not grounded in reality
  • We’re on a journey (13 percent)
  • Highlighting that a company, team or project has not yet reached its mission or objective
  • Game changer (13 percent)
  • A product, idea or process that represents a significant shift in thinking or way of doing things
  • No-brainer (13 percent)
  • Claiming that something is an irrefutably good idea
  • Thought shower (11 percent)
  • A meeting to share ideas, often without considering practical limitations
  • Run it up the flagpole (11 percent)
  • To present an idea and see if it generates a favourable reaction
  • If you don’t like it, get off the bus (10 percent)
  • Implying that a colleague should leave a company if they are unhappy
  • Mission statement (10 percent)
  • A stated “reason for being” in respect of a company and its activities
  • Pick it up and run with it (10 percent)
  • To continue an activity or process that someone else has started, often when that person could not finish it or make it work
  • Punch a puppy (9 percent)
  • To do something horrible for the greater good
  • Let’s get our ducks in a row (9 percent)
  • To align a team or multiple parties in preparation for an event or discussion

The words “stakeholder”, “paradigm shift”, “bandwidth” and “roadmap” were picked by only 5 percent or less of employees questioned.

David Whitby, UK Country Manager at Glassdoor said: “No one wants to be the office jargon junkie but who isn’t guilty of using some of these buzzwords from time to time?! Phrases like ‘touch base’ and ‘no-brainer’ have certainly entered the common vernacular, but beware overusing jargon. It’s important to remember that each company and office may well have its own culture, language quirks and acronyms, so new starters should try and get to grips with that quickly to help integrate.”

Tips for job seekers on the use of office jargon:

  • Don’t overuse buzzwords in an interview. It’s easy to want to mimic language and mannerisms in order to fit in, but make sure you understand your acronyms and phrases before throwing them into conversation!
  • Research the language that current employees use. Have a look at Glassdoor and company social media feeds to see if a company or workplace has any language quirks before you start a new job.
  • Don’t fill your CV with jargon. Chances are, if you pack your CV or social media profiles with buzzwords, it will reflect badly on your personal brand and you’ll look like you don’t know what you are talking about.
  • Remain respectful. Don’t be tempted to be over-familiar with an interviewer or new colleagues. Slang might not be well received on your first day in a new job.

Find more job seeker tips on the Glassdoor blog.



  1. The Glassdoor survey of 2,000 people was conducted within Great Britain by OnePoll on behalf of Glassdoor from 29/03/17-04/04/17. For more, please contact