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Avoid these 5 ‘annoying’ words and phrases at work–what to say instead


Have you ever looked at an email filled with corporate lingo and scowled? 

It doesn’t matter if you answered “today” and “this week”, people get fed up with the workplace jargon. The collective exasperated sighs of employees can be heard across the internet, as tweets and videos ridiculing phrases like “per mine last email” (circle back) are gaining millions of views. 

According to recent research from Slack, 63% of workers find it “off-putting” when colleagues use workplace jargon in their communication, and 78% reported stopping themselves from talking or sending messages to avoid using jargon. This report was based upon survey results from more than 2,000 workers who were both remote and mixed in the United States. 

However, as much as workers loathe such clichés, 89% admitted to relying on workplace jargon in conversations with clients, managers and colleagues to “sound more professional” or “maintain office norms.”

According to Slack these are the five worst workplace jargons. We also have tips on how to better communicate at work. 


The reason it is so annoyingJaime DeLanghe is senior principal at Slack’s product management. He says that the “ASAP” label is problematic since it “communicates urgency but lacks clarity.” CNBC Make It. Everyone’s “ASAP” has different meanings, too – yours might mean the end of the week, but your boss’s could mean the end of the day, which can exacerbate tension and work delays.

Instead, here are some things to think about: You can choose a particular date or time. Emily Liou, a career coach, suggests writing “Is it possible for me to get this by EOD?” in a request to someone – that way, the receiver can respond with a more realistic timeline if needed and you “avoid disappointment on both ends,” she adds.

Keep me informed 

The reason it is so annoying DeLanghe said that this phrase is similar to “ASAP” and lacks clarity regarding expectations. DeLanghe says that this phrase can be redundant or indicate a lack in trust, particularly when used in management relationships. 

Instead, here are some things to think about: You should establish a schedule for when you will meet with the other person communicating about this topic. This could include specific actions words and measurable metrics. DeLanghe recommends saying, “Please keep me updated on X date” or when X milestone is reached.”

‘Team player’

The reason it is so annoyingDeLanghe states that, even though it is meant to compliment someone, telling them they are a “team member” or asking them to become one can be passive aggressive, or even directive. As we continue to work through a pandemic, workers have dealt with a lot of stress and unexpected challenges, too, – and this kind of comment can sound like it’s encouraging overwork. 

Instead, here are some things to think about: Liou suggests that there are many other phrases you can use to show appreciation for your colleague. You can say, “I appreciate your!” Oder “I appreciate that you are part of this team!” 

‘Give 110%’

The reason it is so annoying Who has the 110% of their time to put in work? Many people feel stretched beyond their capabilities,” DeLanghe said, pointing out the increase in resignations as well as mental health problems. She adds that hearing this can make you feel like you aren’t working hard enough. 

Instead, here are some things to think about: Liou recommends that inclusive language be used to motivate employees and teams. Positive alternatives to “Let’s try our best” include “We can do this,” “We will do it”, and “You’re going to crush that”. 

“Just checking in” 

The reason it is so annoying “Just checking in” is arguably one of the most popular phrases in our workplace vernaculars – but sometimes it can come across as “passive aggressive,” De Langhe points out. It can even suggest a sense that there is a ‘prefailure’, like “Hey! I just checked in” because it didn’t tell me what was happening. 

Instead, here are some things to think about: Liou advises that you ask directly for progress updates on tasks if you are looking for one. Or, you can ask Liou directly: “How is everything?”

Slack found that employees prefer casual and concise communications, which sometimes include emojis and GIFs. Respondents felt that communication with GIFs and emojis made their work environment more open, inclusive and flexible. They also found it easier to feel authentic and more at home in the workplace. 

DeLanghe recommends asking colleagues about their communication preferences. According to DeLanghe, “The way that we communicate with one another has changed.” She also says adapting your communication style is an indicator of workplace respect. Do not be afraid to ask for different communications or take initiative to correspond with colleagues in the best possible way.

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