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10 Most Liked & Hated Business Buzzwords People Say At Your Work (New Study)

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Business jargon, also known as corporate speak – is a collection of buzzwords and phrases that have a double meaning, in both a literal and business sense. Used wisely, they can smooth communication and enhance credibility; poorly used or misunderstood, they can do the opposite. 

Our study surveyed more than 1,551 Americans who worked in an office setting either in-person or remotely to find out which business words and phrases they liked and disliked most.

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The Most Liked And Hated Business Buzzwords

Here are Preply’s findings on the best and worst business buzzwords to use at work in 2022:

10 most frequently used business buzzwords

  1. Win-win
  2. Culture (e.g., “Company culture”)
  3. ASAP (as soon as possible)
  4. Think outside the box
  5. Moving forward/going forward
  6. Circle back
  7. It’s on my radar
  8. On the same page
  9. Bring to the table
  10. New normal

10 most annoying business buzzwords

  1. New normal
  2. Culture (e.g., “Company culture”)
  3. Circle back
  4. Boots on the ground
  5. Give 110%
  6. Low-hanging fruit
  7. Win-win
  8. Move the needle
  9. Growth hacking
  10. Think outside the box

10 least annoying business buzzwords:

  1. At the end of the day
  2. Debrief
  3. Sweep the floors
  4. SMB (Small and mid-size business)
  5. Table this
  6. B2C (Business-to-consumer)
  7. Blue sky thinking
  8. Ideate
  9. Game changer
  10. Teamwork/Teambuilding/Team players

10 terms most likely to be red flags in job descriptions:

  1. Rockstar
  2. Wear many hats
  3. Thick skin
  4. Work hard, play hard
  5. Schedule TBD
  6. Urgently hiring
  7. Ninja
  8. Hit the ground running
  9. Fast-paced environment
  10. Overachiever

10 terms least likely to be red flags in job descriptions:

  1. Proactive
  2. Empower
  3. Leverage
  4. Lots of perks and benefits
  5. Proven track record
  6. Resilient
  7. Fun/Amazing/Unique company culture
  8. Sense of humor
  9. Passionate
  10. Competitive salary

Mary Glowacka, Centre of Excellence Lead in the Human Resources Chapter of Preply, says:

“In the workplace, employees and people managers use a distinctive type of corporate jargon that can sound like a lot while meaning very little. These buzzwords can appear in emails, meetings, and conversations.

Buzzwords are common in the workplace, but a lot of people hate many of them. In addition, some buzzwords are so bad that if people see them in a job ad, some won't bother to apply. Those are some findings from our recent survey of 1,551 American office workers.

Business jargon is at times a necessary evil, with three out of four respondents saying it can make a person sound more professional, but that doesn’t mean people love every snappy catchphrase exchanged between coworkers.”

Business Buzzwords

Business Buzzwords


About Preply

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