These are the 10 most popular and annoying business jargon in the workplace

 In Business

These are the 10 most popular and annoying business jargon in the workplace

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; used badly, or misunderstood, they can do the opposite. In a recent report, more than three-quarters of our 1,551 survey respondents said that business jargon makes people sound more professional, and almost as many say that it’s precisely the reason why they use it themselves. In addition, they shared what they considered to be the most popular and annoying business jargon that they hear in the workplace:

Our study features data collected from 1,551 Americans surveyed across all 50 states working in an office or remote environment and addresses the following topics: how frequently business buzzwords are used in the workplace, the most popular business jargon, the most hated business jargon, are business buzzwords a red flag in job descriptions?

Each business buzzword has been ranked in accordance with the most and least popular, the ones considered the most and least annoying ones used in the workplace, and those in job descriptions that are most or least likely to be red flags for potential candidates.

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Here are the 10 most frequently used business buzzwords, according to Preply:

  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

Here are the 10 least used business buzzwords:

  1. Sweep the floors

  2. SMB (Small and mid-size business)

  3. Ideate

  4. Blue sky thinking

  5. B2C (Business-to-consumer)

  6. Synergy

  7. At the end of the day

  8. Table this

  9. Huddle

  10. Holistic approach

Here are the 10 most annoying business buzzwords, according to Preply:

  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

Here are the 10 least annoying business buzzwords:

  1. At the end of the day

  2. Debrief

  3. SMB (Small and mid-size business)

  4. Table this

  5. B2C (Business-to-consumer)

  6. Blue sky thinking

  7. Ideate

  8. Game changer

  9. Teamwork/Teambuilding/Team players

Here are the 10 terms most likely to be red flags in job descriptions, according to Preply:

  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

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Here are the 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



This survey received 1,551 responses from Americans in all 50 states who are working in an office or remote setting. Respondents were aged 38 on average and 54% identified as male, 45% identified as female, and 1% identified as non-binary.

Andreas Kyprianou, Senior Director of People Ops, Total Rewards & Analytics in Human Resources Chapter

“Corporate jargon in the workplace can promote smooth and efficient communication in professional situations. However, employees must be mindful of when and how to use corporate jargon, as it can achieve the opposite if used poorly.

Our survey of over 1,500 American office workers revealed that 70% of respondents use business buzzwords despite more than 20% of people saying they dislike them. In addition, 70% of respondents even said that using business jargon in job descriptions has influenced their decision to apply.

Despite the general dislike, it appears that business jargon is sometimes a necessary evil, with the majority of survey respondents admitting that saying corporate jargon makes a person sound more professional.”

About Preply Business

Preply is a global language learning marketplace, connecting 140,000 tutors with tens of thousands of students worldwide. The Preply Business product features personalized language learning with online tutors designed especially for businesses and teams.

Founded in 2012 and backed by some of the world’s leading investors, Preply is on a mission to shape the future of effective learning for both individual learners and teams of company employees. Fueled by a belief that live engagement with a teacher is still the most effective way to learn a new skill, Preply builds a personalized learning space that will enable individual learners and teams reach their goals the fastest way possible.

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