10 annoying office buzzwords to ditch in 2023

More than 1,000 employees across the U.S. have spoken

10 annoying office buzzwords to ditch in 2023

This article is provided by Laugh.Events.

It’s hard to get through a meeting or email without hearing a handful of corporate buzzwords. While some might signal an evolution of your field, many hold very little weight.

We use them to impress people, deceive people, and we use them to avoid people altogether. At this point, they aren’t fooling anyone. We know that “circle back” actually means “let’s deal with this tomorrow (or never!)”.

As founder of Laugh.Events, our workplace comedy experience has seen and heard its fair share of corporate buzzwords. Which got us thinking - what are the most annoying buzzwords out there? We asked over 1,000 corporate workers nationwide from Spotify, Google, Microsoft, and more to tell us about their most despised buzzwords.

The 10 most annoying buzzwords according to corporate workers

Look, we don’t want to say these are terrible, but they are definitely annoying and they wouldn't be missed in 2023. Let’s dive in.

1. Circle back - We touched on this one above, but seriously, it’s time for this circle to close. A majority of the people surveyed mentioned this term. And we can’t blame them. It’s often used to avoid certain topics, but doesn’t do nearly enough to provide relevant information.

2. Synergy - Here’s another rather obvious one for the list. Synergy continues to be a word thrown around in meetings and e-mails. It basically means, “let’s work on this together because I really don’t feel like doing this project on my own.” At this point, it has definitely reached the status of “annoying.” 

3. Take it offline - If you’ve ever been in a meeting that has derailed from its main focus, you’ve probably heard this phrase. Meetings should be concise and pertinent, of course, but there are plenty of better ways to say that it is time to wrap everything up.

4. You are on mute - This phrase, along with “you’re muted,” is said in entirely too many virtual meetings. It’s true that many people don’t consider themselves tech-savvy, but the humble mute button shouldn’t fall into that category. Hopefully, in 2023, we can all find the mute button.

5. Please advise - This buzzword might seem innocent at first, but it really does fall short in terms of both context and politeness. Adding a few additional words not only comes across nicer, but we have a sneaking suspicion you’ll get the information you so kindly asked for.

6. Think outside the box - We’re honestly surprised we have to bring this buzzword up, as it should have been retired a long time ago, but here we are. Essentially, it is telling someone that their thought process is not creative, or “good” per se, and that should never be how you frame things to someone.

7. Touch base - We’re not quite sure how a baseball phrase became so beloved by corporate America, but it’s time to let this one go. It’s often used to schedule a meeting, but there are plenty of other, better ways to accomplish the same thing.

8. Aligned - A majority of people we surveyed said that “aligned” was annoying, and we understand why. While it is a simple word, most people would say that something simple, like the word “agreed,” works just as well here.

9. During these _____ times - Whether you fill in the blank with "uncertain" or "unprecedented", people feel this term has been overused. This phrase dominated 2020 - 2022, and while it was relevant and appropriate during this two year whirlwind, it's time to consider these times precedent and life to just be generally uncertain.

10. Nice to e-meet you - With the rise of virtual conferencing tools during COVID, this trendy buzzword rose in popularity. But realistically, even before the pandemic, meeting people online was normal. Why do we have to add “e” to this? Is it because of e-mail? In 2023, let’s drop the “e” and just meet people.

It’s time to let these buzzwords and phrases go

Corporate buzzwords come and go, and we’re sure a list like this will continue to evolve in the years ahead. But, for now, these are the ones we would love to see removed from the lexicon of the corporate world.

The English language is chock-full of words that should stop being bench warmers and start being the star players of your workplace vocabulary. Some of these words had a good run, but it's time to put them into the rafters in 2023.

Kevin Hubschmann is the founder of Laugh.Events.

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