Does "thinking outside the box" drive you mad?

LONDON Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:12am EST

A man speaks on the phone in a file photo. REUTERS/File

A man speaks on the phone in a file photo.

Credit: Reuters/File

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LONDON (Reuters) - Grumpy colleagues, slow computers and office jargon are the things that annoy workers most, according to a survey on Wednesday.

"Thinking outside the box" and "Let's touch base" were the most hated buzz phrases among the 1,836 people surveyed by Opinium research.

Nearly two-thirds of them said their stress levels had been increased by office irritations and one in 10 had left a job because of them.

The survey found the Top 10 office annoyances were:

1. Grumpy or moody colleagues (37 percent)

2. Slow computers (36)

3. Small talk/gossip in the office (19)

4. The use of office jargon or management-speak (18)

5. People speaking loudly on the phone (18)

6. Too much health and safety in the work place (16)

7. Poor toilet etiquette (16)

8. People not turning up for meetings on time or at all (16)

9. People not tidying up after themselves in the kitchen (15)

10.Too cold/ cold air conditioning (15)

The most annoying jargon:

1. Thinking outside the box (21 percent)

2. Let's touch base (20)

3. Blue sky thinking (19)

4. Blamestorming (16) (sitting down and working out whose fault something is)

5. Drill down to a more granular level (15) (Look into something in more detail)

6. Let's not throw pies in the dark (15) (we need a plan rather than a haphazard approach)

7. I've got that on my radar (13)

8. Push the envelope (12)

9. Bring your A-game (11) (Be ready to do something to best of ability)

10. Get all your ducks in a row (11)

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Comments (4)
Alexeisef wrote:
how about “I’ll ping you about that”

Feb 10, 2010 11:02am EST  --  Report as abuse
Yowser wrote:
These trite phrases are annoying. Communication works better when you are simple and direct.

Feb 10, 2010 2:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
austingjohns wrote:
“Outside the box” means the management is out of ideas, maybe we can steal one from our subordinates.

Feb 10, 2010 7:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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