Are you social not-working or blue sky drinking? The UK’s worst office jargon + Nick Hewer video

In the future - or “going forward”, as it is now known - the British language will be practically unrecognisable.

This is due to the increasing usage of peculiar office speak. The proliferation of euphemisms is becoming an accepted, if irritating, part of working in the UK.

If you’re not meeting your KPI’s, then you’re probably busy being “upskilled” or are grappling with “decisioning”.

It is no longer the done thing to call an employee into your office to inform them that they’ve lost their job; instead you have to wrap up the grim news in a sickly-sweet package of impenetrable bullsh*t. Personal favourites include hearing that someone was once “invited to be successful elsewhere”, and reading about a firm that said it was “maximising our throughput by streamlining our workforce”.

The hard workers at comedy TV channel Dave have been busy finding out which linguistic silage we need to eradicate.

They surveyed 2,000 people on their opinions of office jargon. Here are the top 10 pieces of teeth-grindingly irksome office waffle:

  1. Social not-working – messing around on Facebook and Twitter to avoid doing work
  2. Déjà brew – offering to make someone a cup of tea when you know for a fact they’ve just had one in the hope they will decline
  3. Blue sky drinking – an unlimited free bar at a work party
  4. Drainstorm – a poorly organised workshop, where everyone leaves feeling deflated
  5. Human desourcing – sacking people
  6. Jambivalence – ignoring a printer blockage in the hope that someone else will fix it
  7. Google Naps – using Google to work out what time colleagues in the US will be sleeping, to avoid them replying to emails
  8. W.T.F?! – the realisation that it is only Tuesday, and you have ‘Wednesday, Thursday, Friday?!’ still to do
  9. Stock Home Syndrome – pinching stuff from the office
  10. Shout-of-office – Someone who wants every single person in the building to know they are off on holiday

The drivel that just misses out on a top 10 placing includes, “procaffeinating”, the act of going to make a coffee in order to put off doing a job you really don’t want to for another five minutes, “tupperwarfare”, the fight to find space for your lunch in the communal fridge, and “velodrones”, particularly boring people who cycle to work and spend lots of time trying to convert colleagues to cycling.

Here, Nick Hewer explains why he hates this sort of thing:

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