Posted: 10 November 2020

We’re all “singing from the same hymn sheet” as office jargon infiltrates home life

•    84% of Brits say that office jargon has become commonplace in their personal lives
•    ‘Touching base’, ‘deep dive’ and even ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ are all now heard in the home according to research from TalkTalk
•    ‘Blue sky thinking’, ‘deep dive’, and ‘idea shower’ voted as most annoying phrases
•    I.T., Sales and Public Relations professionals are named as those being most likely to use jargon

WEDNESDAY 11TH NOVEMBER 2020: As Brits settle into Lockdown 2.0, working from home continues to be the new normal for millions of office workers; a new study has revealed that office jargon is increasingly being used at the kitchen table, on the sofa and at bedtime. 

For a staggering 84% of Brits, workplace office jargon now features in conversations outside of office hours according to research by connectivity provider TalkTalk. ‘Touching base’ and ‘blue-sky thinking’ are now happening over dinner and in front of the TV as the balance between home and work life continues to blur. 
The poll looked at the office jargon that has infiltrated our home lives the most, identifying ‘touch base’, ‘no brainer’, ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘moving the goal posts’ among the phrases that had made the transition from work to personal life.

Surprisingly, just two-fifths say they find it annoying, perhaps that’s because almost half (46%) of us admit to using office jargon in the home ourselves, as we adapt to the new work-life patterns. 

Caroline Taggart, author of Misadventures in the English Language said: “We pick up an expression at work or in the media and unconsciously begin using it ourselves. We’re stuck with it before we realise we’ve even adopted it, no matter where we are. Our lives are more blurred than ever and with no commute to help our brain switch from work-to-home mode, it’s no surprise we forget to ditch the jargon when we log off.”  

TalkTalk has seen a 40% increase in internet usage this year as much of Britain’s office workforce transitions to home working. This looks set to continue after TalkTalk recorded a huge spike in network traffic on the first day of lockdown 2. Usage last Thursday peaked at 6.46Tb/s – the equivalent to delivering 540 hours of HD video per second – which is significantly higher than the surge brought on by the start of the first lockdown in March.

With over half (54%) of us not expecting to return to work in the office full time*, it appears that the use of office speak in the home could be here to stay. 

But not everyone is enjoying this increasing usage of work speak; 41% of respondents admit that hearing their housemate use office jargon sets their teeth on edge and 21% say they have no idea what people are talking about. ‘Blue-sky thinking’, ‘deep dive’, and ‘ideas shower’ were cited to be the most annoying workplace jargon.  

I.T., Sales, PR & Marketing, Finance and Engineering professionals were deemed to be the biggest offenders when it comes to using workplace jargon in the home.     

Sian Doyle, TalkTalk Consumer Managing Director, said: “Many of us have discovered the benefits to more flexible working this year, although we may want to spare ourselves from all the office jargon at the dinner table. As the home office looks set to stay, we’re constantly striving to provide the UK’s home workers with fast, reliable connectivity that gives them the flexibility to work wherever they want in the home. Our new Homeworker package provides peace of mind for those who want to ‘touch base’ with colleagues over Zoom, without having to worry about the housemate’s Netflix binge or kid’s gaming marathon interrupting their internet connection.”

TalkTalk’s Homeworker package offers a separate business-grade fibre line into your home. So, for those of you who want to ‘swim in your lanes’ or ‘hit the ground running’, you can rest assured knowing that your usage won’t interrupt your family’s, partner’s or housemate’s connection. 

The most commonly heard workplace jargon in the home:
1.    Going forward – 34%
2.    Touch base – 33%
3.    No brainer – 28%
4.    Brainstorm – 29%
5.    Thinking outside the box – 28%
6.    On the same page – 25%
7.    On my radar – 24%
8.    Hit the ground running – 21%
9.    Singing from the same hymn sheet – 19%
10.    Moving the goal posts –  19%
The most annoying workplace jargon:
1.    Blue-sky thinking – 28%
2.    Deep dive – 21%
3.    Idea shower – 19%
4.    Touch points – 19%
5.    Swim lanes – 19%
6.    Circle back – 18%
7.    Low hanging fruit – 18%
8.    Touch base – 18%
9.    Hit the ground running – 16%
10.    I’ll revert to you – 16%


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