Let's hop on a call, going forward: The most annoying office jargon of 2021

·3-min read
The most cringeworthy buzzwords of 2021 have been released. (Getty Images)
The most cringeworthy buzzwords of 2021 have been released. (Getty Images)

In these trying times, when we're all in this together, we, the mainstream media, hope your [sic] really well as we navigate the new normal, before hopping on a Zoom call so we can finally close the loop.

Before you email the editor of Yahoo Life and call for our resignation, the above sentence merely serves as an example of some of 2021's most annoying email buzzwords. 

Tidy up tool The Buzzsaw has released its list of the worst jargon words of 2021 so far, and we just ticked off a fair few of them in that opening line.

The online tool, which strips out buzzwords from press releases, speeches and blog posts, has revealed the top 15 most irritating bits of jargon submitted by editors and correspondents this year.

Taking the most annoying top spot is 'cohort', a convoluted way of describing a group of people, followed by 'close the loop' in second and 'hop on a call' in third.

Read more: How to cope with going back into the office: Reclaim your commute and dodge the politics

'Trying times', a reference to the overused phrase to describe the navigating of the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, comes in at an understandable number eight.

The continually irritating 'nice to e-meet' you has also made the top 15, alongside 'now more than ever' and 'we remain cautious'.

Gathered together by the Buzzsaw Cohort (lols) and led by PR strategist and founder Hamish Thompson, the list contains the most commonly struck-out phrases the tool tends to find, based on submissions in the UK, US and Australia.

Thompson has been compiling the list since 2010 after noticing someone complaining about a sticker company that described itself as a 'global leader in adhesive labelling solutions'.

"The Buzzsaw was created to put an end to corporate waffle," Mr Thompson explained.

Watch: Average office worker wastes five hours a week on tasks that could be automated. 

While many of the phrases have entirely earned their place in the buzzword hall of shame, there are some surprise omissions from the list. 

Zoom, for example, doesn’t make an appearance, neither do any of the seemingly limitless synonyms for working from home, such as WFH, which in case you haven't noticed is a TLA - that's three letter acronym, which made the list.

Before you congratulate yourself for never typing any of the expressions on the list, it is worth keeping in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list of cringeworthy e-crimes. 

Other email buzzwords that didn’t make the list, but you'd still be wise to avoid include 'circling back' 'going forward' and 'making a plea'.

Call us woke if you must, but while others may condemn it to the buzzword room 101, we're never going to stop using 'Fri-yay' as a way of celebrating the end of the working week. 

Not impressed! The most annoying email buzzwords have been revealed. (Getty Images)
Not impressed! The most annoying email buzzwords have been revealed. (Getty Images)

Read more: How to improve your sleep schedule as we return to early morning commutes

The most cringeworthy office buzzwords of 2021

  1. Cohort

  2. Close the loop

  3. Hop on a call

  4. Hope your [sic] well

  5. B2H (business to human)

  6. Mainstream media

  7. Agile

  8. ‘Trying times’ / ‘now more than ever’ / ‘new normal’ / ‘nice to e-meet you’ / ‘we’re all in this together’

  9. We remain cautious

  10. TLA (three letter acronym)

  11. Ideate

  12. Non-fungible

  13. Woke / curate

  14. Socials

  15. Influencer

Read more: Why ‘workations’ are the boost the travel industry needs

Using bad buzzwords isn't the only way you an annoy your colleagues right now. 

Last month a poll of office workers revealed some of the gross habits employees would like to see banned from the workplace post-COVID. 

As well as the traditional office tea round, failing to wash hands after a visit to the bathroom, heading into work with a cough or cold, and air kissing your co-worker are all workplace habits that UK employees want to see banned.

Watch: Employers can require vaccines for returning office workers. 

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