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Employees Disconnected at Work Due to Corporate Jargon

New research from Brita Vivreau reveals that corporate jargon is limiting employers’ and employees’ ability to be authentic, leaving workers feeling disconnected and less likely to start conversations at work.  

A quarter (25%) of office workers say corporate jargon makes them feel disconnected from their colleagues. Almost one-third (31%) say it makes them feel less confidence speaking to senior colleagues, while more than half (53%) are more likely to use corporate jargon when they’re in the office than at home.  

Working somewhere that uses a lot of corporate jargon would result in 29% being less likely to start conversations with colleagues, and a quarter (25%) being less likely to speak up in meetings and less likely to ask questions at work.  

Corporate jargon has an even bigger impact on Gen Z employees, with 38% being less likely to start a conversation with colleagues and 32% less likely to ask questions. Almost one-third (30%) feel that corporate jargon is used in the workplace for the sake of it, and that senior managers are the worst offenders (45%).  

The most overused phrases include “touch base,” “legend,” “quick win,” “deep dive,” “drill down,” “superstar,” “circle back,” “deliverables,” “synergy, and “bandwidth,” according to the survey.  

“Corporate jargon is all too common in the workplace but can be exclusionary and leave employees feeling left out, creating barriers between them and their colleagues,” says Eloise Leeson-Smith, leading linguist and language expert at Brita Vivreau. “This will often result in ineffective communication in the workplace, which can be incredibly costly for employers. For any company wanting to foster a workplace culture of inclusion and prioritize staff mental well-being, creating opportunities for employees to communicate and connect authentically is essential.”  

Employees want to have authentic, in-person conversations with managers and colleagues. More than two-thirds (68%) say that being told they’re doing well in person by their manager feels more genuine than an email (25%) or voucher (10%).  

Nearly half (48%) of office workers say they have their most authentic conversations with colleagues in the office when making a tea or coffee. The water cooler is indispensable in facilitating genuine conversations and relationships in the workplace. Office workers say that water cooler conversations make them feel more part of a team (33%) and help them establish relationships with colleagues (43%). More than one-third (34%) say they’re most likely to start a conversation with a senior colleague when they’re at the water cooler.  

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