March 22, 2019

Office Jargon

GSM London Employability Consultant James Stewart takes a light hearted view at the confusing world of office jargon.

James Stewart
James Stewart

I recently came across an interesting article during my daily commute. It is a topic that is close to my heart and on one hand is a huge bug bear and on the other it has become part and parcel of the new world of work. What I am referring to is the latest ‘office-jargon’ courtesy of our cousins across the pond and soon to be spoken in an office – quite possibly yours. Maybe sooner than you think!

‘From tap that to flex: meet the new wave of office jargon. I found it quite on the point and very blue sky thinking as it moves the goalposts on what was largely accepted as the new normal in office speak. However, not being rocket science it runs new phrases up the flagpole, so that instead of parking that rain shower thought it can be seen as low hanging fruit that we can park for later use. With this now on your radar you may choose to use it for reference so you and your colleagues can sing from the same hymn sheet, thus taking a helicopter view in order to have – at the end of the day a win-win situation. So sit back and enjoy a few examples below that were identified by Author Fred Searle writing for the Evening Standard. You can find his full article here.

  1. ”Tap that”

Type this into Urban Dictionary and you’ll get a different answer but in an office setting, “tap that” is what you say when you want a colleague to “diarise” something — another old favourite there.

Used in context: “Are you coming to the thought shower stand-up meeting tomorrow? Tap that.”

  1. LAT

This one works best in an email — when you want to sound like a don but you can’t be bothered with the extra letters. Let’s Action That — it’s punchy, proactive. It’s far more exciting than actually “doing” something.

Used in context: “Great idea, Jenny.  LAT. BW, Sarah.”

  1. Taking it offline

If you want to shut someone down in a meeting, this one’s perfect. “Let’s take this offline” is what you trill. “I’m not interested and I don’t want to talk about it anymore when I could be eating my lunch” is what you mean.

Used in context: “OK, Dan. I get your point. But I’m not sure how important the office’s desk layout is to sales figures. Let’s take the issue offline.”

  1. Taking a helicopter view

Don’t get bogged down in the detail. The subtext is because no one understands the detail. It’s the kind of thing middle managers say when they don’t have a clue what’s going on.

Used in context: “Hang on, hang on. Don’t worry about the nitty-gritty at this stage. Take a helicopter view.”

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