10 more useful phrases to know (and use) at work

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Have you heard a buzzword or idiom you didn’t understand at work?

When this happens, it can seem like people around you are speaking in code. But the good news is that the more you talk to people, the easier it will become for you to understand these confusing words and phrases.

Here are 10 more catch phrases, buzzwords and idioms commonly used at work you might like to be familiar with:

  1. I give you props

    Meaning:To give proper or due respect or recognition; credit
    Example sentence: I give you props (or Props to you) for that clear and informative presentation!

  2. Keep one’s nose to the grindstone

    Meaning: To do hard continuous work.
    Example sentence: Productivity continued to be up despite the pandemic because we kept our noses to the grindstone and made the best of the resources available.

  3. Strike while the iron is hot

    Meaning: To make use of an opportunity immediately.
    Example sentence: An investment banker told me to sell my stocks right now to strike while the iron is hot.

  4. Level the playing field

    Meaning: To create a situation where everyone has the same opportunities.
    Example sentence: The implementation of flexi time was intended to level the playing field for employees who have part-time work or need more family time.

  5. Take the bull by the horns

    Meaning: Facing a difficult or risky situation decisively.
    Example sentence: Organizing 10 years’ worth of files is a nightmare but we have to take the bull by the horns if we want our operations to be systematic and efficient.

  6. We’ve been down this road before

    Meaning: Something that one has already done or a situation that one has experienced before.
    Example sentence: A merger can be difficult. I know because we’ve been down that road before. However, I think it’s the best chance for our company to stay afloat during these difficult times.

  7. Take it at face value

    Meaning: To consider or believe something as it is without being questioned or doubted.
    Example sentence: I’m too busy to verify this information so I am taking your word at face value.

  8. On the same page

    Meaning: To understand or to be in agreement.
    Example sentence: So all we need to do is define the topics and set the deadline. Are we on the same page?

  9. Ahead of the curve

    Meaning: Faster about doing something (e.g. technology, keeping up with trends, etc.) compared to other people or groups.
    Example sentence: Our system design is ahead of the curve in many ways. We planned for security breaches even before hacking was a thing.

  10. Not going to fly

    Meaning: Something that won’t be effective, permissible or well-received.
    Example sentence: This new website is not going to fly with our clients. It looks crowded and it’s difficult to navigate. We’d better go with a simpler design.

Have you heard a buzzword or idiom that you didn’t understand? Share it with us!
Sources: Useful English expressions for the office that every newcomer should learn, Mary Camino, The Immigrant Education Society; and 13 idioms to spice up your workplace communication, Alice E.M. Underwood, Grammarly Blog. Accessed March 12, 2021.

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