Millions of workers say they are baffled by office jargon - with phrases such as 'helicopter view', 'strategic staircase' and 'drilling down' causing widespread confusion.
One in five has admitted to sitting through an entire meeting without knowing what on earth their bosses were talking about.
The same number said they are often party to telephone calls in which clients pepper their conversation with so much jargon they completely lose the meaning.
Researchers who polled 2,000 office workers found many can't stand to hear cheesy phrases such as 'it's on my radar', 'peel the onion' and 'reach out'.
Seven out of 10 workers admit they completely switch off if their boss starts saying things like 'think outside the box' or 'strategic staircase',.
And four in 10 are often completely baffled by their boss, and don't understand a word they are saying.
But despite being confused when the boss is spouting jargon, 15 per cent of workers admit they sometimes throw in phrases like 'it's not rocket science' and 'run this up the flagpole' just to sound like they know what they're talking about.
The study shows a quarter of office workers have been guilty of trying to weave as many office-speak phrases into a business meeting as possible, just to pass the time.
Seven in 10 people believe those who use 'office lingo' are just trying to be something they're not, and 74 per cent consider this type of talk in the workplace to be a pointless irritation.
A quarter of workers feel ashamed if they catch themselves using phrasing such as 'close of play', 'bring to the table' or 'hit the ground running'.
TOP 50 MOST ANNOYING 'OFFICE LINGO' PHRASES
1. Blue sky thinking - empty thinking without influence
2. Think outside the box - think creatively
3. Touch base offline - lets meet and talk
4. Close of play - end of the day
5. Going forward - look ahead
6. No brainer - so obvious
7. Action that - put into practice
8. Drill down - investigate thoroughly
9. Thought shower - brainstorm
10. Flogging a dead horse - waste your efforts
11. Hot desking - sharing several desks with colleagues
12. Heads up - notification
13. It's on my radar - I'm considering it
14. Joined up thinking - thinking about all the facts
15. Bring to the table - contribution to the group
16. Punch a puppy - do something detestable but good for the business
17. Run this up the flagpole - try it out
18. Cracking the whip - use your authority to make someone work better
19. Moving the goalposts - change criteria
20. EOP - end of play
21. Working fingers to the bone - working very hard
22. Game changer - fundamental shift
23. It's not rocket science - it's not difficult
24. Hit the ground running - start work quickly
25. Ping - get back to
26. Low hanging fruit - easy win business
27. Singing from the same hymn sheet - all on the same page
28. Strategic staircase - business plan
29. Park something - hold an idea
30. Benchmark - point of reference
31. COB - close of business
32. Reach out - contact
33. Re-inventing the wheel - steal the idea from someone else
34. Dot the I's and cross the t's - pay attention
35. Best practice - most effective way
36. Al Desko - lunch at the desk
37. Backburner - de-prioritise
38. Pick it up and run with it - move ahead with an idea
39. Play hardball - act forcefully
40. This idea has legs - good idea
41. Synergy - two things work together
42. I'm swamped - busy
43. It's a win / win - good for both sides
44. Look under the bonnet - analyse the situation
45. Quick and dirty - quick solution
46. Peel the onion - examine the problem
47. Out of the loop - not involved in the decision
48. Wow factor - amazing
49. Helicopter view - broad view of the business
50. Elevator pitch - brief presentation
The study was carried out by working animal charity SPANA, whose chief executive Jeremy Hulme said: "If you've ever sat in a meeting wondering what on earth colleagues are talking about, it seems you're not the only one."