10 Business Idioms Commonly Used in the Workplace

There are many idioms used in the business World.  If you don’t understand these expressions, it’s easy to get lost in a conversation.  Below is a table of 10 most common idioms used at work.


# 1. Call it a day

To quit work and go home; to say that a day's work has been completed.

E.g. “I'm tired. Let's call it a day.”

The boss was mad because Bill called it a day at noon.”

#2. Grey area (UK) / Gray area (US)

Means something that is not clearly defined and needs careful judgement.

E.g. “It exists in a grey area between legal and illegal.”

"It's a grey area isn't it?" (Meaning the speaker is talking about an unsure concept).

#3. Back to the Drawing Board

Means that a previously established plan isn't working and that it is time to re-plan.

E.g. “My job interview went horribly! I have to go back to the drawing board.”

#4. Big picture

Means the overall perspective or objective, not the fine detail.

E.g. “Although we all have all specific tasks to do, our leader makes sure we don't lose sight of the big picture.”

#5. On the same page 

In broad agreement, or sharing a common general understanding or knowledge

E.g. “I want to make sure we're all on the same page with this new project.”

Business Idioms Used in the Workplace

#6. Read between the lines

To infer a meaning that is not stated explicitly

e.g. “If you read between the lines a little, you will realize that he has deeper motives”

#7. See someone's point

 

Means that you understand their reason for having a certain opinion, or for feeling a certain way.

E.g. “Yes, I see your point. Let me double-check that and get back with you.”

#8. Hit the nail on the head

To identify something exactly; to arrive at exactly the right answer.

E.g. “He hit the nail on the head when he said the problem was the thermostat”

#9. Get the ball rolling

To begin; to start some action; to set in motion.

E.g. We really need to get the ball rolling on this project. The deadline is in October, and it's already September.

#10. Thumbs Up

Shows that someone or something is good, especially when it comes to a performance or action with good results.

E.g. “That’s good. You deserve a big thumbs up for such a great presentation!”

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10 Business Idioms Commonly Used in the Workplace

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