"I think you're on mute" can be complemented with an expressive emoting of "I can't hear you" just to make sure the other person knows they're still on mute. Sounds familiar?

If you haven't said "I think you're on mute" at least 10 times a month in 2020, then there are two possibilities: your work is more individual contributor in nature, thus you've managed to escape some of the team meetings; alternatively, you've got colleagues who are so video-savvy, that they manage the mute/unmute function quite well. Did I get it right?

Well, without further ado, join us in counting down the most used business phrases of 2020: 

1. "I think you're on mute/Sorry, I was on mute"

This can be complemented with an expressive emoting of "I can't hear you" just to make sure the other person knows they're still on mute. 

2. "Unprecedented times"

Every meeting, every townhall, every presentation, every press release, and every speech. Now if only I had a dollar for every time someone said "unprecedented times":

3. "Flexible working policy"

Most organisations have dusted off those flexible working policy manuals, updated them for today's "unprecedented times", and made them available to employees on a consistent, permanent basis. A progressive move, indeed.

4. "New normal"

Often cited as "navigating the new normal", this is the perfect go-to phrase when we aren't quite sure what's going on or where things will lead to, but we're trying our best to stay on top of it. Agreed?

 5. "Is everyone able to see my screen?"

 To which, we've all replied in perfect harmony: "Yes, we can see your screen."

6. "What I was planning was <can't hear> by using <muffled sounds> and then perhaps we could try <complete silence>"

Connnectivity issues have plagued us when we expected them the least, for example, at the start of a presentation, or just when it's your turn to pitch an amazing idea you've been thinking about. We've all been there!

7. "Doing more with less"

It's one of the most dreaded things you hear at work, yet it's an important business mantra that can pull organisations out from the toughest of times. What's important though is how it's communicated and executed. 

8. "An opportunity to upskill"

Closely linked to the previous one, when presented with the "doing more with less" plan of action, it's always been a great idea to contribute to high-impact, new projects and in the process, benefit from personal development. We're sure you all have learnt plenty of new skills this year!

We're sure there are many more business phrases that you've spoken, heard or read in 2020! Let us know which ones we might have missed out and we'd be sure to feature them in our next edition, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Lead image / 123RF
All GIFs / Giphy