Never say these phrases to your co-workers

“You look tired today”

If they aren’t tired, you’ve just insulted them by telling them they look worse than usual. If they are tired, you’ve certainly kicked them whilst they’re down. It’s just a phrase you should probably avoid.


“I didn’t get to bed until __am last night”

People usually say this after a night out with friends or a night drinking, and if that isn’t the reason most people will assume that it is. If you do anything wrong at work your co-workers are going to blame your partying lifestyle or the fact that you’re too tired to concentrate. It just makes you look bad and unprofessional so it’s best to keep these details to yourself.


“How much do you get paid?”

This question is just plain awkward, why do you need to know how much they earn. Plus it is going to leave your colleagues wondering if you are devious or going to complain to your boss because you don’t think your pay is fair.


“I’ve been looking at other roles”

Firstly, if you’re just looking and you never actually leave, it just makes you attention seeking and nobody likes that. Secondly, if it gets back to someone you don’t want it to, you could end up leaving earlier than you hoped! Only tell people once you have a job secured and your boss is aware.


“Have you heard about…”

This makes you look like a workplace gossip, and chances are that if it’s big news most people at your work will have heard about it anyway. Avoid office politics by not spreading information about people.


“Are you pregnant?”

If they don’t tell you they are pregnant do not ask under any circumstances. It will just leave you both feeling embarrassed and awkward if they aren’t, and they probably won’t want to eat their lunch in front of you again. If they are pregnant and haven’t announced it then they’re probably not ready to discuss it so best to avoid this question altogether.


“You wouldn’t understand”

This either makes it look like you’re struggling with your work and the easy way out is to make it seem so complex to others that they would never understand. Or it makes it look like you are so arrogant that you genuinely believe no one could understand the problem apart from you. Either way, it’s going to make you look like an idiot so don’t say it.


“I’ve got a few important things to do, then I’ll do it”

This implies that the task your co-worker has asked you to do is less important than other things that you have to do. Even if this is the case, you shouldn’t say it as it just makes you seem like you think you’re more important than them. Simply say i’ll do it after a few other things I have to get done first.


“I didn’t do it because [name] didn’t show/help/tell me”

This just looks like you’re throwing the blame onto someone else and not making yourself accountable for the fact that you haven’t done the task. Instead, you should say “I am currently working with [name] to finish the task but we haven’t done it quite yet.” This shows that you are actively trying to get it done, but as a team, you haven’t managed to do it yet.


“Looks fine to me”

If someone is questioning something, then the chances are that it isn’t fine or that you need to explain something to them that they don’t understand or aren’t aware of. Simply saying ‘looks fine to me’ is not helpful, and can show that you can’t be bothered to change or explain something to your colleague. Instead, you should ask what their concerns are, and then explain or discuss how you could change it.


Here are 10 cheesy workplace phrases you should also avoid saying!

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 7th June 2018