Learn 20 Workplace Expressions in English

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These workplace expressions are commonly used to communicate, collaborate, and excel in a professional environment.

Workplace Expressions

1. Break the ice

Meaning: Ease tension in a group
Example: Our manager broke the ice with jokes.

2. Go the extra mile

Meaning: Make additional effort beyond expectations
Example: She always goes the extra mile in projects.

3. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: Work late into the night
Example: We burned the midnight oil to meet deadlines.

4. Climb the corporate ladder

Meaning: Progress through job promotions
Example: He climbed the corporate ladder to become a manager.

5. Cut corners

Meaning: Do something quickly or cheaply
Example: Don’t cut corners when preparing reports.

6. Keep one’s head above water

Meaning: Manage to cope or survive
Example: Despite challenges, she keeps her head above water.

7. Think outside the box

Meaning: Approach problems in unconventional ways
Example: We need to think outside the box for solutions.

8. Touch base

Meaning: Make brief contact or communication
Example: Let’s touch base tomorrow about the project.

9. Red tape

Meaning: Excessive bureaucratic rules
Example: Red tape delayed the project approval.

10. Hit the nail on the head

Meaning: Describe something exactly right
Example: Her analysis hit the nail on the head.

11. Learn the ropes

Meaning: Understand how things work
Example: The new recruits are learning the ropes.

12. Up to speed

Meaning: Fully informed or up-to-date
Example: Make sure everyone is up to speed.

13. Pull one’s weight

Meaning: Contribute one’s fair share
Example: We need everyone to pull their weight.

14. Back to the drawing board

Meaning: Start again from the beginning
Example: We went back to the drawing board after failing.

15. Get down to business

Meaning: Start focusing seriously on work
Example: After introductions, we got down to business.

16. Bite the bullet

Meaning: Endure something unpleasant
Example: She bit the bullet and asked for help.

17. Keep someone in the loop

Meaning: Keep someone informed about updates
Example: Keep the team in the loop about changes.

18. Hit the ground running

Meaning: Start working effectively immediately
Example: She hit the ground running in her new role.

19. Go down the drain

Meaning: Be wasted or lost
Example: All our efforts went down the drain.

20. Get one’s ducks in a row

Meaning: Organize things neatly
Example: He got his ducks in a row before the presentation.

workplace expressions

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