(At the End of the Day is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
At the End of the Day
Using at the end of the day wouldn’t be a problem, if at the end of the day ever actually referred to 5:00 p.m., or midnight, or whenever your day officially ends.
Of course, as anyone in business knows, at the end of the day never means at the end of today or at closing time. Most often it’s used to mean “when all the evidence/information has been gathered and reviewed,” as in, “At the end of the day, I’m hopeful you’ll see it as we do.”
Additionally, at the end of the day is sometimes used to refer to the completion of some project – though, most often a project that takes much longer than a single day to complete.
Finally, at the end of the day is often used as a simple, wholly unnecessary filler. In these cases, of course, just removing the phrase completely will convey your meaning more clearly than adding at the end of the day. For example, as in this exchange:
“Are you looking at any other possible joint ventures in the industry?”
“At the end of the day, we’re interested in anything that can show a positive ROI.”
Now, try that response without at the end of the day. Clearer meaning; no annoyance.
On a side note: as much as managers overuse this phrase, it seems no athlete or coach can answer a reporter’s question without inserting at the end of the day in their response.
“At the end of the day, this team played their hearts out.”
Maddening that we cannot escape this annoying phrase even when sitting at home in front of the television.
Replacement phrases: When we/you have all the information; When it’s completed. Most often, of course, there is no replacement needed – just stop saying it.
See also: That Said; So
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon.