What does “business as usual” mean? Meaning, translation, definition


“Business as usual” is an english saying that literally means “business as usual” or “work as usual”.

Meaningfully, “business as usual” in english means:

  • “Everything goes its normal course.”
  • “Everything goes on as usual.”
  • “Everything continues as normal.”
  • “Everything goes on as usual.”
  • “Everyday life goes on.”
  • “Business continues as normal.”
  • “Just carry on as normal.”
  • “Return to normal”
  • “Let everyday life return to normal”
  • “Get back to business as usual”
  • “Carry on”

What does “business as usual” mean? Meaning, definition

The saying “business as usual” can be understood in two ways:

  • Carry on no matter what the circumstances.
  • Return to normalcy.

“Business as usual” represents that despite bad circumstances, difficult situation, crisis, disaster, or accidents, a company, firm, business, or government performs core functions or core services. (This means, for example, that a business opens, a company is active, a company produces, or a government operates, no matter what is or was).

“Business as usual” is used to maintain normalcy. Everything is shown to be running normally and there is no reason to panic. Likewise, there are no reasons to worry or be distracted.

However, “business as usual” can also be interpreted to mean that external circumstances do not influence everyday life or work, or that people do not allow themselves to be distracted by external circumstances. “Business as usual” as a motto stands for maintaining calm in times of crisis or disaster.

Business as usual: Meaning + Interpretation

“Business as usual” stands for a certain constancy and it stands for everyday life. “Business as usual” is also an expression of focus and resilience. It stands for the fact that a company or a government is stable, knows its core tasks and does not allow itself to be thrown off track by a crisis.

“Business as usual” stands for the fact that a company and its employees or staff do not allow themselves to be distracted from their activities despite external (or internal) circumstances.

However, “business as usual” can also lead to operational blindness. After all, if you only do “business as usual,” you no longer think outside the box and can close your mind to new things.

For some permanent employees, freelancers or self-employed people, “business as usual” means working on holidays or Sundays. While others have days off, those days are normal work days. Business as usual” can also be understood to mean that being sick is not a reason not to work.

In politics, “business as usual” is understood to mean that political operations continue despite a crisis or election campaign. A government or administration thus fulfills its core tasks despite the crisis. However, “business as usual” can also mean that a re-elected party or coalition continues with its policies and returns to its previous routine.

Word origin, origin: Business as usual

The saying “business as usual” was a popular motto of the British at the beginning of the First World War.

“Business as usual” stood for the fact that society is kept running and functioning only if everyone continues to go about his or her work and life. “Business as usual” had the goal of showing the enemy that one does not feel threatened, is not afraid and everything continues to go on as usual.


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The saying “business as usual” was popularized by Winston Churchill. On August 4, 1914, he said: “The maxim of the British people is ‘Business as usual’. In German: “The maxim of the British people is: ‘Everything continues as normal'”.

Winston Churchill made the saying “business as usual” famous, but he is not said to have invented it.

“Business as usual” could only be maintained by the British government for a short time. In the years after 1914, hundreds of thousands of men were drafted to fight in the war. They and their labor were missing at home, so life could not go on as usual.

Further meaning of “business as usual”

In English, this is also referred to as a “business as usual scenario”. This assumes that there will be no significant changes in people’s attitudes and priorities in the event of social, economic, political or technological changes.

“Business as usual” is a German short film from 2014.

“Business as usual” is an Austrian short film from 2008.

“Business as usual” is album by Men at Work. It was released in 1981.

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