I am trying to think of a phrase that means something like "margin of error" or "buffer," but specifically applying to spare capacity of a working team within a company. "Bench" sort of works for sports people, but it's not ideal because a bench is for players who can substitute in for other players, and I want to evoke the idea of additional workers waiting in the wings who can step in to accommodate a surge in demand.

I'm wanting to say something like

We are operating with razor-thin _______"

... fill in the blank? And "margins" doesn't work because that sounds like it's about profitability. Any ideas?

  • Is that a bandwidth? May 11 at 18:00
  • 1
    I can't square the "additional workers waiting in the wings" with "razor thin margin". It seems quite the opposite, plenty of slack. May 11 at 18:03
  • @WeatherVane: right, maybe I was unclear. I'm looking for the phrase for "spare capacity" so that I can say "we have very limited/no spare capacity." "Slack" might work.
    – Bob
    May 11 at 18:13
  • @YosefBaskin: hmm yes but hoping for something that refers to spare bandwidth.
    – Bob
    May 11 at 18:15
  • 1
    razor-thin spare capacity
    – Lambie
    May 11 at 18:36


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