Best Recruitment Insurance

A quarter of workers change their accents at work – here’s why

UK and Ireland boast 56 recognised accents - more than most other English-speaking countries in the world

According to a survey by online travel site Expedia, the UK and Ireland boast fifty-six recognised accents – more than most other English-speaking countries in the world. Our accents reflect our history and who we are as a people, and many feel a sense of pride in how they sound when they speak – at least they do until they get to work.

Recently, 4Com, a national telecoms provider, reported that, in a survey, more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they changed their accents when they were at work. Of these, 13% said they weren’t aware they had changed their accent until someone told them they had. A further 44% said that they were mindful of how they were viewed by colleagues and customers as a result of their accent.

Why do people change their accents?

People change their accents for several reasons, but at work it seems that wanting to sound more professional and create a good impression are the primary reasons. This is especially true of younger workers, with 47% of those aged 18 to 44 changing the way they spoke as opposed to only 15% of those over 45. Whether this is due to peer pressure and a need to fit in with colleagues or a lack of self-confidence when people are first starting out in their careers is not clear. Other people say that they change their accents so as to not be judged or have assumptions made based on their class, level of education or race.

When do people change their accents?

People don’t seem to change their accents consistently. Rather, certain work-based situations seem to lead them to speak differently. For example, 27% of people say they change the way the speak on the phone because they are more conscious of their accent when making calls, and 20% of people adapt the way they speak in meetings.

Those working in certain regions are also more likely to change their accents as opposed to others. Over a third (35%) of those living in London changed how they spoke at work, for example, as opposed to Birmingham, where just under a quarter (24%) made changes.

Will there be a long-term impact?

People changing the way they speak to fit in is nothing new. In 2015, a study by the University of Glasgow identified a pattern going back a hundred years. However, with more people moving around the UK for work, it is a trend that has intensified and is likely to continue. As a result, in England at least we can expect to see more and more people speaking with the same accent, regardless of where they are originally from.

Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure


  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “while” in “comment_content” *]
    Yes i saw many people have changed their accents sometimes it looks different sounds good you are talking in different accents i also changed my accents when i meet different people and speak the same language but in different accents and also while talking in the phone.

  2. I phenomenally love understanding them. This article recommends that there are straightforward things we can do to decrease our electric bill. Appreciative to you such an astonishing aggregate for sharing this post.

  3. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “great post” in “comment_content” *]
    Great Post!

  4. Out of time? Don’t worry and let your economics Homework be handled by us. The incredible Economics Homework Help services are provided by TOP ACADEMIC TUTORS. We provide you with the service so that if you are having problems in understanding and completing your Homework then you can simply leave it with us so that with the help of professional tutors and writers, we can complete your Homework and deliver it to you. We know about the problems that students face in completing the Homework. We only have one motive and that is to help students achieve high marks through helping with their Homework.

    In this modern era, students have come to realize the importance of economics and have taken a keen interest towards it. Students have come to realize the potential approach of taking economics as their subject. Economics handles the description of producing and consuming goods. But that is not at all because the uses of economics have reached over too many other fields in the market. It has many potential reaches in the market. Students only choose the subjects that can offer them high rates of success in their life. Yeah, it also has a lot to do with what they have interest in but that interest is only developed after they see the potential uses of that field.

Comment on this story

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join the BIoR to be part of creating excellence in recruiting standards & service

Send this to a friend