Too much information?

Regus survey highlights comfort zones of office chat

The British might be known across the world for their reserve, but it seems they aren’t so tight-lipped in the office, according to new global survey by flexible workspace provider Regus.

The research, which included 3600 respondents in the UK, reveals that Brits are more likely than their European counterparts to divulge details of their private lives to work colleagues, but the topic of personal finances is strictly off-limits.

84% say they love to broadcast their holiday plans far and wide, in comparison to three quarters of French office workers. In China, diet and exercise tips appear to dominate office conversation (66%).

Over half of all UK respondents report that they are willing to talk about their partner, compared to just 38% of Americans and a quarter of French and Germans. 58% regularly chat about their children. One in five Brits is happy to connect with colleagues on personal social media, compared to just 13% of the French.

When it comes to discussing previous employers, the nation is only too happy to spill the beans. Over three fifths (61%) admitted to gossiping about their old job – significantly above the global average. Yet just 4% feel it is appropriate to discuss salary and other job benefits, compared to 12% in France. In China, respondents deem it perfectly acceptable to discuss the outcome of their review (22%).

Steve Purdy, UK Managing Director at Regus comments: “It appears that UK office workers are unexpectedly open about their private lives, and keen to form personal as well as professional relationships with colleagues. This may stem from the fact that we work more flexibly than previous generations, and boundaries between work and home lives are becoming blurred.

“It is clear that conversation comfort zones vary greatly across the globe. Topics that are seen as a polite safe-haven in the UK may be off-limits elsewhere and could potentially cause misunderstandings and offence. Understanding local etiquette is a serious business challenge, not only for people moving overseas with their current employers but also for companies looking to expand into new markets. Cultural knowledge is the cornerstone of success overseas.”

Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, with a presence in 104 countries.


Regus is the global workplace provider.

Its network of more than 2,000 business centres in 104 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.

The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.

Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: