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Formal Language Is Dying Out At Work

Businesswomen gossiping in office

Photo: Paul Bradbury / OJO Images / Getty Images

Office attire isn’t the only thing that’s becoming more casual in the workplace. According to new research, the language used at work these days is less formal, and we can thank younger generations for the change.

  • A new survey from Barclays LifeSkills finds that 70% of respondents have noticed changes in the language used at work over the last five years.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) say they now communicate less formally on the job.
  • Gen Z seems to be leading the way, with 71% of those polled saying younger workers are changing the formality of language in the workplace.

The phrases and email sign-offs most likely to disappear in the next decade include:

  • “Yours truly” (41%)
  • “Yours sincerely” (36%)
  • “To whom it may concern” (35%)
  • “With compliments (33%)
  • “Respects” (31%)

The survey also reveals:

  • More than a third (37%) say “Yours truly” and “Yours sincerely” are old-fashioned.
  • On the flip side, the phrases they see as friendly are “Thanks!” (46%) and “Thanks so much” (50%).
  • Some casual phrases seem to be more divisive, including “ta!” which is considered overly familiar by 29%, but friendly by 23%. “Hiya” is also dividing opinions, with 42% saying it’s friendly, while 26% think it’s overly familiar.

Source: CNBC

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