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Issue Date:- 14 April 2008


ACCORDING to a new study from business psychologists OPP, the UK is top of the European charts for ‘workplace chameleons’. It found that 64% of UK workers (ie. 18.6 million) change their natural behaviour and put on a false personality when they walk into work. This compares with a European average of just 50%, with countries such as the Netherlands coming in at only 36%.

The survey questioned 1,000 employees in the UK and a further 3,000 in 6 other European countries. It revealed that UK workers are more likely to change the way they project their personality at work than their European counterparts. The extent to which they disguise their personalities is also startling, with a 3rd admitting to putting on a radically different face at work. In fact, 45% go as far as to attempt to take on an entirely new persona with each new job they take.  And it’s not just employees who aren’t showing their real selves: half of bosses (48%) admit to changing the way they present their personality when interviewing candidates and 15% continue to adopt a different persona in front of anyone they manage.


HR               (90%)
Education     (77%)
Finance        (73%)
Healthcare    (71%)
IT                 (70%)

Unsurprisingly, this relentless morphing is causing considerable strain on the workforce: 39% find their jobs more stressful because they feel obliged to act in a certain way.  And it’s not just in the office that these chameleons change their true colours, more than one in five of us admit to changing our apparent personality when in a social setting with colleagues, and an alarming 11% of us are even doing it when we’re with our friends.

Robert McHenry, CEO of OPP, comments:- “To an extent, most of us would admit to having different faces for different situations. What is worrying is the degree to which people feel the need to try and change their personality and the effect that this has on their lives in terms of stress levels, tiredness and productivity.  The UK workforce seems to have become caught up with managing impressions and meeting organisational expectations about what is and what isn’t the ‘right’ kind of person for any particular role or company. The truth is, of course, that any business needs to blend a number of different types of people, each with their own attributes and differing strengths, if it is to succeed.

Suppressing or enhancing any given trait to the detriment of one’s real personality will be counter productive and can have longer term effects on health. For anyone to perform well and be happy, it’s important they remain true to their genuine selves – particularly when people now spend so many of their waking hours at work.

Understanding who you are and exploring both your strengths and weaknesses can go a long way to unlocking your full potential at work, both as an individual and in a team.”


1 in 6 drivers have been victims of road rage incidents in the past 12 months, new research from shows.  More than 7.4 million motorists have been involved in confrontations with other drivers with younger drivers the most likely to be on the receiving end of other road users’ anger, the independent financial comparison website says.

The survey found that nearly 300,000 drivers had their cars damaged as a result of road rage confrontations; graphically illustrating the need for insurance. According to the RAC Foundation some ten per cent of drivers have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Several motor insurers such as Sainsbury’s Bank, which pays up to £1,000 compensation if drivers are assaulted, offer cover for road rage as part of their standard policies while others such as women-only insurer Sheila’s Wheels provide counselling services.

Sean Gardner of, said:- “Most of us will have lost our tempers while stuck in traffic and can sympathise with the sense of frustration felt by other drivers.  But any sympathy goes out of the window for drivers who take out their anger on others. Shouting and swearing at other motorists is bad enough but damaging other drivers’ cars is beyond the pale. 

Our study did not thankfully find any evidence of physical assault but that is perhaps more down to luck than anything else. The fact that one in six of us has suffered from road rage is worrying. And of course many of us may be guilty of road rage ourselves.” estimates that around 1 in 20 fully comprehensive car insurance policies have a specific allowance for personal injury caused by road rage.

However there are often exceptions and caveats, such as whether you caused the altercation and whether you are related to your assailant.

The most common form of road rage reported by motorists is tailgating, driving too close to another car; or other forms of aggressive driving.

Around 75% of those who have suffered road rage in the past year were tailgated. 

Half of the road rage incidents reported by motorists resulted in verbal confrontation while 4% saw cars being damaged. 

Around 16% of motorists say they have suffered road rage in the past year; that rises to 19% of 18 to 34 year old motorists.

Drivers aged 55 or over are least likely to be victims. 

Drivers in the North of England are more likely to be road rage victims with 18% reporting incidents while just 12% of motorists in London have been victims.

Have you experienced road rage?  If so let us know by emailing us at

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