It may be hard for some workers to fathom, but sex in the workplace isn't as uncommon as they may think. About a tenth of all workers responding to recent poll admitted to "making love" in the workplace, while nearly twice as many said they thought about doing it, according to Glassdoor, an employment-information website.
Of those who admitted to having sex in the workplace, the majority -- 53 percent -- said the act was performed in their own office, while 22 percent say they had sex in a boss' office. Eighteen percent said they had sex on the boardroom table.
Given such results, it perhaps unsurprising that the survey findings also showed about 40 percent of respondents believed co-workers had engaged in sex in the workplace.
One of those who says he has is Jackie Summers, a Brooklyn-based writer who chronicles the challenges he faces in dating women in his blog, F*cking In Brooklyn. A veteran of Wall Street and New York's publishing industry, the 44-year-old Summers says the number of times he's had sex in the workplace are too numerous to count and includes encounters with women whom he was in relationships with as well as those he had just met.
All his flings, he says, were spontaneous and never resulted in getting caught, even though the acts lasted as long as 90 minutes. "[It was] totally worth the risk," says Summers, editorial director at The Good Men Project, a website that explores modern masculinity.
Of course, office romance is not limited to sex. Among the more than 1,000 users who responded to Glassdoor's survey, more than a third -- 37 percent -- reported having been romantically involved with a co-worker and slightly more than half believe it's just fine for fellow employees to date.
A recent study by Ryerson University in Canada confirmed that most employees don't mind if colleagues date, so long as it doesn't affect productivity and the work atmosphere, according to the My Small Business blog at Australia's Business Day.
Other research by Westminster University found no evidence that office romances were a drag on productivity -- that is until the lovebirds decided to call it quits. In the aftermath of a breakup, latent tension between the former couple may make it difficult to continue working together.
That's why workplace experts advise co-workers to think twice before agreeing to become romantically involved or even agree to go out on a date. The odds that such a relationship will last aren't in the couple's favor, says relationship expert Pepper Schwartz, and may lead to the unemployment line.
"The possible consequences here are not just the loss of the person you're ga-ga over," Schwartz told Forbes in 2009. "It could mean the loss of your livelihood."
Among other findings, Glassdoor's "Love in the Workplace" survey revealed:
- Nearly 70 percent of respondents had received a Valentine's Day themed gift from a co-worker.
- A majority -- 54 percent -- said most office romances end with some or a lot of awkwardness at work.
- Eighteen percent admitted they were attracted to at least one of their co-workers.
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