Last week, BusinessWeek columnist Liz Ryan stirred things up by publishing a column titled “The Truth About Sex At Work.”
Sex at work, Ryan suggested, is a lot more common than most people think.
So instead of acting like a bunch of mortified Puritans about sex at work, Ryan continued, we should just acknowledge the reality and talk about it.
Well, we wanted to find out just how prevalent sex at work really is these days, as well as what folks think about it.
So we put together a sex-at-work survey.
Some of the results were quite startling.
And with about 2,500 responses, this was one of the most popular surveys we have ever done.
So, without further ado…
Even more people think colleagues who don't work together should be allowed to have sex. (So some people, presumably, think that colleagues who do work together should NOT be allowed to have sex.)
Almost no one thinks that these intra-company sexual relationships should have to be reported to the company.
But! Most people do not think managers should be allowed to have sex with their subordinates. (There IS a limit to sex at work, apparently. And most people think this should be it.)
Most people think having sex with colleagues is fine as long as it's handled professionally and doesn't involve a direct reporting relationship.
Some of us have actually exercised restraint: About half of people say they have NOT pursued sexual relationships with colleagues because they were colleagues.
Almost no one has quit a job so they could pursue a sexual relationship with a colleague. (We either abstain--or just go ahead and have sex.)
And here's where it gets really interesting... Most people think that 20%-40% of their colleagues have had sex with a colleague.
In an answer that will probably come as a relief to human-resources professionals, relatively few of us say we have had sex with our bosses.
Get this... Nearly half of people who have had sex with a colleague (most people) say they have had sex AT THE OFFICE.
And now on to the impact of all this sex at work... Most people who have had sex with a colleague say the relationship did not help or hurt their productivity.
Most of those who have had sex with colleagues also say that the relationships have not impacted their carriers. (Phew!)
And, interestingly, although most people say their sex with colleagues did not change their attitude toward sex with colleagues, a meaningful percentage said the the affairs IMPROVED their attitude about sex with colleagues.
And, happily, the bottom line is that more than 9 out of 10 people who have had sex with a colleague say they are GLAD they had sex with their colleague.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.