54% Of Americans Have Sex With Coworkers — Let's Just Let It Happen, Already
If you've ever found yourself questioning either the stronghold or the reasonability of work-place relationship policies, this new survey which provides detailed statistics on people's opinions of sex dynamics in the workplace will be an interesting read.
In summary, the survey's findings essentially show huge partiality towards officially allowing colleagues to have sex, in particular if they work in different departments. As well, most people believe that employees should not have to notify Human Resources or any designated department of the nature of their relationship. However, the support of allowing colleagues was mainly limited to those equal in the ranks of their company; bosses sleeping with their subordinates was not well regarded.
The "jackpot" questions of the survey, though, were arguably the ones that revealed the fact that while most of us believe between 20%-40% of co-workers have sex, a startling 54.01% of those surveyed had, in fact, had sex with a co-worker.
While according to the surveyed sample, these occurrences have been overwhelmingly self-declared as having no impact on their productivity at work, it's a little shaky to consider employee's own opinions on this, as no one would readily want to admit to even themselves that a sexual relationship might be significantly negatively impacting their career. For this reason, while it might be extensive to ask employees to declare their sexual relationships to Human Resources, it might be helpful in motivating these employees to keep themselves in check while they're on the clock as to not be distracted by relationship dynamics.
Reporting your deeds might seem like too much to ask or expect of employees, but it's pretty much guaranteed that having a no-sex-with-co-workers policy is going to be a useless feat. With just over 95% of those surveyed confirming that they have not quit a job to pursue a sexual relationship with a co-worker combined with the fact that more than half of them have indeed had sex with a co-worker, it's the kind of inevitable case in which implementing a restrictive policy on something so inescapable is more likely to create conflict than leaving an open policy; what's needed is something like this no sexual or intimate contact within the workplace policy, which is totally reasonable.
The same survey question which established that 95% of the respondents have not quit a job to pursue a sexual relationship with a co-worker points out that there are two options left: to flat-out not pursue a co-worker, or to go ahead and break the rules. Personally, I think the first option is incredibly limiting and unfairly restrictive (just like most people do), and as a result the second becomes part of an unnecessary struggle. It looks as though these work-relationship policies are becoming less relevant and less pronounced. If this leads to more distractions in the workplace, then at least employees will be penalised based on their deteriorating performance in the workplace, rather than their presumably improved performance elsewhere.