Workplace worries: A preliminary look at online sexual activities at the office - Emerging issues for clinicians and employers

Al Cooper, Marilyn P. Safir, Amir Rosenmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concerns about the impact of online sexual activities (OSA) on work-life are drastically increasing. This study examined 3,466 respondents who reported OSA, 18.5% of whom reported engaging in OSA at work. They were compared with the 81.5% who engaged in OSA at home, on average time spent in OSA, workplace policies regarding OSA, and relationship status. Two themes were identified and discussed: opportunity and sexual distress. Our findings indicate that participants are cognizant of issues of opportunity (e.g., the OSA from home group was more likely to indicate their workplace has established policies regarding OSA), and privacy, representing an important aspect of this theme (e.g., participants engaging in OSA at work were found to be twice as likely to have extra-marital affairs, compared with the OSA from home group). Secondly, our data suggests that many participants, especially from the OSA at work group, experience OSA-related distress. Engaging in OSA at the workplace may result in decreased productivity, issues of sexual harassment, and concerns about employee well-being. Clearly stated and consistently enforced policies regulating OSA are likely to mitigate workplace OSA. However, a significant minority of employees may have difficulties curbing OSA. Therefore, more sophisticated strategies to deal with workplace OSA should be established. Additional implications of importance for organizations and mental health professionals who support them are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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