Have you ever wondered what your co-workers do on the clock when they think nobody is watching them?

If you think it’s checking personal emails or occasionally logging into Facebook, you might be surprised to learn what really happens in the quiet corners of the average office space.

We surveyed over 1,000 people about their on-the-clock secrets to determine how much naughty behaviour really goes on at work. From workplace romances to sexual work breaks, what are the most offensive acts perceived at the office, and how often are they committed? Keep reading to see what we uncovered about these professional deviances.

OFFENSIVE OFFICE ACTS

The first thing we did was ask survey respondents about the office acts most perceived to be the most  offensive.

For men and women alike, masturbation was the most offensive behaviour co-workers could engage in around the office. However, other sexually-charged office acts left men and women more divided. In fact, women were more than twice as likely to deem watching explicit videos as the most offensive in-office act and 5 percent more likely to view “hooking up with a coworker” in this light as well.

Where drugs and alcohol were concerned, men were found to be 9 percent more likely to find the utmost offense.

Further, men more often felt that eating someone else’s food was actually the most offensive act one could commit in an office setting.

GETTING DIRTY AT WORK

Masturbation might seem like a private moment between you, and well, your private parts, but 10 percent of people surveyed have done the deed at the office – some more than once.

More than 1 in 10 men admitted to on-the-clock masturbation. While women made up a significantly smaller part of the self-loving population, 5 percent of female participants carved out time in their day to take care of themselves between meetings and memos.

Of those who engaged in some stress relief, less than a quarter said it was a one-time occurrence, but 40 percent de-stressed at work at least half a dozen times over the course of their career. For most, masturbating at work left them feeling excited or rebellious, compared to the few who walked away feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable.

People were more likely to masturbate at work than watch pornography. Fewer men and women told us they snuck a few minutes into their schedules to view X-rated video content.

HAPPILY CROSSING THE LINE

They say you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, but some people just can’t help themselves.

More than half of men in every generation have fantasised about a co-worker. The odds of daydreaming about a co-worker were the highest among Generation X men, with two-thirds admitting they had imagined what it would be like to hook up with their boss or co-worker. Women were less likely to fantasise about their boss or fellow employees, however – with millennial women least likely (23 percent).

Daydreaming is one thing, but actually fooling around is something else. More than 1 in 10 people have gotten frisky with a co-worker, and 4 percent have engaged in extracurricular activities with a non-employee.

Of those who got intimate around the office, 82 percent of women had sexual intercourse, compared to around two-thirds of men, who seemed fonder of oral sex than women.

Additionally, 72 percent waited until after office hours for cubicle canoodling. And 36 percent were courageous enough to pull it off in the middle of the day.

PLEASE PACK YOUR THINGS

So which office acts are perceived to be grounds for termination?

According to 82 percent of participants, employees who consume drugs or alcohol at work should be fired. People seemed more lenient toward co-workers who might be masturbating on the clock, but not by much.

Almost 80 percent said anyone caught pleasuring themselves during office hours should be terminated. Along with other sexual acts, 76 percent said watching porn should be a fireable offence.

Less than half were as concerned with their co-workers hooking up around the office, but 16 percent believed employees who ate someone else’s food should be let go.

NODDING OFF AT WORK

A report published by the CDC found that more than 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. If you’re showing up to work tired, you might be more likely to fall asleep on the job.

As it turns out, certain industries are falling asleep at work more than others. In the lead, 41 percent of people in the marketing and advertising industry have fallen asleep at work, while just 13 percent of people in the legal field have done the same. Roughly in the middle of these two professions were those in the hotel, food services, and hospitality sector, with 28% admitting to having fallen asleep on the job.

SNACK BANDITS

Communal kitchens at work can be a war zone. Are your co-workers cleaning up after they microwave their lunches? And how long has that Chinese takeout been in the fridge? You might even be asking yourself where your leftover cake went, or the chips you brought in for a midday snack. If you find you’re missing food, your co-workers might be to blame.

Of the people surveyed, more than 1 in 10 men admitted to eating someone else’s food, and 6 percent of women echoed the offence. Of these deplorable food thieves, 62 percent knew whom the meals they took belonged to.  

If you’re concerned about becoming a victim of these lunchtime raiders, you can always disguise your sandwich to keep it safe or make sure nobody second-guesses which bag is yours in the office fridge.  

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL BEFORE WORK

According to those surveyed, 12 percent of baby boomers, 15 percent of Gen Xers, and 12 percent of millennials have gone to work under the influence at least once.

In terms of substances, 77 percent used marijuana before clocking in for work. Studies have shown a connection between cannabis and reduced levels of ambition or motivation, so smoking before work may not be in your best interest. A third also drank alcohol before coming into work, and 19 percent took opioids.

Less than 5 percent took hallucinogens before hitting the office. Given side effects like seeing sounds or hearing colours, these might be among the most difficult to obscure from your boss.

REAL PEOPLE, REAL GIFTS

Your co-workers may be up to more than you think. From stealing food to masturbating, or even a quick nap, if your office has more than 10 employees, something probably happened when you weren’t paying attention.

At the end of the day, your co-workers are human, so the next time you need to pick up a gift for them, make sure it’s something they can laugh about. At Yellow Octopus, we have the coolest gifts and gadgets for nearly every occasion. Sourced from all across the world, we have everything you need for your next in-office gift exchange, no matter who you have to buy for. From the novel to the naughty, and everything in between, let Yellow Octopus help you win over your co-workers, no matter what they’re doing when you aren’t looking.  

METHODOLOGY

We surveyed over 1,000 people who currently, or had worked, in an office setting to find out about which behaviours they had engaged in as well as their thoughts on the various acts.

FAIR USE

Know someone who could benefit from our findings? You’re welcome to share the info found on this page for non-commercial purposes but we ask that you link back to this page and the authors.