Workplace Porn

Gretchen Gallen
PENNSYLVANIA – The United States may be considered one of the most productive and industrious workforces in the world, but according to a recent study by Reed Haldy McIntosh & Associates office workers are setting aside plenty of time for their own personal pleasure.

The study titled "America At Work" was conducted over a period of a few days and shows an increasing tendency among office workers to view porn websites while on the company clock; this at a time when corporate rules and regulations have never been more stringent when it comes to employees using the Internet for their own recreation.

The study was one in a 12-part series provided by marketing research firm Reed Haldy McIntosh & Associates for the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), a San Francisco-based law firm that specializes in employee law disputes.

The results of the study were surprising to even Ted Reed himself, one of the owners of Reed Haldy McIntosh & Associates.

"The purpose of this information is to bring some information to the discourse, but also to make people aware that employees are doing this," Reed told XBiz. "Personally, I was surprised there was as much usage as there was. I tend to be very careful with my own computer, and I was surprised that other people aren't a little more cautious."

According to the study, one in four U.S. workers with Internet access at work has used company computers to visit porn sites, participate in "steamy chat rooms," or exchange romantic messages.

Twelve percent of respondents, and nearly twice as many men as women, said they used a company computer to access sexually explicit websites. And 12 percent of those polled said they have forwarded sexually explicit email content to co-workers while at work.

Six percent of respondents said they or a co-worker engaged in sexually explicit online chats or instant messaging at work, and 10 percent said they or a colleague had used the office computer for online dating services.

And while 43 percent of those surveyed said they thought that access to porn sites on the job was a deterrent from workplace productivity, 24 percent confessed to having used the company computer to search for sex or romance during office hours.

"Every American workplace has a story to tell about the casual use of company computers for personal purposes, and many of those stories reflect fairly benign behavior such as online shopping," said Steve Hirschfeld, the founder and CEO of ELA. "But now we get a clear and compelling insight into the significant use of workplace computers for more explicit sexual purposes well beyond online dating. As Valentine's Day nears, we are likely to see increased diligence on the part of employers seeking to ban the use of company computers for X-rated activities."