Volume 4, Number 36 -- October 3, 2007

What Are IT Employees Up To? Sleeping and Kissing, Apparently

Published: October 3, 2007

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

In an effort to get real handle on what is going on in the workplace,, the job search site, has commissioned polling company Harris Interactive to do a regular survey of the professional workforce called "Workplace Taboos." And the results of the survey, if they are representative, are sure to give you a chuckle.

And if you work from a home office, like I have done for the past 11 years and as all of the employees at IT Jungle have done for the past six years, the survey may make you yearn for a little of that old office environment.

According to the survey, which was filled out by 5,727 workers in the United States from June 1 through 13, there are a lot of shenanigans going on in the workplace. And men are doing more bad things than women. Some 49 percent of men say that they have fallen asleep on the job, compared to 35 percent for women. And 44 percent of men say that they have kissed a co-worker, while 34 percent of women say that they have. (I am curious how that math all breaks down on that one, and there are a lot of different possibilities to explain why men seem to be more amorous than women in the workplace, such as they are braggarts and they are lying. Or maybe the kissing is not always involving a man and a women. . . .)

Across both men and women, 21 percent of those polled said they have drank alcohol on the job, 22 percent have engaged in office theft, 22 percent admit to spreading rumors about a co-worker, 18 percent snooped around the office after hours, 4 percent lied about their academic background, and 2 percent admitted to taking credit for someone else's work.

"As companies continue to embrace more casual environments, employees may develop a false sense of informality when it comes to the office behavior," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at, in a statement accompanying the survey results. "Employees should make sure they are aware of company policies, so something that initially seems 'harmless' doesn't end up negatively impacting a career."

Interestingly, IT trade rag InformationWeek was able to get the subset of the data set for the poll that was related to IT workers. According to a story published last week, 49 percent of male IT workers admitted to falling asleep at their desks, and 44 percent said they had kissed a co-worker. The sleeping rate was the same for IT men as for men in general, while the kissing rate was a bit higher. (Boy, does that break some stereotypes for nerds.) In general, women in IT behaved a lot better, just like they do in the overall survey across all industries.

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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