Sexting In The Workplace: Is It Ever Okay?
Work + Life Balance

Sexting In The Workplace: Is It Ever Okay?

by Devay Campbell
Photos Joe Kathrina | October 12, 2015

AS TEMPTING AS IT MAY BE, ELIMINATE THE DIRTY TALK WHILE ON THE CLOCK. 

What do you get when you add steamy photos, spicy conversations, and your smartphone?

Trouble—at least when you're at work. 

Unless you have been under a rock, you're probably familiar with the term “sexting.” In fact it's become so popular, it's made its way into Webster’s Dictionary where it's defined as “the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone.”

It's natural for couples to engage in some flirting when they're apart, but as harmless as sexting may be, there's one place it should be totally avoided: at the office. {Click to Tweet} Let’s review a few scenarios of how this ultra-flirty texting might get you into hot water with your company.

OOPS, I DIDN’T MEAN TO SAY THAT

The fact that the word “sex” is part of sexting should tell you that it’s a workplace no-no, especially when we're juggling deadlines and projects. Have you ever had more than one conversation going at the same time and accidentally typed or said what you were thinking?

It's embarrassing enough when you address an email to the wrong name or send off a glaring typo, but imagine you've just written an email to your boss that says “I will have the project underwear to you as soon as possible.” Then before you think about it, you click “send.”

So what if what you meant to write was: “I will have the project under way as soon as possible”? Do you really want to explain? The embarrassment alone would make you want to get another job and a new alias—fast.

A good rule of thumb: don’t say or do anything at work that you would not want on display for the entire office to see. It can wait.

THE ULTIMATE DISTRACTION

Depending on how far you take the sexting, you can really get lost in the moment. One message leads to another, which can ultimately be a prelude to a photo and even more comments. This level of distraction may be pleasurable for you, but it could wreak havoc on your deadlines and work performance. And don’t fool yourself into thinking you can just send one sext and be done. Who wants to waste time analyzing reports and other boring job duties when there's a sext-capade going on?  Okay, I made that word up, but you get the point.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

We've all experienced the nosy officemate or supervisor who visits your workspace several times a day and always seem to show up when you are touching up your nail polish, right?

Imagine the look on your face when they come in while you're in the middle of sexting. Good luck convincing the person standing over you that you were only checking to make sure you added the three o’clock meeting to your phone calendar.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH—LET'S TALK WORK PHONES

If your phone is a work-issued phone or if your employer pays a portion of your monthly bill, your sexts are not private. They may even be saved to a workplace server. If this is the case, you run the risk of losing your job, or—far worse—being charged with distributing pornographic material. Even if by some miracle your behavior flies under the radar, there's most likely someone in IT who knows all your pet names and indiscretions. Gross.

Whatever happens at work is still considered workplace business, even if it involves personal matters. That includes sexting. A good rule of thumb: don’t say or do anything at work that you would not want on display for the entire office to see. It can wait. {Click to Tweet}

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Do you think sexting at work is OK? Tell us if you agree or disagree in the comments.