Fifty Shades of Grey - In the Office


This blog is for those who think that Christian Grey and Anatasia Steele are the only ones who get hot and heavy in the office – don’t be fooled - it can happen in real life too.

It’s amazing how many couples have been caught in the “act” in the workplace. To name a few I know of:

  • An employee caught watching porn in the workplace and the employer found the employee was the ‘star’ in the porn they were watching
  • Couple going for it on a car in the basement carpark
  • Couple going for it in the vault
  • All on in the lift
  • And don’t forget the one in the bathrooms


Or how about this couple that got caught in the window across the street from a bar in Christchurch a few weeks ago.

What about people in other workplaces watching the video of the Marsh people actions in the workplace? Would it contravene a company’s IT and Internet policies?

riding crop

All this activity makes life interesting for HR Professionals and the Managers who have to deal with the fall out.

Obviously the investigation can have some awkward moments. !

The biggest consideration to take into account must be whether the couple has bought the company into disrepute. This is usually outlined by a clause in a policy or in employment agreements around professional behaviour such as below:


In any organisation it is necessary to set down rules governing conduct and procedures to ensure to smooth running of the company.

Conduct which threatens personal health, well-being or security of staff or which endangers reputation, plant, property or product is outside the accepted behaviour at our company.

The rules are subject to the provisions of your Employment Agreement.

business etiquette

It is critical to have this clause at it can relate to more than just sex in the workplace. It can also relate to:

  1. Alcohol infused behaviour
  2. Fighting
  3. Road rage if using a company car
  4. Inappropriate posting on social media


It will make your life a lot easier when coming to a recommendation once the investigation has taken place.

You may also need to take into account the values of the organisation involved. Not only the employment brand but the marketing brand can be affected by these incidents if they make the press.

If you know of some awkward situations share them with our community so we can all be ready when it happens again!

by Emma Worseldine

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