‘I do feel guilty for having sex on the clock’: Confessions of people working from home

As employees slowly return to the office, Olivia Petter hears from those who’ll miss some simple pleasures they’ve enjoyed while doing their job remotely

Thursday 29 July 2021 14:46

After 18 months of restrictions, lockdowns and closed offices, it’s safe to say that many Britons have become accustomed to working from home.

What was born out of a difficult situation, and might have initially seemed like a burden – “you mean I have to listen to my partner’s work calls all day?!” – has made us realise there are definitely benefits to staying at the kitchen table. At least for some of us.

A study by Stanford University found productivity increases at home by 13 per cent. This is partly because people take fewer sick days and breaks but also because they are less distracted by the working environment, gone are the days of watercooler chitchat and Pret sarnies.

But while some have suggested working from home has increased instances of burnout, there is clearly still an appeal to the work/life balance many have found. According to a recent YouGov poll, one in five people want to continue WFH full-time after the pandemic, while more than one in three want to continue working remotely “some of the time”.

It seems that in 2021, there’s an entirely new way to work – and some people are using it to their advantage. For some, it might be a case of treating yourself to a lunchtime nap, or perhaps a bath. Others, however, have taken some liberties during the last year by treating themselves to a bit of self-care on company time, whether that be in the form of a facial or something a little more (ahem) intimate.

From the practical and the savvy to the downright inappropriate and audacious, here’s how people have been maximizing their time at home...

Afternoon delights, every afternoon

Lucy*, 24, Marketing Executive, Brighton

I have had sex during work time while working from home. I squeeze it in, pardon the pun, because working from home means we’re just on emails and Slack the whole time, so if someone does notice that I didn’t reply for a while, it’s not the end of the world. In the past, I’ve just said, “Oh, I’m sorry, my head was down in a document”, or “someone just called me”.

That does genuinely happen sometimes, of course. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t cope well with taking the p*** and I do feel guilty for having sex on the clock… so I do try to make the time back afterwards. But I do think if you can shift your work hours to make sure you get everything done and you can still have an orgasm, then why not?

‘I have had sex during work time while working from home’

A bit of work, a bit of play

Jess*, 28, Project Manager, Luton

My job is really intense and has been even more so during the pandemic. On quieter days, I always spend time away from the desk, either having a nap, reading, or there was one month when I got really into embroidery and would spend hours during my work day doing that.

Of course, I do occasionally take breaks to masturbate, too, though I have done that on busy days as well.

All’s fair in work and gaming

Josh*, 27, Property Developer, London

I play Warzone quite a lot during my working day. My mates and I used to do a few lunch time drops on Call of Duty with a squad of four. Sometimes, we’d finish the day early and get a couple games in then too.

A woman washing her hair at home.

Washing that stress right out of your hair

Megan*, 25, Writer, Essex

I have super thick hair, which takes me easily an hour to wash, and even longer to air dry. So I tend to wash it in the middle of the day while I’m working. That way, if I have after work plans, I can wash it on my lunch break and by the time I finish work, it’s dry.

It means I can organise my hair wash into my day rather than it taking up a big chunk of my evening.

Intimate self-care

Mike*, 34, HR manager

When you’re working from home, it can feel like the lines between what is and isn’t acceptable are blurred. Occasionally, I’ll feel really stressed or tired from calling people all day; maybe a colleague has done something to bug me. In those moments, I might choose to have a nap, but I also find it soothing to masturbate.

I always feel so much better afterwards and often work more efficiently, too. It really chills me out. If you’re home and you’re stressed , why wouldn’t you knock one out? You’d do it at 9pm, so why not 1pm?

A woman relaxing while at her remote working station.

Lunchtime snooze

Jo*, 31, PR executive, Manchester

I sneak in a nap during lunchtime some days, especially if I find I just can’t open my eyes. They aren’t long naps (20-30 minutes tops), but I find that they help me recharge and get me ready for the second half of the workday. Plus, it feels so luxurious being able to have a nap in the middle of the day.


Nellie*, 29, Copywriter, London

I tend to start my day working from bed, so it feels like I’m having a bit more of a lie-in. It feels a bit naughty. In the afternoons, occasionally I’ll treat myself to a face mask or put my hair in rollers.

Then I’ll spent the afternoon working in my dressing gown. Essentially, I just start getting ready for the evening from about 1pm. It saves me so much time.

*Names and identities have been changed

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