Adultery can damage marriages and friendships, as well as being destructive to children’s psyches. Another less obvious cost are the employee work hours spent looking for something on the side when they should be working.
A Swedish-based online cheating site surveyed its users, estimating that employees were costing their businesses over $17 million in unproductive wages. The site offers users a way to have discreet extramarital affairs and it appears that business is booming.
According to the survey, nearly 30 percent of users spent 1.17 hours a day on average on online cheating websites instead of working. Another 38 percent reported at least 30 minutes a day were spent on the dating site. Another 19 percent said they spend upwards of two hours. And it didn’t stop there. Well over half of the participants in the study said they contacted their online partners during their workday via their computers or smartphones, and 25 percent found time to contact lovers either at home or elsewhere.
The study shows that while a majority of adultery does happen at work, it is not necessarily with a co-worker. The popularity of online dating sites has continued to rise, with many cases of adultery occurring with matches made on these popular sites.
Because of the surge in online affair sites, the amount of money businesses are losing to non-productivity is staggering. Research has shown that 67 percent of marriages do not survive an affair.
To determine how much money businesses are actually losing the researchers took the number of users the Swedish site had and multiplied it by the minimum wage in the United States. Using that as an estimated baseline the survey found $17 million as an example of what businesses are losing because their employees are engaging in conversations with their extramarital partners instead of working.
Despite the large numbers, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports that in many cases of adultery there is a large percentage of marriages that not only survive affairs but also flourish if the couple undergoes therapy.