Put this article up on the refrigerator. The reminder might give your work and your home life a bit of a boost. Researchers had 159 employed married people complete two daily surveys over the course of a couple weeks in order to better understand what sort of impact sex has on next-day job satisfaction and work engagement. Elevated mood levels the morning after were found to persist throughout the workday.
“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional, and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority,” said study first author Keith Leavitt, OSU College of Business associate professor. “Just make time for it.” The study was recently published in the Journal of Management. Co-authors included Christopher Barnes and Trevor Watkins from the University of Washington, and David Wagner from the University of Oregon.
According to the study’s abstract, “Sexual behavior represents relatively common and mundane home-life behavior, with demonstrated impact on both mood and general physical and psychological well-being.”
Researchers found equally strong positive effects for both women and men – after sleep quality and marital satisfaction were taken into account. Results of the study suggested, “Sex at home increased both daily job satisfaction and daily job engagement as a function of increased positive affect.” And apparently, “Daily work-to-family strain-based conflict significantly reduced the likelihood of engaging in sex at home that evening.”
Employers trying to help boost their employees’ engagement on the clock and balance work-life stress should encourage employees to leave work at work. “Technology offers a temptation to stay plugged in, but it’s probably better to unplug if you can,” Leavitt said, “and employers should encourage their employees to completely disengage from work after hours.” Too bad there’s no such thing as “after hours” at a newspaper.
“Making a more intentional effort to maintain a healthy sex life should be considered an issue of human sustainability, and as a result, a potential career advantage,” said Leavitt. “We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it. Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help employees stay happy and engaged in their work, which benefits the employees and the organizations they work for.”
Speaking of human sustainability, research from other sources suggests that sex, however mundane, could carry some risk of producing tiny humans as well as a wide range of other career compounding variables.
By Matthew Hunt