Having an active, healthy sex life may increase people's engagement and satisfaction with their jobs, scientists have established. Their findings confirm the importance of having a strong work-life balance.
There has been a growing interest in recent years in studying the links between sex and mood – with much of the research showing that sexual behaviour tends to impact mood and general physical and psychological well-being for the better.
In a study now published in the Journal of Management, researchers from Oregon State University have investigated what this may mean for people's attitude at work.
They found out that despite sex being a relatively common home-life behaviour, it had a real capacity to improve the way employees acted the next day. It made them more immersed in their tasks and more able to enjoy their work.
The scientists examined the case of 159 married employees, asking them to fill in a diary every day for two weeks. This involved completing two short surveys daily to discuss their moods, their marriage and their sex lives.
The results were compelling, showing a strong positive association between active sex-life and satisfying work-life. The researchers observed that when employees engaged in sex at home, they reported increased positive mood and feelings at work the following day. This effect was independent of the levels of marital satisfaction reported otherwise in the relationship. Sex at home was also found to lead to an improved, more sustained daily job satisfaction and daily job engagement.
The study also looked at whether bringing work back home, in the personal-life sphere, could have an impact on people's sex lives. They showed that it reduced people's likelihood of having sex.
"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 organisations they work for," lead author Leavitt, an expert in organisational behaviour and management, pointed out.
"In an era when smart phones are prevalent and after-hours responses to work emails are often expected, the findings highlight the importance of leaving work at the office", he added.
The long-term risk is that work ends up carrying so far into an employees' personal lives that it takes a toll on their sex lives – and eventually, their engagement in the office may decline. A strong healthy, balance between life and work may thus be crucial to lead a rewarding personal and professional life.
One of the study's limitations is that it only focused on married couples, so it is not clear if the results would be applicable to single people, or to those in different types of partnership. Additionally, the researchers has not looked at a diverse range of jobs, so it is possible that the results may be slightly different depending on people's professional occupations.