Characteristics such as diligence and dedication are usually cited as keys to achieving success at work. But what people don’t realise is that a healthy sex life can greatly contribute to enhancing efficiency at the office. And research backs it up. You can sleep your way to the top, so to speak.
Maintaining a healthy sex life at home boosts employees’ job satisfaction and engagement at the office, an Oregon State University (OSU) study revealed earlier this year.
Over a period of two weeks, researchers tracked 159 married employees and asked them to complete two brief surveys daily.
They found that employees who had sex – both men and women – reported better moods the next day, which led to increased work engagement and job satisfaction throughout the workday. What’s more, positive effects lasted for at least 24 hours.
“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,” said Keith Leavitt, an Associate Professor in OSU’s College of Business.
“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 for which they work.”
Having sex releases dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with the reward centres, as well as neuropeptides, associated with social bonding and attachment. That makes sex a natural and relatively automatic mood elevator and the benefits extend well into the next day, Leavitt said.
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Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If people are stressed at work and take that home, their sex life can take a nose-dive.
In the current era of smartphones, after-hours responses to work emails are often expected. The findings highlight the importance of leaving work at the office, Leavitt said.
“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority,” Leavitt advised. “Just make time for it.”
He said it is very tempting to stay plugged in because technology makes it so easy, but it is better to unplug.
“Employers should encourage their employees to completely disengage from work after hours,” Leavitt said.
“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.”
The researchers’ findings were published this month in the Journal of Management. The co-authors are Christopher Barnes and Trevor Watkins of the University of Washington and David Wagner of the University of Oregon.