The secret to better job satisfaction may be as easy as having a healthy sex life, a new study suggests.
According to researchers at Oregon State University, married employees who “prioritized sex at home” were better workers and enjoyed work more.
On the other hand, the research showed that people who bring work-related stress home “impinges on employees’ sex lives,” leading researchers to recommend leaving work at the office.
The reason sex helps workers enjoy work more is that it releases dopamine and oxytocin, both of which are mood enhancers the effects of which can last into the next day. They added that the effects can last for at least 24 hours and worked equally among men and women.
“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 and an expert in organizational behavior and management. “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.”
“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it is important to make it a priority,” Leavitt said. “Just make time for it.”
For their study, researchers followed 159 married employees for two weeks and had them fill out two brief questionnaires each day. Those who had sex reported better moods the next day, particularly in the morning, which allowed them to be more engaged.
“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,” Leavitt said. “Employers [in the U.S.] can steer their employee engagement efforts more broadly toward work-life balance policies that encourage workers to disconnect from the office,” he said.
The French recently enacted a law that bars after-hours email and gives employees a ‘right to disconnect.’
“Technology offers a temptation to stay plugged in, but it’s probably better to unplug if you can,” he said. “And employers should encourage their employees to completely disengage from work after hours.”
The study was published this month in the Journal of Management.