The secret to getting ahead at work? Have more sex. (Not at work, the authors hasten to add, have the sex at home.)
We all know that people who are fulfilled by their jobs and engaged with their work are more successful than their dissatisfied coworkers who are just phoning it in. In fact, it’s because those who are committed to the work and happier with their role tend to perform better, that they are also more likely to get promoted faster and earn more.
New research shows that the key to that advantage at the office could begin at home. According to a new study out this week from Oregon State University, workers who maintain a healthy sex life unknowingly give themselves a next-day advantage at work, where they were more likely to immerse themselves in their tasks and enjoy their work lives.
“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 study co-author Keith Leavitt, 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.”
For this study, researchers followed 159 married employees over the course of two weeks, asking them to complete two brief surveys each day. They found that employees who engaged in sex reported more positive moods the next day, and the elevated mood levels in the morning led to more sustained work engagement and job satisfaction throughout the workday.
The effect, which appears to linger for at least 24 hours, was equally strong for both men and women and was present even after researchers took into account marital satisfaction and sleep quality, which are two common predictors of daily mood.
“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority,” Leavitt said. “Just make time for it.”
This reminds me of a similar study from a few years back. For that one, researchers looked specifically at the effect that your sexual activity had on your income. It turns out there’s a quantifiable impact. In an academic paper called The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages (full report opens as a PDF), the authors demonstrated how four times a week was the magic number.
People who had sex at least four times a week earned noticeably more money (5% more) than their less sexually-active colleagues. Once again, the conclusion was that people who were more frequently amorous were happier and more confident than those who weren’t getting lucky.
Happiness and confidence are often considered to be the among the key elements to professional success. So, just in case you needed another reason to have more sex: it’s good for your career, and it can lead to you earning more money.
Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I have to show this research to my wife.