For years, social scientists have been making the case that intentionally taking time off work makes us more productive on the job. Being with the family, going on vacation, taking a mental health day--these are all practices that recharge your mind and body in important ways.
Without such breaks, we're more susceptible to burnout and health issues. And in the long run, our quality of work will decrease.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Americans are paying attention to the research. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average annual hours worked by the American worker has held steady at around 1,780 since 2011, well above many of our European counterparts. And entrepreneurs have been found to consistently work longer hours than the average American employee.
The advantages workers gain after having sex
But a recent study may finally get more workers, bosses, and business owners to think seriously about the benefits of work-life balance. Researchers at three different universities found that married employees who had sex at home experienced a "day after" advantage at work. They were more focused, more engaged, and more likely to enjoy their responsibilities.
The effects were equal for men and women, and seemed to last as long as 24 hours. Study participants who had sex with their spouses more frequently reported greater overall job satisfaction.
Oregon State University Professor Keith Leavitt, one of the study's researchers, explained, ""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."
A healthy sex life can only happen with work-life balance
This all sounds simple enough, but today's worker faces plenty of barriers to a robust intimate life. Chronic lack of sleep is directly linked to a lower libido or decreased interest in sex. Stress has a similar effect on sex drive.
Having a healthy sex life, then, isn't going to happen in isolation. You and your spouse will need to develop an overall quality of life that will give you the time, energy, and desire to get busy in the bedroom.
The recommendation from the sex study's researchers? Leave work at work as much as possible. Turn off those laptops and smart phones in the evenings. You'll be much more likely to get lucky at home--which will directly translate into positive benefits at work too.
It's a rare case in which everyone can win--you, your spouse, and the business.