How much does your personal life affect your work life? Can it play a role in your ability to perform, lead, and inspire others? Or, can it lead to stress, exhaustion, frustration, and low confidence?
While many of us think that we can separate our work from love and romance--leaving our work at the office, and our home life at home--some research is revealing that we're not as good at separating the two as we'd like to think we are.
That shouldn't be a huge surprise. Studies have shown that healthy personal relationships are associated with a decreased risk of mortality, a reduction in stress, and an overall sense of wellbeing.
So how do significant others, love lives, or personal relationships truly impact our work? Are we more confident when we are in relationships? Are we more distracted or less distracted?
A study from Harvard showed that married men are less likely to quit a job before finding another. A study of twins found that the married twin earned 26 percent more than their unmarried sibling. Another study found that men in relationships with educated women earn more than their counterparts.
According to a report on CNN, in accordance with CareerBuilder, 21 percent of employees feel their company shows favoritism to employees in married relationships over single employees. And, a survey published in the Guardian suggests that nine percent of employees who quit their jobs leave due to a separation or divorce.
While all of the above are interesting nuggets of fodder, none of them reveal the emotional impact relationships have on our work.
Enter the dating website MillionaireMatch. Established in 2001, it's the first and largest millionaire dating site in the world. Although the company initially didn't have any information I was seeking, they were willing to work with me to conduct a survey of their members.
Select individuals were asked to answer various question., 38 responded, and some of the answers were intriguing.
One open-ended question we asked was, "Why or how does having a solid personal relationship impact your career?" Many answers were simple, like "Two working as a team can divide activities of daily living." Some other answers were, "It provides confidence," "It offers balance," and "It does not impact my career, at all."
And others were a little more in-depth: "I perform well at work no matter what, but having some one in one's life that you are both working towards something makes a huge difference," and "Life is best when it is shared. When your relationship box is left unchecked or not being addressed, it leaves an unclosed loop that drains energy and eventually reduces your drive to succeed."
Obviously, all of us will have a different perspective on the value a relationship could play in the whole of lives. However, this is where the survey responses intrigued me the most.
In the survey, we asked two yes-or-no questions that were purposely worded differently, but could be perceived as very similar to one-another. The first was, "Does having a significant other make you feel more confidant at work?" Of those that responded, 58 percent agreed that a significant other makes them feel more confident.
However, when we asked the next question, "Does knowing someone else believes in you make you produce better results?" a full 71 percent responded with yes--possibly an insight that reveals, as humans, it's more important to have someone in our lives (significant other or not) cheering for us and believing that we can do great work than it is to have a simply have a significant other.
Our relationships can impact all aspects of our lives, even our work. As one respondent wrote, "Only if the relationship is going poorly does it affect me. My work is no different when I'm totally in a healthy relationship, or if I'm totally out of one."
That's a wise answer. Conflict, lack of recognition, and lack of trust can be the demise of any relationship, both personal and professional. But, if someone believes in us, appreciates us, and cheers for us, there's no telling how great we can become--single, married, dating, or whatever.