It’s Valentine’s Day season. Love is in the air, and while some couples search for a babysitter so they can simply have a few hours to themselves getting some much needed rest and relaxation, other couples are planning the perfect evening out on the town. But, whatever your plans for the romantic holiday are, you’ll likely be spending it with someone you care about.
Significant others — spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, or the one with whom a person is in a “complicated” relationship — play an important role in their partner’s lives. When people make decisions, they generally think of the impact said decisions will have on their S.O. Many people even consider the impact career decisions will have on their other half.
If offered a job on the other side of the world, the thought of the whole “long distance” relationship conversation may immediately enter the job seeker’s mind. And, in the event of a job loss, people often fear the impact the financial strain will have on their family, even more than themselves.
Because family and relationships are so important, workplaces that foster an environment where a worker can have enough time to be a great employee and a great partner (and family member) generally make employees feel more content.
FlexJobs, a job search database that’s uniquely designed to help job seekers find flexible career opportunities, recently conducted a survey on how flexible work impacts a worker’s happiness. This includes how it impacts their personal relationships. Using this survey, we’ve created a list of ways having a flexible job — like a work-from-home job — can improve your love life.
1. A happier and better you
Nearly all of the survey respondents — 99% if fact — felt that having a flexible job (like a part-time position, a remote position, or a position with flexible hours) would make them a happier person in general. Why?
Well, the grind is tough to maintain day in and day out. Wake up two hours before work each day so you can eat, shower, get dressed, and drive in traffic to work, work for 8-9 hours, and drive home in traffic. Then, by the time you get home, it may already be time to start preparing for the next work day. Flexible work arrangements relieve some of that hassle, while allowing employees to focus on what really matters: productivity while at work, and family while at home.
Around nine out of 10 respondents agreed that a flexible career would reduce their stress levels, and also help them take better care of themselves. More than half of the respondents (61%) even thought they’d be able to get more exercise with a flexible position.
So, how can this help your love life?
According to a publication by Utah State University, some of the top reasons people give for getting divorced are the following:
- lack of commitment
- too much arguing
- marrying too young
- unrealistic expectations
- lack of equality in the relationship
- lack of preparation for marriage
The reason couples in non-marital relationships break up are often similar. And, while there’s not a quick-fix or instant cure that will make a person go from being a lousy partner to partner of the year, many problems in a relationship stem from stress. One partner takes his or her frustration out on the other.
Data published in UVA Magazine concludes that people who suffer from job and financial instability are the least likely to marry and more likely to end up getting divorced. So, a little extra happiness and reduced stress can go a long way in a relationship.
2. Increased availability
A flexible job may allow you to take a long lunch date here and there, or switch your hours around so you can spend a half-day with your S.O. Because flexible employees generally have a few more options in terms of when to complete their assignments, these workers can sometimes set aside more time for themselves and others.
Nearly nine out of 10 respondents (89%) agreed that having a flexible job would allow more time for friends and family, and around half of respondents (49%) said that a flexible job would allow more time for date nights.
3. Increased attentiveness
In addition to having more time to spend with your partner, a flexible job can also allow for more quality time. That is, if you have mastered the fine art of work-life balance. If you have the self-control to leave work at work, and refrain from checking emails, reviewing reports, and checking into systems during your off-time, a flexible position could help promote your attentiveness to your S.O. Some workers, remote workers in particular, do have trouble separating work and home, though. And therefore, some workers with flexible positions are less attentive to their partners.
Eighty-four percent of respondents thought a flexible job could make them more attentive to their partners, and 42% said they thought this type of work arrangement could even improve their sex life.
Do you think flexible work is better for a relationship?
About the FlexJobs survey: Over 2,000 respondents participated. The respondents were in various age groups and had various relationship statuses and family situations. Seventy-nine percent of respondents were between 30-59 years old, 9% were between 20-29 years old, and 12% were 60 and older. As for their relationship statuses, 24% were not currently in a relationship, 3% were dating someone, 15% were in a serious relationship or engaged, and 58% were married. When it comes to their parental status, 40% had children 18 and under, 22% had children over than 18, and 38% did not have children.