Vacation effects on behaviour, cognition and emotions of compulsive and non-compulsive workers: Do obsessive workers go 'cold turkey'?
SourceStress and Health, 30, 3, (2014), pp. 232-243
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Stress and Health
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Compulsive workers often face psychological and physical health disturbances because of working long hours and an obsessive preoccupation with work during off-job time. Prolonged respite episodes may either relief these employees from their daily stressors to recover or trigger withdrawal symptoms. Our research question was as follows: How do (1) work hours, (2) rumination and (3) affective well-being unfold for compulsive workers compared with non-compulsive workers across long vacations? In a longitudinal field study, work hours, rumination and affective well-being were assessed in 54 employees 2weeks before, during and in the first, second and fourth week after a long summer vacation. Working compulsively was assessed 3weeks before vacation. Work hours decreased during and increased after vacation. Levels of rumination dropped during vacation and remained below baseline until 2weeks after vacation. Initial differences in rumination between obsessive and non-obsessive workers disappeared during and directly after vacation. Affective well-being rose during vacation and returned to baseline directly after vacation. Increases in affective well-being during vacation as well as decreases after vacation were greater in obsessive workers than in non-obsessive workers. Vacations seem to temporarily offset characteristic differences between obsessive and non-obsessive workers, decrease rumination and improve affective well-being.
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