The daily commute from work to home: Examining employees' experiences in relation to their recovery status
Number of pages
SourceStress and Health, 31, 2, (2015), pp. 124-137
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Stress and Health
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Sufficient recovery after daily effort expenditure at work is important to protect employee health and well-being. However, the role of commuting in the daily effort-recovery process is still not very well understood. The present study aimed to advance insight in this respect by examining if relaxation, detachment, mastery and stressful delays experienced during the commute from work to home affect employees' recovery status after returning home from work and at the end of the evening. Daily job demands were expected to moderate these effects. Serenity and (low) anxiety were included as indicators of employees' recovery status. Data were collected by means of a 5-day daily diary study (three measurements daily) among 76 participants from various industries. Multilevel analyses showed that relaxation was positively and stressful delays were negatively related to employees' recovery status after returning home from work but not to indicators of recovery at the end of the evening. For detachment, similar relations were found but only on days with high job demands. Mastery was not related to employees' recovery status. These findings enhance our insight in the daily effort-recovery cycle and underline the importance of promoting detachment (on demanding workdays) and relaxation on the way home from work.
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