Does evening “recovery” affect a person’s mood at work the next day?

The quality of recovery a person experiences on a given evening after work may impact their mood when they start their job again the next day, according to new research published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

The study, which was based on diary entries by 124 employees on 887 days, found that people who had higher quality recovery during the evening than usual had higher levels of wakefulness, calmness, and pleasantness when they started work the next day. However, people’s wakefulness and calmness tended to decline more strongly during the workday after evenings with higher quality recovery.

These findings imply that employees benefit from daily recovery, but these benefits subside during the workday. Therefore, it’s important to engage in recovery on a daily basis.

“Our study shows that daily recovery from work during off-job time is indeed beneficial for employees’ mood; however, these benefits do not last the entire workday. Thus, our findings highlight that the benefits of evening recovery are relatively short-lived,” said corresponding author Maike Arnold, MSc, of the University of Mannheim, in Germany. “We further found that some but not all of these benefits can be explained by a better sleep quality following good evening recovery.”

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For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout, [email protected].

About the Journal

The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology aims to increase understanding of people and organizations at work including: industrial, organizational, work, vocational and personnel psychology; behavioral and cognitive aspects of industrial relations; ergonomics and human factors; and industrial sociology. Innovative or interdisciplinary approaches with a psychological emphasis are particularly welcome. So are papers which develop the links between occupational/organizational psychology and other areas of the discipline, such as social and cognitive psychology.

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