An adequate balance between work and rest are prerequisites for a healthy, happy, and productive life. Recovery from work refers to the process of replenishing the physical, cognitive, and emotional resources that have been expended at work. Sufficient recovery makes employees ready for new challenges, increases their work motivation and work performance, improves mental and physical wellbeing, and prevents the accumulation of fatigue and strain. The more intensive and demanding employees’ work is, the greater the need for recovery.
Recovery takes place when employees are properly able to detach from work-related matters both physically and mentally. This can happen during work breaks at the workplace and during leisure time outside the workplace. Inability to detach from work has the potential to impair sleep. Insufficient sleep, in turn, impairs concentration and work performance, and has been linked with the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression.
The workplace can support employees’ recovery from work, for example, by smart work design and by providing employees tools to take care of themselves.
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Wendsche and Lohmann-Haisla. A meta-analysis on antecedents and outcomes of detachment from work. Frontiers in Psychology 2017;7:2072.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2018. Sleep and Chronic Disease.