What can employees who are at risk of burnout do in their off-job time to recover adequately from their work? Extending the effort-recovery theory, we hypothesize that the continuation of work during off-job time results in lower daily recovery, whereas engagement in 'nonwork' activities (low-effort, social, and physical activities) results in higher daily recovery for employees who are at risk of burnout versus employees with low levels of burnout. A day reconstruction method was used to assess daily time spent on off-job activities after work, and daily recovery levels (i.e., physical vigor, cognitive liveliness, and recovery). In total, 287 employees filled in a general questionnaire to assess general levels of burnout. Thereafter, participants were asked to reconstruct their off-job time use and state recovery levels during 2 workweeks, resulting in a total of 2,122 workdays. Results of multilevel modeling supported all hypotheses, except the hypothesis regarding off-job time spent on physical activities. The findings contribute to the literature by showing that employees who are at risk of burnout should stop working and start spending time on nonwork activities to adequately recover from work on a daily basis.

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doi.org/10.1037/a0036904, hdl.handle.net/1765/71979
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
Department of Psychology

Oerlemans, W., & Bakker, A. (2014). Burnout and daily recovery: A day reconstruction study. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(3), 303–314. doi:10.1037/a0036904