Daily recovery from work-related effort : investigating emotional labour strategies and work-related thoughts.

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Science
University of Canterbury
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Volume Title
Thomas, James

Strategies for emotion regulation at work (emotional labour) have been linked to negative employee health outcomes such a burnout. An important part of the work-stress-strain relationship is recovery during non-work time. The current study had two aims. One was to replicate recent findings that two different emotional labour strategies (surface acting and deep acting) differ in their relationship to need for recovery after work at the day-level. A daily diary design was used to measure participants’ emotional labour at work and recovery after work on five consecutive days. Neither surface acting nor deep acting during a work shift related to need for recovery after work. The other aim of the study was to compare psychological detachment, affective rumination, and positive work reflection’s role in the recovery process. Psychological detachment mediated the negative relationship between need for recovery and vigour, so that when participants felt a high need for recovery after work, they were less likely to detach from work issues during their leisure time and in turn less likely to experience vigour before bed. Affective rumination and positive work reflection did not predict variance in vigour, suggesting that the content of work-related thoughts matters less for after-work recovery than does experiencing a lack of work-related thoughts. Implications of these findings are described and suggestions for future research is made.

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