Switching off mentally: predictors and consequences of psychological detachment from work during off-job time

J Occup Health Psychol. 2005 Oct;10(4):393-414. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.10.4.393.


Psychological detachment from work refers to the off-job experience of "switching off" mentally. It is hypothesized that a high degree of workload encountered during the work day has a negative impact on subsequent detachment processes and that psychological detachment from work is positively related to well-being. Eighty-seven individuals from various occupations provided questionnaire and daily survey measures over a period of 3 working days. Multilevel analysis showed that workload was negatively related to psychological detachment from work during evening hours. Psychological detachment from work was associated with positive mood and low fatigue. The negative relationship between psychological detachment and fatigue was particularly strong on days with high time pressure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Occupations
  • Rest*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload
  • Workplace / psychology*