Recovery, well-being, and performance-related outcomes: the role of workload and vacation experiences

J Appl Psychol. 2006 Jul;91(4):936-45. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.91.4.936.


On the basis of theoretical assumptions regarding resource gain and loss (S. E. Hobfoll, 1998), the authors used a longitudinal study to examine effects of vacation on well-being and performance-related outcomes. University employees (N = 221) completed measures of well-being (health complaints and burnout) and performance-related outcomes (self-reported task performance and effort expenditure) 1 week before and 2 days and 2 weeks after vacation and measures of workload 2 days after vacation. Specific vacation experiences (positive and negative work reflection, relaxation, mastery experience, and nonwork hassles) were assessed during vacation. Results showed changes in well-being and self-reported effort expenditure from before to after vacation, revealing vacation effects and partial fade-out effects. In addition, vacation experiences and workload significantly predicted some of the outcomes. The authors discuss applicability of the theoretical approach in the context of vacation and fade-out effects, implications for future research on recovery processes, and practical implications.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Convalescence*
  • Employee Performance Appraisal*
  • Female
  • Holidays*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Workload*