Need Satisfaction and Employees' Recovery State at Work: A Daily Diary Study

J Occup Health Psychol. 2015 Jul;20(3):377-87. doi: 10.1037/a0038761. Epub 2015 Feb 23.


The present study aimed to advance insight in the associations between employees' daily effort expenditure at work and their recovery state during the workday, and specifically focused on the role of daily work-related need satisfaction in this process. We examined (a) if high intrinsic work motivation and low self-control effort act as mediating mechanisms underlying the beneficial role of need satisfaction, and (b) to what extent need satisfaction mitigates the adverse effects of high job demands (work pressure and cognitive demands) on employee recovery. Data were collected by means of a 5-day daily diary study (2 measurements daily: in the morning before work, and at the end of the workday) among 68 participants. Multilevel analyses showed that need satisfaction at work was related to a beneficial recovery state at the end of the workday, and that this association was mediated by high intrinsic work motivation and low self-control effort. Furthermore, need satisfaction attenuated the adverse effects of high work pressure on employee recovery. All in all, this study increased our understanding of employees' daily effort and recovery processes at work, and highlighted the beneficial role of need satisfaction at work.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Multilevel Analysis
  • Netherlands
  • Self-Control
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work / psychology*
  • Workload / psychology*
  • Young Adult