While previous work on mindfulness has focused predominantly on the benefits of mindfulness and of mindfulness interventions, the present article addresses the question of how natural experiences of mindfulness can be promoted in the context of work. Accordingly, this article sheds light on day-to-day fluctuations in workload and recovery experiences (psychological detachment and sleep quality) as antecedents of state mindfulness. Furthermore, this study extends extant research that has documented beneficial effects of mindfulness on subsequent recovery experiences by arguing that the relationship between mindfulness and recovery experiences is reciprocal rather than unidirectional. Using an experience-sampling design across five workdays and involving three daily measurement occasions, we found that sleep quality and workload were related to subsequent levels of mindfulness. While not displaying a significant direct relationship with mindfulness, psychological detachment was indirectly related to mindfulness via sleep quality. Fatigue was identified as an important mechanism explaining these relationships. Furthermore, findings confirmed that the relationship between mindfulness and recovery experiences is reciprocal rather than unidirectional. Taken together, this study contributes to an enriched understanding of the role of mindfulness in organizations by shedding light on factors that precede the experience of mindfulness and by pointing to the existence of gain spirals associated with recovery experiences and mindfulness.
Practitioner points: Organizations seeking to promote mindfulness among their workforce should try to keep workload to a manageable degree.Organizations may also pay attention to care for employees' day-to-day recovery as it has been shown to facilitate mindfulness.
Keywords: fatigue; mindfulness; psychological detachment; sleep quality; workload.