Background: Lack of recovery from everyday strains and demands is connected to increased levels of stress-related problems and development of ill-health. There is much research on how to handle and prevent fatigue and stress in leisure time, but research on working time is more scarce. A recent study found that employees' experience of recovery during working hours was related to high self-rated health.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the concept of recovery during working hours among primary health care workers.
Methods: Eight focus groups with 50 staff members, men and women, from different professions were conducted in the primary health care sector in southern Sweden. The analysis was inspired by systematic text condensation, a strategy for qualitative analysis.
Results: Three main categories were identified as important factors for experiencing recovery during working hours: variation (including changes in location, tasks and tempo) companionship (including helpfulness, appreciation, social chat and laughter) and manageability (including completion, satisfaction, influence, control and reflection).
Conclusions: Recovery during working hours is multifaceted. The categories identified in this study will be further elaborated and tested.
Keywords: Work; employees; health; primary health care.