Recovery from Work-Related Stress: A literature review


  • Carmen Fehrmann Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University
  • Franziska Depenbrock


Occupational stress adversely affects both the individual and the organization. Because of its economical and health relevance, much research has been devoted to employee recovery from work stress. Defined as a process of replenishing resources, recovery has been suggested to be important in reducing work-related fatigue, thereby making individuals feeling ready again to meet the demands at work. This literature review systematically summarizes findings from research on recovery. The literature search was conducted based on the PsychInfo database. Forty-eight journal articles were included in the review. Overall, studies consistently implicate that daily recovery is especially important to avoid long-term strain reactions. Moreover, research has found specific off-job activities as well as experiences attached to these activities to promote recovery, thereby improving performance, health, and well-being. Taken together, results imply that both individuals and organizations should be concerned about employee recovery and possibilities to support it during work and non-work time.