Are you completely exhausted after a day at work? That does not have to be the case, according to new research. There are ways to replenish the energy depots already during the working day.
A forthcoming dissertation from Lund University breaks the notion that we should rest during evenings and weekends to cope with our jobs. Namely, it is possible to find opportunities for recovery during working hours.
– In my research, I investigate the possibility of going home with more energy, says Lina Ejlertsson, doctoral student in community and general medicine at Lund University in a press release.
In one project, she has studied staff at 26 health centers in Skåne to see what makes them feel good despite stressful working days. However, the result is judged to be relevant for other occupational groups as well.
It turned out that recovery is what is the most important ingredient for healthcare professionals’ self-rated health.
In a later qualitative study, which examined what recovery means, three factors stood out for the possibility of replenishing energy stores during the working day.
The first is about being able to vary tasks, to be able to switch between tasks that require effort on the brain and more monotonous work. Variation in both work pace and workplace also played a role in the recovery.
Another important factor in being able to charge the batteries is community. It can, for example, be work with common goals and team building, but also opportunities to be able to laugh together and encourage each other. Negative energy among employees, on the other hand, has the opposite effect on recovery.
Recovery is also affected by a sense of control and being able to handle their tasks. One of the most important things that emerged in the study was to have time to complete one task before the next one began. It also turned out to be important to be able to influence their work situation and that the management listens to employees.