When Job Demands Undermine Recovery Experiences: Unpacking the Recovery Paradox



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Despite the greater need for recovery when faced with a high level of job demands, empirical evidence suggests that employees are less likely to recover under such circumstances—a phenomenon known as the “recovery paradox.” The present study aims to (1) clarify how different job demands impair recovery experiences and (2) identify boundary conditions in the recovery paradox. Employing an experienced sampling methodology (ESM), data was collected from 163 participants after work and before bedtime over the course of 5 consecutive workdays, resulting in 698 complete day-level responses. Multilevel path analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses. I found partial support for the negative relationships between job demands and recovery experiences as described in the recovery paradox model. There was also empirical support for the indirect effects of emotional demands, as well as overload demands, on psychological detachment via negative affect. However, the same effects did not extend to relaxation and control experiences. There were no significant indirect effects of overload on recovery experiences via work-related technology usage. Lastly, moderating effects of work-home boundary segmentation preference, job resources, and personal resources were not found. Implications, limitations, and future research are discussed.



Experience sampling method, Job demands, Recovery, Recovery experiences