Decompressing well in the evening improves wakefulness and mood at work

Leave your colleagues alone in the evening: they will be much more efficient and in a better mood the next day. A very serious German study, with 124 employees, shows that a good recovery, at the end of the day, improves energy and mood, when returning to work the following day.

A German study provides additional motivation for companies that still do not respect the right to disconnect employees, a right enshrined in law, in 2016. These companies could do better. Géraldine Zamansky, journalist for the Magazine de la Santé on France 5, details the results of this survey.

franceinfo: German researchers have just scientifically proven that we work better after a good evening of “recovery”?

Geraldine Zamansky: Exactly, this team has demonstrated that performance in the office is like that of sportsmen. It depends directly on the quality of the recovery, between two days of effort. To prove it, it is impossible to assess the tasks performed by the 127 people questioned for two weeks, by the team of Maike Arnold, researcher in work psychology, at the University of Mannheim.

So the questionnaires focused on efficiency factors: levels of arousal, stress and satisfaction, throughout the day. Result, an evening well disconnected from professional life increases, on average, morning awakening by one point, to exceed 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. And it’s a little less spectacular, but still quite clear , for stress reduction.

But how to obtain this “recovery”, when you don’t have the physiotherapists of Roland-Garros players or professional athletes?

Maike Arnold introduced me to the four ways to achieve this, which can be combined. First, what she calls psychological detachment. That is to say, no longer thinking about work at all. Taking time to relax is also very beneficial. By breathing calmly on a gym mat of course, but also by talking with friends or reading.

Another idea: make an intellectual effort to learn something, for example. It won’t strain your brain, but create “restorative” satisfaction. Just like the simple fact of having mastered the program of his evening. Sleep is then often improved.

This recovery is therefore positive for everyone, and even out of interest, companies must respect it for better productivity?

Absolutely. And the level of arousal is especially improved in the first five hours of the day, according to this study. Then, it drops and joins that of people less “recharged” the day before. So Maike Arnold makes several recommendations to leaders.

First, no calls, texts or emails in the evening. Then stop important meetings at 5-6 p.m., and schedule activities that require the most concentration in the morning. We should also guarantee at least one real break during the day, to recover again. Working lunches would then no longer be popular.

The study

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