63 Work or leisure?

Based on Research by Lieke ten Brummelhuis, Ph.D. & Arnold Bakker, Ph.D..  Psychology Science Minute written byTrevor McGlochlin & Erin Richard, Ph.D..

Do you give extra hours to work, and have trouble putting away your work materials when you get home?  At least you know your sacrifice will get you that promotion or grade, right?  Well, if you think you are getting ahead of the game by putting in long extra hours at the office, library or home, you might want to rethink your game plan!

Sociologist Dr. Lieke ten Brummelhuis of University of Pennsylvania and psychologist Dr. Arnold Bakker of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, found employees who used off-job time for work-related tasks actually felt less enthusiastic, energized, and inspired at work than employees who did not engage in work-related tasks when away from the job. Additionally, if employees sacrifice relaxing activities after work, they were less vigorous and engaged in work the next day. Social, off-job leisure, physical, and relaxation activities enhanced their performance but also helped them stay relaxed and excited about work!

So the next time you think about going out with your friends instead of working late, do not feel guilty. Instead, remember to work hard with enthusiasm during work hours, so you CAN have the best of both worlds!  Balance work and play for fun as well as productivity.


ten Brummelhuis, L. L., & Bakker, A. B. (2012). Staying engaged during the week: The effect of off-job activities on next day work engagement. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(4), 445-455. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029213

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