There and back again: The roles of morning- and evening commute recovery experiences for daily resources across the commute-, work-, and home domain. By: Rivkin, Wladislaw; Gerpott, Fabiola H. and Unger, Dana. 2024. Human Relations. p1.

Commuting is a global phenomenon that has primarily been studied in terms of its costs. However, anecdotes and recent theorizing suggest that some employees enjoy their commutes. Is it, thus, possible that commuting can also be beneficial for employees? We integrate the Work–Home Resources model with the Conservation of Resources theory to conceptualize commuting as a source of recovery that facilitates daily resource gain spanning the commute-, work-, and home domain. Specifically, we hypothesize that morning commute recovery experiences (relaxation, mastery and detachment) trigger resource gains in the work domain, manifesting in increased subjective vitality as a manifestation of physical and cognitive energy. Higher levels of subjective vitality in the work domain, in turn, are positively related to work-to-home commute recovery experiences and associated subjective vitality in the home domain. Furthermore, we explore commute duration as a contingency factor of the relationships between commute recovery experiences and subjective vitality at work and home. A diary across ten workdays largely supports our hypothesized model. On days with higher levels of relaxation during the morning commute, employees experience daily resource gains that culminate in increased evening subjective vitality in the home domain through relaxation during the evening commute.