The effect of morning commutes on emotional exhaustion and task performance: Taking mental effort and cognitive appraisal into account

Renee De Reuver, Michal Biron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prior research has demonstrated the negative effects of commuting on various employee outcomes, mostly attributing these effects to objective characteristics of the commute (e.g., travel time and distance). Yet different employees respond to similar commuting conditions in different ways. We draw from the conservation of resources theory and the transactional theory of stress and coping to examine whether and how cognitive evaluation of the morning commute shapes employees’ responses to the amount of capacity required during the commute. The results, based on survey and diary data collected from 110 employees, suggest that mental effort and cognitive appraisal of the morning commute, individually and jointly are associated with emotional exhaustion upon arrival at work. In addition, the association between mental effort and task performance is fully mediated by emotional exhaustion. We discuss the importance of cognitive commuting appraisal as an aspect of commuting that is potentially malleable to change through training.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100697
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Commuting
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Mental effort
  • Primary appraisal
  • Task performance

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation

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