How Our Mood Affects Our Workday

Some days just don’t start out well.  Maybe you oversleep.  Traffic is horrendous.  You spill that cup of hot coffee in your lap on your way to work.  The end result is you walk into the office not in the best of moods.

What impact does all of this have on your day at work?  Should you be concerned about the mood you are in when you walk into work?  Recent research by an investigator at Ohio State University suggests that the mood we are in when we go into work has a strong influence on us throughout the day.

The research showed that both good and bad moods can affect your performance at work, but that good moods have a more powerful effect.  Also, the mood that you have when you walk in the door has a much more significant effect than any mood changes you have later at work.

It is something businesses would do well to pay more attention to, the researchers said.  It might even help to offer some counseling on how to handle events that affect employee moods, such as hassles coming to work or family problems at home.

Moods that workers have at the beginning of the day can come from a number of places, such as what is going on at home or the commute to work.  In addition, the research found that people in general are not very good at separating what happens away from work with work itself.  In other words, we are not very good at keeping our emotions in check.  They tend to carry over into our workday.

What the research also showed was that people who began the day in a good mood pretty much stayed that way throughout the day.  And people who began the day in a bad mood also tended to stay that way.  Researchers also found that when dealing with customers, employee moods rose when they believed their customers also were in good moods.  But an employee’s mood did not drop even if the customer appeared to be in a bad mood.

It also appears that being in a good mood also help performance.  Customer service representatives in a good mood spent more time with customers and did not take as many breaks as those in a bad mood.

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