Morning Smiles Brighten Work All Day ... And Vice Versa

( 7 votes, average: 3.9 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Once I got to work, the phone messages were not good news. Worse news arrived in my e-mail.

And, I was late for a very busy day.

This is not the way anyone wants to start out a day. No one plans for days like this.

But they still happen and they affect us.

That's what intrigues researchers Nancy Rothbard, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and Steffanie Wilk, a professor at Ohio State University.

"I'm interested in what people bring with them to organizations," says Rothbard. "In my experience, as in the experience of many others, people are not able to completely wall off and compartmentalize different parts of their lives. There is a spillover between the multiple roles that people inhabit."

This is an important point. In many ways, it's one that has been evolving through the years but has yet to really gain a strong foothold among workplace researchers and productivity experts.

It's almost like we're still living in the 1950s, when every worker (male worker, that is) was earnest and seemed able to leave things behind them at home (meaning that all their personal problems were dumped on their wife).

Obviously, the world has changed. Every one of us has personal issues that follow us through the door each day to the workplace and it's how we manage those issues that set us apart.

Rothbard and Wilk explored this issue in a study of employees at call centers operated by a large insurance company. Their study included customer service representatives, claims adjusters, supervisors and managers.

The two researchers found that workers who started the day in a good mood tended to stay that way, while workers who started the day in a bad mood also stayed that way.

When workers got calls from customers in good moods, their own moods seemed to improve. Yet when workers heard from customers in sour moods, it tended not to affect them much.

But the good-mood workers also showed other benefits. They tended to take fewer breaks that employees with bad moods and were less likely to turn over troublesome calls to supervisors.

They also found that workers in bad moods handled fewer calls.

"One of our findings shows that the mood people bring with them at the very start of the workday influenced employee mood more powerfully and consistently than any other variable," says Rothbard.

"People actually do a pretty good job of walling off the negatives. What's interesting for organizations to understand is that what people bring with them to work is not all bad for the organization, and in fact can be quite positive."

It also means that workplace supervisors need to be sensitive to the moods of employees who report to work. Teaching them skills to overcome personal issues by the time they start their work may mean for a more productive day ahead.

That's an important lesson to be learned.

© Copley News Service

Popular tags

Morning Smiles      Bad Moods      Good Moods      Workplace Supervisors     

Featured Testimonials

LawCrossing has the largest number of listings and at the same time is very easy to use.


LawCrossing Fact #154: Our “Search” button allows hundreds of jobs to be found with one easy click!

Let's Do It!

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

LawCrossing is great at picking up all of the legal listings everywhere across the internet. I could have gone to three different sites to search, but you had them all on your site. That was extremely helpful. LawCrossing is a one stop shop!
  • Eileen Baca-Penner New Mexico