Whether you're happy or grouchy when you walk in the door of your clinic has a bigger impact on your mood than what happens while you're there, researchers say. In a study of call center employees, researchers found that a bad commute or a fight at home affected workers more than a string of cranky callers. People with a good mood at the start of the day were better able to shrug off bad experiences at work and maintain their upbeat attitude. The survey also showed some support for the idea that workers in a good mood perform better: Participants who were feeling positive transferred fewer calls and spent more time dealing with customers.
The study authors conclude that employees? performance at work may be enhanced if employers help them cope with mood-affecting influences in their lives—from advice on dealing with commuting hassles to counseling for family problems. "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," says researcher Nancy Rothbard.