Bad mood disrupts good work

    Employees might be expected to check their bad mood at the office door, but that’s often not the case. Being in a lousy mood affects people’s work performance, and new research sheds light on the areas that take a hit.

    Researchers examined the moods of employees at a insurance company call center several times a day. They found that arriving in a bad mood profoundly hurt their performance.

    Nancy Rothbard of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School led the study. She said that a bad mood affects how many calls employees answered, and how effectively they communicated with customers.

    It also caused employees to fumble verbally as they went through their calls. Rothbard said past research shows managers can improve their employees’ moods and performance by talking to them if something seems amiss.

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    Employees, said Rothbard, should acknowledge their mood and address it.

    “Taking a moment, trying to get yourself sorted out and not just trying to barrel through may be a more effective way to handle this than to simply try to put it aside and wall it off,” she said.

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