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Emotions And Moods While Working

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Many things can affect an employees’ mood at work. It could be anything from having a bad day at home to just receiving an attitude from someone at work.The purpose of this article is to better understand what can affect moods at work.

Defining Emotions and Moods

“Emotions are discrete and fairly short-lived feelings that have a specific, known cause” (Nelson, 2013, p. 64). “Mood is defined as a shorter-term, diluted response to general environmental stimuli” (Rothbard, 2011, p. 959). Employees can bring different emotions and moods to work with them or create them while at work which can then create hostility between employees.

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Start of Day Moods

“Start-of-workday mood may influence both perceptions of work events themselves and affect subsequent to events throughout the workday because it may lead employees to interpret ongoing daily work events more positively or negatively” (Rothbard, 2011, p. 961). “The way a person starts the day may frame how she or he perceives and feels about work events” (Rothbard, 2011, p. 961). That is, if something goes wrong in an employees’ morning before work, they will more than likely bring it to work with them. Often employees are not able to turn a switch between home life and work life before work. This is due to many people not knowing how to separate the two.

Emotional Spread

It is not uncommon for an employee to get emotions from another employee. If one employee is being very spunky in the work environment then it will spread to the other employees and bring positivity to the workplace. On the other hand, if someone is being a Debbie downer with everything in the workplace then other employees will start to feel the negative emotions as well. Because of this, the mood of an employee is not just determined by how they start their day off. The mood can be changed even while at work.

Findings from the study

“Start-of-workday mood may cast a positive glow or a dark shadow over perceptions of work events and employee affect within a given day, but there is also evidence that work events matter and that employee affect does fluctuate within person over days” (Rothbard, 2011, p. 972-973). It was also found that the mood of an employee can also affect their performance. It is not uncommon for employees’ moods to change, just because they start the day off in a negative manner does not mean that they will continue with that mood for the entire day. It is easier to change a negative mood than to change a positive mood. Some factors that can improve an employees’ mood are: taking breaks and receiving positive feedback. The positive feedback can come from either a customer or a manager. Either way, the employees’ mood can be influenced.

What I’ve Learned

Through the study I chose and chapters 3 and 4 from the book, I’ve learned that work place mood is not only created while at work. Work place mood can be cause from work life and home life. If an employee had a bad day at home they normally start the work day negatively. The good thing is that the study found that a negative mood is easier to change. This change could be caused by employees complimenting the work of another employee, since positive feedback causes an employees’ mood to improve. I also learned from the book that emotions can be contagious. When spending time with each other it is not uncommon for the emotions to rub off on each other.


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