Mind Over Mood: Do Feelings Impact Work Performance?

We’ve all probably had it said to us at one time or another: Boy, you sure woke up on the wrong side of the bed! I think, for the most part, we’re fairly oblivious to our moods unless we’re taking it out on someone and they call us out on it. Sure, we know if we feel good and we definitely know if we’re in a bad mood. But rarely do we see how our moods affect the people around us or the things we do until our attention is specifically drawn to it.

By and large, we’re left thinking that our mood is how we happen to feel, and that’s that. We just enjoy it or wait for it to get better with coffee or a good night’s sleep.

But do our moods really, actually matter? How much can a mood affect our work and, better yet, our productivity?

And if it does matter, what can we do about it?


Examining How You Feel Impacts Work Performance

The Ups and Downs of a Positive Mood in the Workplace

You would think that we would always want to be in a positive mood, right? Truth be told, there are pros and cons to both a positive and a negative mood. They can both be beneficial and detrimental to work in different ways. What’s valuable is recognizing how they can affect you and your specific role and, notably, the pitfalls that you can fall into.

When it comes to a good mood, you can benefit primarily from creativity. You’ll be more exploratory and willing to engage, both with the work and with people. A good mood is a prime time to tackle creative-thinking and social tasks, as your working relationships will also benefit.

The downside? A positive mood makes you more open to risk—you’re not as likely to pay attention to fine details because you’re just not looking for things to go wrong. It’s easier to overlook danger. You also may be more cavalier in taking unnecessary risk, especially without doing your due diligence. Beware of how a good mood might promote these risky behaviors in the workplace!

The Ups and Downs of a Negative Mood in the Workplace

A negative mood meets the positives step-for-step. Let’s start with the cons. You’re likely to be more closed off from the people you work with—more prone to shut others down, more prone to engage in conflict, and more likely to shut down suggestions. You’re going to look for the negative in ideas and situations before you look for the positive. A bad mood also tends to stifle creative thinking, especially when it comes to brainstorming. This is because it tends to come coupled with stress. A bad mood often leads to stress and burnout, so beware.

You may also become a little too suspicious and wary, which makes you unwilling to take necessary risks. This can prevent you from moving forward with projects and lead to time wasted.

On the upside, however, a bad mood can make you feel determined. Even if it’s fueled by a negative emotion, you can get a lot of things down when feeling wound up from anger, spite, or general grumpiness. It can be a big motivator, and, when not dealing with creative tasks, you can get a lot done when you’re in a bad mood.

It can also help you become hyper-analytical when it comes to risk and dangers—nothing will slip by you. You’ll be especially attentive to detail because, by natural, a bad mood makes you hyper-critical.

Knowing how mood can impact your work performance, do you know what actually can get you in a good or bad mood to begin with? There are some things that can specifically boost or bring down your mood in the workplace...and it’s important to be aware of them, especially if you know you’ll need to be on your A game.

What Impacts Mood At Work

   -  Health and Nutrition

   -  Sleep Quality

   -  Day of the Week (TGIF!)

   -  Dressing Well

   -  Positive Affirmations

   -  Promotions

   -  Weather

   -  Exercise and Physical Fitness

   -  Age

   -  Stress Levels

   -  Personal Happiness

There are many factors that can affect our mood in the workplace. For most of us, we work regardless of how we happen to feel. It’s valuable, however, to recognize how those feelings can interfere with the quality of our work.

If you’re aware, you can mitigate the negative effects while amplifying the more positive ones.

What sort of mood enhances your work performance? Share your experience in the comments.