When you arrive at work cranky, you’ll probably stay cranky for your whole shift. And according to a new study, those negative feelings can affect your work performance for the entire day.

The folks at Ohio State University School of Business conducted the study, and researchers found that customer service reps who were happy at the beginning of their shift generally stayed happy, and felt even more positive after talking to customers. But workers who arrived at work miserable tended to feel worse after dealing with customers. They were also more than 10-percent less productive than normal. 

However, the only time a grumpy worker felt better was if they dealt with a grumpy caller. It’s an effect researchers call "misery loves company." Because dealing with someone who’s worse-off than we are, gives us some perspective. 

So, how can you reset a bad morning mood, and improve your job performance?

  • First, create an “intentional transition.” Say, by stopping for coffee, listening to your favorite song, or taking a more scenic route to work. And, when you get to work, take 5 or 10 minutes to chat with your coworkers. Psychologist Alex Gardener says we need to reconnect with our “tribe”, so to speak, to transition from home to work. It reduces frustration and stress – and improves productivity.   And if you’re a manager dealing with cranky workers – smile. Studies show that just raising your cheeks into “smiling position” increases production of mood-boosting hormones. And subconsciously, when people are smiled at, they relax and mimic that emotion. 

  • Also, try offering cookies in the break room. I know, it’s not the most calorie-friendly approach – but scientifically, it works. Countless psychological studies have used cookies as a way to generate positive moods.