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Surprising Science

Fake Smiles Cause Unhappiness

Putting on a bright face at work could leave you feeling miserable. Workers who fake a smile to keep their customers and colleagues happy could be making themselves depressed.

A new study says that fake smiling on the job actually worsens a person’s mood and could even cut work productivity: “The research contradicts the policies of many firms whose customer-facing staff are instructed to appear cheery at all times. They include employees of public transport firms, shops, banks, call centre workers and others who have face-to-face contact with members of the public as part of their job. Lead researcher Brent Scott, an assistant professor of management at Michigan State University in the U.S. said: ‘Employers may think that simply getting their employees to smile is good for the organisation, but that’s not necessarily the case.”


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