In a work context, emotional labor refers to the expectation that a worker should manipulate either her actual feelings or the appearance of her feelings in order to satisfy the perceived requirements of her job. Emotional labor also covers the requirement that a worker should modulate her feelings in order to influence the positive experience of a client or a colleague.
It also includes influencing office harmony, being pleasant, present but not too much, charming and tolerant and volunteering to do menial tasks (such as making coffee or printing documents).
That is by Rose Hackman, the piece is interesting throughout. But are the inframarginal emotional taxes for women, relative to those faced by men, higher or lower?
For the pointer I thank Hollis Robbins.