Humor in the Workplace

Humor in the Workplace

 “A recent study of Gallup data for the U.S. found that we laugh significantly less on weekdays than we do on weekends.” ~ Leading with Humor from Harvard Business Review

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

The workplace needs laughter!  Most offices, however, don’t have co-workers who are cracking jokes, nor packaging information with some wit on a regular basis. And most managers seem to create systems and procedures that crack down on humor, instead of encouraging those hearty laughs.

A growing body of research, however, has clearly been suggesting that the use of strategic and purposeful humor at work can help companies in a number of areas including:  attracting employees, lowering workplace stress, branding/company culture, reducing employee absenteeism rates, improving employee retention rates, improving morale and engagement levels, improving workplace communication, improving innovation and creativity, and ultimately improving productivity rates.

Humor in the workplace, of course, is not meant to be similar to stand-up comics who are delivering a set of R-rated jokes (divisive racist, ethnic or sexist jokes are not welcome in the workplace).  Humor in the office should not be offensive to the ordinary or reasonable person.  Rather humor in the workplace is meant to encourage people to see the absurdity in their perceptions, thought processes, and/or behaviors.   When done properly, humor can be a useful tool used to help us not take things too seriously and to reduce the level and intensity of conflicts that can occur among employees.

While there are risks involved when using humor in the workplace, there is something fascinating about a company that has developed the ability to see that happy and laughing employees are good, loyal, and productive. While creating a company culture that encourages humor can make some people feel awkward or uncomfortable, there is a noticeable confidence that arises when you see a person taking the risk of being misunderstood or criticized by telling a joke or two. This type of fascinating office filled with confident people leads to a positive energy that can transform a dull workplace into a productive and financially profitable environment.

So…are you ready to transform your office with the power of humor?  Are you ready to tap into the “humor advantage?”  Explore this article from Forbes for 10 more reasons why humor is a key to success and start off your work tomorrow with some jokes of your own!

Humor in the Office