What role does humour play in the work place?
There is plenty of scientific support for the fact that laughter is good for you. It is good for you physically, because it brings oxygen rich air into your body that stimulates your lungs, heart and muscles in addition to releasing endorphins from your brain. Laughter is good for you mentally because it reduces stress and it is hard to feel anxious, angry or sad when you are laughing.
I don't need the science to know that I like to laugh. It just feels good.
I also know that I like to be around positive people, and most especially positive people that make me laugh.
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." Victor Hugo
Business is serious. There are always issues, challenges and stress. There are financial pressures, targets to meet, competitive pressures, market pressures and the ever present need to grow. There are employee issues, product issues, customer issues and supplier issues. There are government regulatory issues and red tape.
It is easy to let business get you down!
So what role does humour have in the workplace?
In my opinion a workplace without humour is a soulless place and the more humour you can have the better!
Here are 10 thoughts about humour in the workplace.
The person who brings a smile in the work place brings a "value add" above their other skills.
If humour can reduce stress then that alone is a big reason to find ways to introduce humour.
Humour needs to be universal... some humour can be at the expense of others and that can be destructive.
People who can make others laugh tend to be positive people, and you should always want positive people around.
Humour defuses tough situations, which frees up people's brains to focus on the issue without the distraction of stress.
A smile is infectious so humour can have a positive effect on a whole team, even those who don't necessarily get the humour!
I don't want to work in an environment where there is no laughter, so I assume others feel the same way. Laughter is therefore good for staff retention.
Leaders should actively encourage humour. This may seem strange, but given that there are so many benefits, why wouldn't leaders want to put a focus on this?
Business is serious, but finding ways to bring humour into the workplace is likely to improve performance because everyone is less stressed.
Leaders need to set the example. A smile costs nothing, but is worth a lot. Laughter costs nothing but has positive physical and mental impacts ... just do it!
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." Charlie Chaplin
Have you heard the one about the CEO, the supervisor and the line worker who went into a workplace...