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How Workplace Humor Can Boost Productivity

A recent Gallup Poll of Americans in the workplace (2010 to 2012) revealed that for every worker who is engaged in his or her work, two are not fully engaged. Gallup says these employees don’t reach their full potential, and these are missed opportunities for employers. The survey suggests that employers find ways to engage employees, starting with management training. Sometimes engagement can happen in simple ways, like injecting fun and humor in the workplace.

Benefits of Humor at Work

The Mayo Clinic explains physical changes that happen with laughter. Organs get stimulated, air gets drawn in (and exhaled out), endorphins are released, stress levels get lowered, and heart rates and blood pressures become lowered. A clear physical reaction to humor (not just a simple smirk or smile) can produce a good, relaxed feeling overall.

More humor can mean a better physical presence. Have you ever noticed older folks who’ve laughed a lot throughout their lives? They seem to have a charming glow to their entire physical being — bright eyes, clear face, strong posture and wide smile lines. Humor and laughter over the long term helps to relieve pain, improve overall mood, eliminate negative feelings and even loosen up tight muscles.                                                                                                          Business people laughing while having a meeting in cosy meeting room

Fun at Work

Creative, brain-centric workplaces are known to have more opportunities for laughter than loud manufacturing settings. In industries that have been hit by job losses, employees might fear overstepping boundaries

Using humor helps build trust, build morale, and help your reputation as an employer.

This website is full of suggestions on how to inject humor in the workplace. They can range from facilitating idle chit chat among staffers to organizing team-building events that get people out of their work stations and interacting with each other.

Boosting Morale

Here are some ways you can bring levity to work without getting anyone’s hair all up in knots.

  • Combine creative crafts with a humor contest to bring together teams. Delegate a few teams to design unique cards with Minted for your office holiday parties, and let the laughter begin. Seeing your teammates labor with creative paints, oil sticks, and collage markers can bring about a hearty chuckle for your company’s kickoff to holiday season.
  • Offer up a “Laugh a Week” contest. Ask employees to share funny stories from their work week that brought a smile to their faces. It could be a laugh-out-loud moment in a meeting, or at a presentation that went awry, or even at a company lunch. Collect those moments and award fun bonuses to people who are actively working to create a fun environment.

It’s important that you and your colleagues are laughing enough during the day. All stress and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And nobody wants that.

Author: Brian Lattimore, is an advertising guy who consults PR firms. He’s working on his first novel which he’s sure will sell millions.

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