Humor at Work: Encouraging Conversations in the Workplace

Given that 50% of all e-mails supposedly have a tonal issue

(as in the recipient is unsure how to read your tone), coupled

with a study by the University of Western Ontario which found

that water cooler conversations at work improve productivity,

what are you doing to encourage more face-to-face time, less

face-to-computer time? How about a technology-free day or a

technology-free hour once a day? What about setting up a

“conversation café” or live chat room (featuring actual human

beings)? Creating spaces with couches and tables to encourage

more conversations? How about chocolate strategically located

in different areas of your workplace? How about buying an

actual water cooler?

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Create some fun rituals or traditions that involve and honor

your customers in a fun way. Here’s one wacky example: a bar in

Portland where everyone yells out “Yeah!!” whenever someone

comes in the door, and “Boo!” whenever anyone leaves the bar.

What a simple, silly way to up the energy and keep everyone

engaged and laughing! (Try this one in your next meeting!)

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Quote of the Week

“Earnestness is stupidity sent to college.” P.J. Rourke

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It’s a Wacky World

Proving you can celebrate and honor anything, the annual Ig

Nobel prizes were dished out earlier this fall. The Ig Nobels

are awarded by the Journal of Improbable Research to honor,

well, improbable research. This year’s winners included scientists

who invented a wasabi fire alarm, a researcher who looked into

why people sigh, a study on how the urge to urinate affects

the decision-making process, and a scientist who explained how

procrastinators can be motivated to do important things as long

as they are doing them to avoid even MORE important things!

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Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com

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