Seriously. I’ll get to the humorous robot shortly, but in the meantime, so random random thoughts, musings and ideas related to the always fascianting world of work and workplace culture…
There are dozens of benefits of adding more humor into your workplace, many of them quite obvious. Here are some surprising benefits of humor and laughter that may be a bit unexpected:
If you want to brand your business (or yourself) with humor or add some humor to a presentation or to your customer service mix, here’s a checklist of sorts to consider:
1. First, Do No Wrong. Great advice for doctors or would-be corporate jesters. Make sure the humor you use is laughing with people, not at people. Laugh at yourself, not in a, “I’m a loser” kind of way, but in a way that lets people know you don’t take yourself overly seriously. Stay clear of political, ethnic, gender or sex-based humor. Remember that having permission to use more humor at work is not permission to act like a jackass, a bore, or a jerk. It doesn’t give you license to offend or humiliate people, or disparage their character. It’s about being more human, having a bigger heart, and demonstrating greater humility.
The practice of humor in the workplace has been around a long time. Industrial sociologists have observed that on-the-job joking and bantering as a means of building unity, relieving tension and reducing the tedium of boring manual labor has been a ritualized part of the workforce since the industrial revolution. And if we go back even further, the beloved Court Jester (not to be confused with the Court Gesture, which is often obscene and not terribly appropriate) provides an excellent model for modern day corporate humor.
June fourth is official Salute to Silliness Day. Which isn’t as silly as it may sound, considering the stress-busting, creativity-boosting and team building benefits of being a little silly at work from time to time. Here are some of the sillier ways workplaces are putting humor to work:
Integris Credit Union, based in Prince George, British Columbia (see the latest Humor at Work TV video for more on them) has a fabulous motto: “Work made fun, gets done.” The motto reminds me of Volkswagen’s Fun Theory campaign which showed how people would change their behavior for the better when it was made fun to do so, most famously demonstrated in the musical staircase built in a Stockholm subway station.
April is Stress Awareness Month, begging the question: How aware are you and your organization of the costs associated with stress? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: