The Hump Day Humor-Gram Issue #59, September 17th, 2003

In this issue . . .

1. Workplace Stress Levels in the News (Again!)
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
3. Quote of the Week
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World
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1. Workplace Stress Levels in the News (Again!)

Not that we really need any more reminders to lighten up and laugh
more often, but I thought I’d share some tidbits from the latest news
on work-related stress, just in case we’re forgetting now and then
to have a good hump day laugh.

– According to a U.S. study, work stress is the leading cause
of illness, depression and workplace violence
– Work stress costs the Canadian economy about $40 billion/year,
the American economy about $300 billion per year
– One million workers are absent in the U.S. DAILY because of
stress
– “Desk rage” and phone rage” are now commonly used terms
– The two most stressful times in an employees work schedule
tend to be: the day before they leave for holidays and the
day they return back from holidays
– Even though health experts are recommending people take
holidays each year, fewer people are taking summer vacations

So now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, the good news is
that we all know we can do something about stress in our work
lives.

A recent study in the International Journal of Humor Research
reminds us that humor is one of the most powerful ways of
helping people gain a sense of greater hope over a stressful
situation. Humor helps people focus on positive outcomes and it
helps them find a greater number of solutions to challenges facing
them at their work.

We also know that humor can be used to combat what is thought to
be one of the leading causes of workplace stress: the depersonalization
of our workplaces through the increased use technology. Adding more
social events, celebrating more often and humanizing the workplace
through the use of humor can go a long way towards lowering levels of
work-related stress and countering the over-reliance on technology.

These recent studies also emphasize the fact that it is the small,
cumulative day-to-day stressors that may be causing us the most grief.
Tapping into our sense of humor to reframe these minor stressors and place
them in a more humorous context is a skill that we can all practice to
help us combat the effects of stress.
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2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Since we know that the return to work can be highly stressful
for folks, make an extra effort to do something nice or fun
for employees returning from holidays.

Give them a welcome back card, a welcome back lunch, or take some of
the workload off them for that day so they can dig themselves out of
their inbox. (Who knows, maybe they’ll repay you when it’s your
turn to return from the Bahamas all relaxed and tanned).
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3. Quote of the Week

“There is no joy in living without joy in work” Thomas Aquinas
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4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World

Have you heard about Flash Mobs? It’s a web-driven phenomenon,
wherein people gather at various public locations (as instructed
by their web site) at a certain time and do something strange, goofy,
offbeat or all of the above. No one knows each other. People
remain completely anonymous. People just show up, do their goofy thing,
and leave. Check it out at flashmob.com . . .

Happy Hump Day everyone! May the farce be with you.
=================================================================
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2003

Back issues of the Hump Day Express can be
found at http://www.mikekerr.com

International speaker Michael Kerr, “The Workplace Energizer” is
the author of five books, including When Do You Let the Animals
Out? and You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work. Michael
delivers keynote talks and workshops on humor in the workplace,
business creativity and public speaking skills.

mailto:mike@mikekerr.com
http://www.mikekerr.com
1-866-609-2640

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