“The future, the present, and the past walked into a bar. Things got a little tense.”
We may not always be able to see a smile, but we can still hear laughter. Did you know that there is a National Let’s Laugh Day on March 19 each year? After all, as William James said:
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.”
Laughter, also known as “the best medicine,” helps boost the immune system and brings relaxation. That is in addition to being very contagious! According to the Mayo Clinic, there are both short- and long-term benefits from laughter:
In short term, laughter releases tension in the body and stimulates organs. In long term, it improves the immune system and stabilizes mood.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Alison Beard says that according to research from Wharton, MIT, and London Business School, “every chuckle or guffaw brings with it a host of business benefits. Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”
What about in the workplace?
Dr. Rob Fazio, writing in Forbes, says that humor can positively transform a work environment. Stating, “There are clear benefits of humor in the workplace: less burnout, higher probability of learning, more collaboration, faster recovery from stressful situations and an increase in overall work effectiveness.”
However, we all know that humor is personal and not always shared. You may think a pie in the face is hilarious, while another may think it is ridiculous. (Note – do NOT do pies in the face at work!) Additionally, be careful of discriminatory comments, even said in jest. Here is an easy guide for humor in the workplace:
- Avoid anything dealing with religion or politics.
- Definitely do NOT make any sexual references or comments.
- Do NOT poke fun at any clients, other businesses, or people.
- If you think something *might* upset anyone, do not use it.
- Do NOT be malicious.
- Use funny images in emails and communications. (When appropriate)
- Have fun days like hosting a silly sock or funniest glasses contest.
- Consider play toys like a slinky, Rubik’s cube or Fidget Spinner, for when their use is appropriate.
- Check out 101 Ways to Create Humor at Work for more ideas.
It does not have to be a lot and it does not have to be every day, but each person can probably find one way to add a bit of humor in the workplace – and improve morale along the way.
Why wait until March? Let’s have fun and laugh!
Do you know someone who you'd love to help get a job? Does their work history lack any real substance? Well there are plenty of ways to gain relevant experience! People with a decently fleshed out resume tend to benefit from this as well!