The fact that I, the company accountant, was assigned to write this blog is humorous already. Jokes aside though, why put people and not humor to work? I mean, hard work never killed anyone but why take the chance?
What makes you tone down humor at a work place setting? Desire to be taken more seriously? Fear of offending someone? Fear of not being funny? While some of these can at times become real issues, a dry and dull work environment also has its own challenges. Statistically speaking fun and humor at work are proven characteristics of organizations with higher retention, engagement and profitability.
Here are five solid reasons why workplace humor is a sheer necessity. No, seriously, humor me!
1. It’s a stress buster – Put a rough meeting, unhappy customer or harried commute behind you by sharing a quick laugh with your coworkers. You’ll have a more enjoyable and productive day.
2. It puts others at ease – Humor is an icebreaker. Laughing in a difficult situation allows you to remain open minded and consider solutions you may not have if you were otherwise aggravated. Humor can also be used to manage employees with a lighter touch.
3. It increases collaboration and creativity – Teams that laugh together undeniably work well together. Want to build a great sense of camaraderie in your workplace? Then why be so serious?
4. It’s humanizing and makes people more approachable.
5. It increases productivity – A stress free, jovial atmosphere encourages interaction, idea sharing and outside the box thinking.
Right atop Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, after physiological needs and safety, sit three other things very important to human beings: social needs, esteem and self-actualization. Tasteful humor at the workplace or elsewhere can contribute very heavily to all three.
Now clearly we can’t filter out people for humor during the hiring process. Trust me, I tried along with making sure each person could catch a football. A couple of minor HR laws of some kind got in the way. Nonetheless humor shouldn’t be discouraged; it can bring a lot of synergy within the team and increases overall cooperation. Laughter makes the environment less soul-sucking and more soul enhancing.
Do your coworkers keep you in stitches? What wacky antics ease tension at your workplace? Share below!