Humor in the Workplace:  Laughter is Serious Business!

I don’t know about you, but I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t like to laugh.
Why? Well here are just a few reasons I came up with:

• Laughter makes us feel good (I challenge you to try to be angry, anxious or sad when you are laughing)
• Laughter makes us feel lighter and more relaxed
• Laughter lowers our blood pressure
• Laughter releases the body’s natural pain killer – endorphins
• Laughter boosts our immune system

So, how can humor help your business or the organization that you work for?

• Humor facilitates communication and builds relationships
• Humor reduces stress
• Humor provides us perspective
• Humor energizes, increases creativity and productivity
• Humor is shown to increase employee retention

OK then, what are some ways to bring humor and laughter into the workplace?

• Reserve a portion of staff meetings for humor – say the first 3 minutes or so. Assign a different person to “head up” this important agenda item each meeting.
• Hire a comedian to come in for company, division or department functions.
• Post a “Joke of the Day” on bulletin boards – electronic and physical
• Include humor in presentations such as cartoons, a video clip, pictures, etc…
• Any other ways that you can think of?

Before you get started, below are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind (fairly obvious ones)

• Don’t make jokes about people’s appearance
• Avoid vulgar or offensive language
• Avoid humor that pokes fun at people’s religious beliefs, ethnic background, nationality, age or sexual preference
• Steer clear of humor that has sexual overtones or innuendos
• Be very careful of making others the “butt” of your jokes
• Go ahead and poke fun at yourself, your flaws, bad habits, etc…
• Find humor in common situations that are facing you and your co-workers
• Jokes centered around family life, raising kids, certain professions, common daily activities we all do like driving, sports, movies, TV shows, funny animal pictures, etc. seem to be OK.
• In general, if you abide by the “Don’ts” you should be fine. Just use common sense.

In closing, there is a wealth of humorous material on the internet. I Googled “Humor in the Workplace” and found a ton of stuff…. In fact, let me leave you with some bumper sticker humor……

 Ever stop to think and forget to start again?
 Where there is a will I want to be in it.
 A waist is a terrible thing to mind.
 Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
 Always remember you are unique, just like everybody else.
 Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye opener.

Have fun!!!