The Importance of Humor in the Office

March 25, 2020
Work needs to feel like work, right? Wrong! As research continues on what makes great workplaces that both attract and retain employees, it’s becoming clearer that there is a big connection between job satisfaction and humor in the office. Why is humor in the office so valuable, and how can you have a workplace that is both humorous and harmonious?

It’s Good for Business

Humor is a valuable way to make yourself more approachable and relatable. When you have a good sense of humor, you are more likely to be seen in a positive light and people are more likely to do business with you. Humor is a good way to lower tension in situations that naturally occur in the office like disagreements and negotiations. When you can lighten up the mood, everyone will take notice and appreciate you for it.

Bond as a Team

Sharing a good joke with others can lead to a sense of belonging and camaraderie. After all, that’s why we love going to comedy shows and watching sitcoms on television. Laughter can bring people closer together and bridge gaps that are otherwise hard to cross. How can you let your employees know that some humor in the office is okay? Like with most things related to company culture, it starts at the top. If your leaders have a great sense of humor and bring some lightness to the room, it will set the tone for your employees to follow suit. Leaders can also set the tone of when it’s time to laugh and bond and when it’s time to get down to business.

Lower Stress Levels

Numerous studies have indicated that lower stress levels in the office can improve employee productivity and reduce absenteeism. When you cultivate a positive office environment, it makes sense that more employees would want to not miss out! One group of researchers found that, after watching a short comedy clip, workers were 10% more productive than workers who did not take a quick laugh break. Humor in the office isn’t just good for your employees, it’s also good for your bottom line!

Better Customer Experience

When your team members are in a good mood, this translates into better customer interactions as well. Since mood is almost as contagious as a yawn, your staff’s good mood will likely result in a more positive experience for your customers. Stressful situations are less likely to escalate and good one’s may improve to the point of resulting in increased referrals.

Integrating Humor the Right Way

Of course, there can be too much of a good thing. Never promote humor that involves teasing other staff members or telling inappropriate jokes. Remember that what one person knows is teasing and finds funny can be humiliating and embarrassing for another. Make sure that no jokes are ever made at the expense of a minority, as numerous studies have found that numerical minorities (women in a group of men, etc.) can feel pressured to play along with jokes that hurt them. If it helps, you can always implement a code of professional conduct to formalize what types of jokes or comments are off limits.

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