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Humor in the Workplace

6 Jun. 2018 Posted by aadams

Nancy Vogt, FEI Account Manager

Think about it: When was the last time you laughed at work? Was it an hour ago? A week ago? Do you laugh at work?

Some might argue there’s a time and place for workplace humor, and they’d be correct. But that doesn’t mean work should be devoid of jokes, puns and quips. Laughter, after all, has numerous benefits including stress reduction and conflict de-escalation. It also helps combat health challenges like high blood pressure and stroke while boosting immunity.

Humor isn’t just for employee well-being, either; it can elevate the overall culture of an organization. Jokes help co-workers connect with each other, and a lighter workplace tone can lead to improved morale and creativity. According to Mike Jacquart, publisher of the Employee Assistance Report, studies have revealed that workplace humor even reduces the number of employee sick days, increases company loyalty and retains valuable staff.

And managers? Researchers found that the tactful use of humor leads to increased confidence in your communication and leadership skills.

There are pitfalls, however, and employees need to understand the line between appropriate and inappropriate use of humor. Meanspirited jokes, or jokes that target specific employees, are examples of workplace bullying. Likewise, humor of a sexual nature has no place at work. Monitoring the kinds of jokes being told amongst staff helps develop a mindful and more inclusive workspace.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “a sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” Now is as good a time as any to think of some strategies to make the workplace more fun. Get a committee together to plan fun activities. Do some brainstorming.

Who wouldn’t like to have a more fun and productive workplace?

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