6 reasons why laughing at workplace is better for you
Ever enjoyed a hearty laugh at the workplace? Or are you scared of having an unabashed guffaw in front of your coworkers and managers? Think no further if you fear the latter.
Over time, several empirical studies have recorded quantifiable benefits (both physiological and psychological) of laughing at work. In a survey conducted by Robert Half, 91 percent of executives listed sense of humour to be important for career advancement. While another 84 percent believed that ‘people with a good sense of humour do a better job’.
We take a look at some of the major benefits of laughing at the workplace:
#1. Cuts down on stress and prevents job burn-out
When you laugh, you also enable your muscles to contract more, resulting in increased blood flow. This, in turn, pushes more oxygen to body cells, letting your brain relax and release soothing hormones or endorphins.
Consequently, these hormones create a sense of euphoria that helps employees cut down on excessive workplace stress and anxiety. In the long term, workers who indulge more in laughter could also tackle an impending sense of work-related burn-out.
#2. Improved productivity
An industry wise study polled over 2,500 employees in Australia. The results of the study showed how an impressive 81 percent of them believed that ‘a fun working environment would make them more productive’.
Surprisingly, 55 percent of these employees were also willing to settle for lesser pay at the cost of having fun in the workplace. The same study reiterated that humor can reduce the tension and boredom of employees involved in doing repetitive nature of jobs.
#3. Tangible benefits of laughing at the workplace
Fabio Sala, in her interesting research, found how the size of the bonuses of executives was positively correlated to their use of humor (during interviews). This simply meant funnier executives getting chunkier bonuses as compared to those who used less humour.
Similarly, a recent study of Canada’s financial institutions established direct link ‘between a manager’s use of humour and enhanced corporate performance’.
#4. Increased likeability
It is only natural that employees tend to get along with co-workers and supervisors who have a better sense of humour. This is because people want to listen and heed to those who are funny.
Research indicates that harmless humour, which is within the boundary of decency is likely to increase likeability of a person. Hence, humour also aids in maintaining meaningful interpersonal relations.
#5. You can communicate and persuade better
Picture yourself making a difficult presentation which involves introducing novel marketing ideas. It can be quite a task, especially if you have a difficult audience to please with varying perspectives. However, you could lighten up the daunting task by introducing some humour.
Numerous studies published by the American Sociological Association have elucidated the highly persuasive power of humour. It can be particularly useful to distract people from making counterarguments (when they tend to have dissenting opinions).
#6. Boosts morale and resilience among employees
Research done by Beckman and others studied 33 employees of a behavioral health centre in America with a purpose to form workplace laughter groups. It also intended to measure the impact of group participation on employees’ sense of self-efficacy.
The results of the study found that workplace laughter (as an intervention) significantly enhances ‘employees’ morale, resilience, and personal efficacy beliefs’. Apart from appealing to a varied set of employees, humour can also encourage other positive workplace behaviors.
Overall, the benefits of having a good laugh at your workplace outweigh the risks of inviting startling stares from callous co-workers and bosses. So, go ahead and laugh your office worries away!