Laughing at work is an underrated remedy for overall employee wellness.
Laughter, in itself, is a magical feeling. It is a sign of joy, positivity, and wellbeing. A workplace that values the importance of a good laugh will foster a happy workforce.
A study found that employees were 10% more productive after watching a comedy video than their counterparts.
Similarly, the Harvard Business Review found that cracking jokes at work can make people seem more competent.
Rather interesting, isn’t it?
However, it’s not exactly a secret. Doctors, healers, counselors over the ages have been campaigning for the various benefits of laughing.
Let’s look at the seven ways how laughing at work can benefit your workforce and some actionable how to’s:
Benefits of Laughing At Work- For Employees & Employers
1. Relieves Stress At Work
Ask any corporate employee, and they are most likely suffering from some form of work stress.
It’s an epidemic. With higher workloads and pay, the stress is also mounting. And as we all know, greater levels of stress is never acceptable.
With high-stress at work comes eventual burnout, dipping productivity, and lower engagement rates. For employees, the effects are more drastic. Stress can negatively affect their mental and physical wellbeing, and also their happiness.
In such situations, humor at work really works.
Well, when you laugh, there is a chemical release of endorphins in your brain. What are endorphins? Endorphins are chemicals that your body releases to reduce stress, pain, or anxiety. In short, it’s your body’s natural happy drug.
Encouraging people to have a good laugh and cracking jokes will make the busy days a tad bit easier. The workload may be high, but people will be able to deal with it more leisurely.
2. Health Benefits
Yes, laughter relieves stress. But that is not the only health benefit that it brings. Laughter is incredibly useful for overall wellbeing. A good hearty laugh will help in:
- Relaxing the body. It relieves physical tension and relaxes muscles for almost 45 minutes after.
- Boosting the immune system. It increases immunity functions and antibody count, which heightens body resistance.
- Protecting the heart. Laughter improves blood pressure levels and increases blood flow. It protects you against a myriad of cardiovascular problems.
- Live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was especially notable for those battling cancer.
3. Higher Job Satisfaction
A culture that prioritizes joy, happiness, and laugher brings a sense of satisfaction as well. When employees get to laugh and have fun at their workplace, they genuinely start looking forward to coming to work. All in all, they begin to enjoy working which in turn enhances their employee experience.
A study from Northwestern University found that laughter can lead to successful brainstorming and creative output by boosting overall mood.
Thus, ensuring humor at work is an excellent way for companies to raise the levels of job satisfaction. Additionally, it will show a positive impact on engagement and productivity levels too.
4. Positive Work Environment
Laughing at work is good for you, the employees, and the culture. It inspires creativity, increases focus, and brings positivity.
Such workplaces' energy levels are high, which can help minimize negative feelings, conflicts, and talks. This kind of work environment promotes better performance and outputs better results.
5. Promotes Peer Bonding
To share a laugh with fellow team members promotes bonding and imparts a feel-good factor. There is nothing like a sense of humor to onboard nervous new members, lessen tension, remove conflict, or to reduce stress. It is the perfect icebreaker for any situation.
When people laugh, share a funny story, and crack jokes together, it moves them from being in a team to actual friends. The level of bonding that comes with having fun together also impacts the sync, quality, and teamwork performance. All in all, it will help them create better work together.
Additionally, it will help build respect and loyalty, which are essential traits of a successful team.
Laughing At Work: Actionable Tips For A Happier Workforce
Now that we have seen how important it is to ensure humor at work, let us look at how you can implement such a happy work environment. Here are our favorite tips:
1. Organize comedy shows where you can invite some great standup comedians. Take it one step further by asking employees to star and participate in these shows. Watching a comedy show is a great way to destress and rejuvenate.
2. Start each meeting with a funny icebreaker question such as, “At which real-life incident do you always have a good laugh over?”
3. Introduce fun ways through which you can encourage humor at work. One such idea is to introduce funny award titles such as the “Most Likely To Fall Asleep At Presentations.”
4. Recognition to employees who can come with the best one-liners, puns, funny videos, or jokes. Make it more enjoyable by making it into a contest and voting.
5. Organize laughing clubs.
6. Host “fun days” where employees are given a chance to wear, say, and do silly things and get away with it.
According to you, how is laughing at work beneficial to the company and its workforce? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.