October 18, 2022

Benefits of humor at work

How many times did you fall asleep in class? You dreamed of a fun adult life, you thought that having a job would be different, but it turned out that companies often forget their sense of humor in their race towards efficiency and meeting objectives. They forget about efficiency and is there a place for efficiency in a boring and demotivating environment?
On average, a four-year-old laughs 300 times a day. By comparison, it takes a 40-year-old person two and a half months to laugh that many times. But there's more: a group of researchers discovered that after watching a funny video, employees were 10% more productive than others. Laughing brings many benefits to people and organizations, why do companies often lack a sense of humor?

Benefits of humor at work

  • Improves results. Managers who give free rein to humor make their teams perform better, as well as greater satisfaction and a better perception of their manager's work. Leaders who use humor make their team 27% more of motivation and admiration.

HRider Blog · Benefits of humor at work

  • Improves decision making. In the book It's Always Personal, Anne Kreamer mentions research by Sigal Barsade indicating that positive moods lead to more flexible decision-making, broader search behavior, and greater analytical accuracy.
  • Increases motivation. Humor and motivation are more closely related than CatDog. According to the article by Bruce J. Avolio, Jane M. Howell, and John J. Sosik, creating a fun and positive organizational culture increases motivation. Doesn't seem strange at all, right? The better roll there is, the more eager people will go to work.
  • Humor reduces stress. According to the article Humor, stress, and coping strategies from Millicent H. Abel, “People with a sense of humor report less stress and anxiety than those with a poor sense of humor, despite experiencing the same amount of problems at work.” And surprise surprise: Research shows that less stress benefits employees, and this brings us to the next point!
  • Reduces work absenteeism. Because humor improves performance, job satisfaction, and effectiveness, it inevitably also minimizes burnout and absenteeism because:
  • Humor is very good medicine. Excuse this sentence worthy of a cup, but it is true. A good laugh regulates blood pressure, secretes endorphins and even has an anti-inflammatory effect. So if you want to have healthier employees and reduce absenteeism rates, take humor seriously!
  • Attract new employees. Having a fun environment is not only great for the team, it's also the best deal to attract like-minded candidates! Don't be afraid to use memes, make jokes about your own selection processes or create stickers of those photons you take in the dining room.

How to promote humor at work?

  • Everyone can make people laugh. Let's start from the premise that everyone is fun. You too, without falling into offense or humiliation. That's not funny. You just have to let go and find your style, are you irreverent, do you use more discretion or bet on sarcasm?
  • Use day-to-day communications. Take advantage of the fact that you have to configure a vacation absence email to tell where you are going without having to worry about the router or how much you will miss stealing food from your office mate.
  • Take advantage of setbacks. We all remember Robert E Kelly speaking from home for the BBC when, of Suddenly, his little daughter sneaks into the office. It can happen to you with your daughter, nephew, with your dog or with your cat, and it's okay! If we have learned anything during confinement, it is that we all have our circumstances (although Ortega y Gasset said it much earlier).
  • Give a touch of humor to your sales pitch. We don't want you to lose your job so, of course, provide specific information regarding what you offer. But there is a comedy formula known as The rule of three: the first two points refer to truthful aspects and the last one is a joke that surprises your interlocutor. HRider is software that 1. Modernizes talent management, 2. Creates agile feedback processes for organizations of the future, and 3. Will make you stop dreaming about Excel cells.

There are endless ways for humor to be part of a company's day-to-day life and its culture, and we should take humor more seriously. Humor and work cannot be at opposite ends, but rather go hand in hand in order to achieve true success. Whether you're from the Ricky Gervais team, Hannah Gadsby or the classic The Office, let your humor flow at work, the worst that can happen is that only you laugh.