Are you afraid to laugh in the office? Well, don’t be… studies show that laughter at work positively impacts the workplace dynamic and reduces stress. Mayo Clinic highlights, “When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body,”. It enhances your intake of “oxygen-rich air,” increasing your brain’s release of endorphins. It “can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”
Two Stanford University academics conducted a global study on 1.4 million people in 166 countries, one of the interesting things they found out was that around the age of 23, people everywhere start to laugh less, technically falling off a “humour cliff”, set to recover after “47 very serious years” at the age of 70, however their research concludes that laughter makes us better bosses and better employees.
To maximise the benefits in the workplace, humour should be within the bounds of decency and safe. Good and safe humour laughs with people not at them, so telling jokes at the expense of another person or collective should always be avoided! Aside from being a distraction, the other downside to too much humour — or too much laughter includes marginalisation, discontent and disrespect.
According to the Robert Half International survey, 91% of executives believe a sense of humour is important for career advancement; while 84% feel that people with a good sense of humour do a better job.
Encouraging laughter in the workplace promotes a lighter environment, helps colleagues connect, creates a positive attitude and helps improve communication.
Laughter in the workplace has several benefits to the overall success of the company, here’s five reasons why…
1. Laughter boosts your health
It triggers the release of feel-good endorphins in your brain that help alleviate stress and improve your overall well being. Enabling general body relaxation, better breathing and stimulating blood flow.
2. Laughter is a verified stress buster
The work environment is often times characterised by pressure which can lead to tension between colleagues.
Humour helps you to release pent-up negative feelings allowing you to approach the situation with a new and divergent attitude that permits you to consider other’s positions.
3. Laughter is human
It breaks down walls of barriers, unfamiliarity and stress and puts others at ease.
Sharing a laugh helps spark an instant bond.
Humour also breaks walls and makes people more approachable as laughter reveals the real people behind the tough exteriors they wear to work, allowing colleagues to trust each other.
4. Laughter boosts creativity
People who tend to look at the funny side of a situation often come up with ‘outside-the-box’ solutions.
5. Laughter boosts morale
Humour helps you navigate difficult situations individually and as a team, bonding through good and bad times.
Laughter also allows you to break the tension in heated situations, promoting a feel-good attitude in the workplace.
6. Laughter makes your company stand out
Humour fosters healthy relationships among staff members and with clients. People enjoy being around happy people, and laughter attracts people.
Clients tend to enjoy working with people who make them laugh or approach a situation light-heartedly. Encouraging humour also gives your company an edge over competitors, allowing you to attract top talent.
7. Laughter can increase productivity
People who laugh a lot enjoy the benefits of laughter, for example: better personal satisfaction, less tension, better relaxation, and a positive outlook in life.
They pay more attention to their work and appreciate their efforts, motivating them to do better. They also do not let the stress at work get to them, allowing them to remain productive.