Humor in the Workplace

Most people love having fun; it makes you feel great and uplifted. There have been many studies done to prove that humor is very good for our physical well-being. One study conducted with cancer patients recorded the effects of watching funny movies while getting chemotherapy. Even though the people were very ill and in pain, their overall mood was cheerier than those who didn’t watch the comedic films.

Another study performed by Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda School of Public Heath in California, showed that laughing affects the immune system by making it grow stronger with increased activity of T-cells, natural killer cells, and antibodies. Research has also shown that laughing reduces stress, lowers high blood pressure, and oxygenates our blood, which then increases energy and relaxes our muscles.

With an increase in the number of American employees being unhappy at work (70%, at last count, by a Gallup poll in 2015), you would think more employers would be looking for ways to “lighten up” the workplace, right? Well, many employers are of the mindset that if their employees are laughing and enjoying themselves at work, then the work must not be getting done. This is contrary to the fact that people work better when they are interacting and enjoying some levity at work.

Just take a look at the management practices of Google, Evernote, and Best Buy (which are just a few among the many) that believe humor, enjoyment, and just plain having fun make employees happier and businesses more profitable.

Dr. David Abramis at Cal State Long Beach has studied fun at work for years. He’s discovered that people who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, better decision-makers, and get along better with co-workers. They also have fewer absentee, late, and sick days than people who aren’t having as much fun.

There are many benefits to bringing humor to the workplace, so take the challenge and see what good spirits you can raise at work today!

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