Business has the reputation of being a serious affair. Business is where work gets down, and traditionally, work is seen as not being fun.
However, we can and should be inviting humour into our workplaces. Humour is not only good for people, but it’s good for business.
1. It keeps people open
Laughter encourages people to put their guards down. It relaxes and puts them at ease which allows them to be more open to new ideas and opinions which they may not have considered before.
2. It makes people feel good
Laughter stimulates our natural painkillers and endorphins which help counteract stress and depression. Research shows that when people smile or laugh, even if they don’t feel happy at first, their brain activity is moved towards spontaneous happiness. Happy, healthy people are more productive and take less sick days.
3. It attracts others
People enjoy working with those who make them laugh. People are attracted to smiling and laughing faces. We mirror one another’s emotions, so when we hear laughter, we laugh. The endorphins released make us feel good and we want to continue being around those people because of it.
4. It builds strong teams
Humour and laughter act as social lubrication. At its foundation, laughter isn’t about jokes and funny stories – it’s about relationship building. We don’t laugh often on our own, it is something done with others. It unites and bonds us together and allows for trust to form within the group.
While the type of humour you use will be unique to your workplace culture, it is something most organizations can do with a little more of. People who feel happy, safe and healthy are more creative and productive. The increased trust and camaraderie that laughter brings increases innovation and healthy conflict that allows organizations to grow.