Stress, anxiety, deadlines, unproductive employees, increase of turnover, are these issues you face as a senior executive? There might be a simple solution to your workplace problems, without the need to commit additional time and financial resources. Numerous researches conducted by well-established institutions such as Stanford, Wharton, MIT and the London Business School reveal one unparalleled solution, “humour”.
A research video on Stanford Universities website suggested that babies laugh, on average, 400 times a day, in comparison, adults over 35 laughs only 15 times in a day. A recent study of Gallup data for the U.S. found that people laugh significantly less on weekdays than on weekends. Is work a sober endeavour?
Humour has been researched as the source for positive results within a productive and successful workplace. Decrease of absenteeism and employee turnover, increased productivity and levels of innovation and creativity are some of the outcomes when humour is intertwined within a workplace culture.
When we laugh, it not only reduces the anxiety they face mentally, but also increases the likeliness of bringing about physical changes in their body. The intake of oxygen is elevated, thus increasing the brain’s release of endorphins. On the health front, laughter encourages burning calories and strengthening the immune system.
Creating an enjoyable work environment tends to bring out the best out of the team, building trust and aiding the retention of the best employees. Integration of humour in a workplace helps employees solve problems at an accelerated pace as they are in a better mood.
It builds an environment that fosters collaboration, boost morale and helps to diffuse conflicts. The team that shares a laugh is more likely to be high on approachability and loosen up stress at workplace.
Leaders with humour can build stronger cultures, unleash more creativity, and even negotiate better deals. At a corporate level, research shows cultures that incorporate humor are more resilient. It’s also helpful in times of stress because humour releases oxytocin, which facilitates social bonding and increases trust.
Research conducted by Harvard Business Review noted a positive correlation between senior executives practicing humour in the workplace and their bonus levels. Other researchers suggest that the most effective and highest rated leaders also have a positive sense of humour.
Not all type of humour is acceptable in the work environment though. When using humour be aware of jokes that are safe for the office and ways to bring in the humour. Making fun of yourself or using puns (“dad jokes”) are a couple of easy ones.
If you can’t think of how to be funny, don’t force, find opportunities to laugh with your teammates instead. There is definitely truth in the phrase “laughter is the best medicine”.