Take a stroll through a kindergarten and compare that environment to an office space full of people. One thing that really stands out is the somber mood that is characteristic of any workstation. While young kids in a play ground laugh and giggle at the same time developing their young minds, adults tend to outgrow fun (or so it seems) when they get a job. Tradition dictates that silence and seriousness is essential for maximum production. However, recent studies now tell us that laughter goes a long way in enhancing performance in the workplace.
In recent times laughter has been touted as “the best medicine” for becoming an efficient remedy to gloomy workdays as well as improving the general atmosphere of organizations. Funny enough, as a result of all the research laughter is now taken very seriously.
Some of the benefits that are credited to laughter at the workplace include:
- Acts as a coping mechanism
- Significantly reduces stress
- Enhances memory retention
- People who laugh the loudest are also the most creative at problem solving
- Laughter enhances productivity
Among the many studies conducted was one involving Canadian financial institutions that concluded that managers who were considered humorous had a greater level of employee productivity. Stanford University’s Dr. William Fry found that laughing 200 times boosts energy levels and leaves you feeling more alive as well as burns the same number of calories as rowing vigorously for 10 minutes.
Comedian Leigh Anne recommends the following techniques for laughter at the workplace:
- Give out crayons and paper for creative doodling.
- Use funny quotes in correspondence
- Organize “extra-curricular” activities
- Encourage employees to laugh at their own foolishness
- Make use of improvised games as stress busters and icebreakers
Other ways include having caption contests or impromptu theme days at work. Now that there’s scientific proof that work shouldn’t feel like punishment why not get that list of practical jokes ready!
Kris uses his immense experience as a conference speaker as well as a laughter expert to integrate laughter into any workplace during conferences or workshops. Get in touch +61(0)438 545 607 or send him an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Cris Popp (@laughterpopp) January 20, 2015