Can laughter around the workplace be a positive thing?

An Art Form: The Benefits of Mastering Humour in The Workplace


The old saying goes that laughter is the best medicine, but is that the case for any workplace ailments? There’s typically a time and a place for humour. Make a joke at the wrong time, and your peers may take a dim view.

However, a perfectly placed witty comment can really get people on side. Communicating effectively takes a lot of skill, but it can be made easier once you embrace the funny side of things. Here’s the benefits:

Reduce stress

Stress is one of the biggest limiting factors in any workplace. It can be all too easy to let things get on top of you when work compounds. Fortunately, humour can help.

There’s a direct link between laughter and the relief of stress at work, according to research collated by St. Patrick’s University. In a study of 2,500 employees from a variety industries, 93 per cent explained that laughing on the job helped them reduce anxiety.

Consequently, not only will the occasional well-timed joke make you feel good, it will have a positive effect on the wider workplace, too.

Master negotiations

Any period of external or internal business discussion can be frantic. The main issue revolves around keeping all of the stakeholders happy. However, it’s important to ensure that you get what you want.

Building up a rapport and relieving tension is crucial, and humour can help.

Shared laughter immediately builds a bond between people in a negotiation situation, as surmised in research published by Valdosta State University. Moreover, positive relationships built on a foundation of laughter will likely last longer than those that aren’t.

Of course, it’s a difficult balancing act. Some issues simply aren’t conducive to humour. However, if you can know when and how to tell an effective joke, you will become more of an asset around the workplace.

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