Silly Half-Hour?

5 Surprising benefits of Humour in the Workplace.

You may have seen articles saying how a little humour boosts health and happiness, so why does having a little fun in the workplace seem like a controversial topic? Whether it’s because our view of professionalism is more conservative, or our knowledge that pranks can land employers in legal hot water, as employers it can be easy to shy away from having a laugh with our employees.

However, our research shows that the use of appropriate humour in the workplace can have some unexpected (and profitable) benefits.

1 Humour aids learning.

We have all attended training that is mind-numbingly boring and want to avoid inflicting the same on others. So you will be aware that the use of funny anecdotes in training really brings shine to an otherwise dry topic. Did you know that the use of humour in your training and presentations goes further than to make your audience sit up and listen. Research shows that it is a key component in reducing ‘classroom anxiety’, creating a positive learning environment and significantly increasing memory and retention of the material concerned.

2 Humour increases persuasion.

Whether it be selling to a new customer, or persuading the board to increase the budget for a new project, persuasion equals profit in business and a little humour goes a long way. Humour increases persuasion as it lowers defensiveness and prevents people from creating counter arguments to an otherwise unpalatable proposal. Further, people who use humour are seen as more credible, trustworthy and competent which in turns means they are more likely to win business from new customers and strengthen relationships with existing clients.

3 Humour boosts problem-solving brainpower.

Science shows that having a laugh stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain, which is associated with the creative out-of-the-box thinking which is necessary for more complex problem-solving. Further, the boost of serotonin that is released when you are having fun is associated with greater focus, improved analytical ability and more flexibility in searching for solutions to problems. So it is a win-win for all, as your employees get to having fun and enjoy solving challenges and you benefit from increased performance. Best of all, boosting the creative parts of the brain is as easy as sitting down and watching a funny film with your team.

4 Humour increases profit.

Research into the use of Organisational humour has revealed that the use of humour is linked with creating a successful business culture and significant increases in profit. But how? Quite simply, employees who have fun at work are more likely to be motivated and perform well. Humour has also shown to reduce absenteeism by increasing employee engagement, overall health and reducing stress.

5 Humour encourages people to work together.

Sharing a giggle with someone has always been seen as a great way to build bridges and connect, but now it seems science agrees. Humans are social creatures, and positive gestures such as smiling and laughing together triggers a chemical reaction in the brains of the people involved, acting to strengthen their relationship. Needing a ‘GSOH’ is not just a requirement for dating profiles, but is essential in the workplace too. Humour has been proven to be a necessary part of team cohesion, diffusion of conflict, building trust and breaking down perceived barriers and differences in status between individuals.

So do not be afraid to inject a little humour into your workplace meetings, or why not arrange for a team night out at a local comedy club? Click on our events calendar to plan your night.