You’ve probably heard the statistic that children laugh three hundred times a day while adults only laugh four times a day. Perhaps that's a slight exaggeration but it’s clear us adults laugh an awful lot less than when we were young and carefree.
We do, of course, have work and other responsibilities which don’t leave much room on the agenda for laughter. I recently watched an excellent TED talk on the importance of humour in the workplace and learnt those that do use humour are less stressed, more productive, paid more AND they're happier. So how important is to have workplace LOLS?
“He who laughs most, learns best.” - John Cleese
As students we are schooled in a way that becomes more serious and less playful as we get older. By the time we move onto the career ladder and go to terrifyingly formal job interviews there is very little humour (I imagine even four laughs would be a struggle that day).
People often feel that to be professional, they must be serious which can mean leaving personalities at the door. But when we spend so much of our lives in the office with colleagues, an environment where you can’t be yourself isn’t good for overall happiness. Your sense of humour shouldn’t be restricted to the weekend. It’s important for organisations to be creating the type of workplace where personalities shine and people are able to laugh through tough times.
The benefits of using humour in the workplace are undeniable, here are just a few:
- It brings colleagues together: not only does it build relationships but it also makes people, especially leaders, more approachable. - It create better ideas: a little humour makes an energised, positive environment that encourages creative thinking and also an environment in which people can confidently share ideas. - It reduces stress: being able to laugh through challenging times, puts people at ease and changes their mindset to the situation. Laughter also reduces the chance of illness and headaches.
So how can you bring more humour into the workplace? Well, this doesn’t have to mean a constant email thread of jokes but you could start with a general sense of lightheartedness. It’s important to create a positive environment so employees can relax and be themselves. Schedule in time for team activities: whether that is a drink after work, a team lunch or a brainstorming session that isn’t limited to a meeting room. Bring a sense of play to your workplace, try something creative that is going to get your team working in a different way. Improvisation is perfect for this, not only is it fun and brings people together but it challenges participants and enables them to experiment with how they communicate within the team.
To read a bit more about the unexpected benefits of utilising laughter, humour and creativity in the workplace read our blog on how creativity can give you the edge here.
Different Duck offer a creative approach to training using professional actors and an experiential approach. We bring humour into all of our workshops to put delegates at ease, inspiring a sense of creativity and making learning a lot more enjoyable. For more information on how our creative training can help your business, check out our website or get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org