At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities – Jean Houston
Have you ever started your day at work hearing something hilarious? How productive were you after this? How did you communicate with your team members? Yesterday in our office, one of our team members started the day wearing two different shoes, one pointed and one flat. Hearing of her journey from the train station to the realisation and then the struggle as she waited in anticipation for the shops to open was the catalyst to a day filled with productivity and goal hitting. Who can say that they belly laugh before 8 am on a work day? Very lucky people!!
Let's cut down into the four different styles in which people express humour.
Affiliative: This is a highly positive, non-hostile, non-competitive type of humour used to reduce social tensions, smooth relationships and promote cohesion in a group. It involves spontaneous jokes and witty banter that we can safely laugh at.
Aggressive: This type of humour establishes dominance in social situations. It includes sarcasm, teasing or disparaging others.
Self-Enhancing: This type of humour serves as a proactive way to cope with stress. It's related to taking things lightly, being amused by various events in our lives and having a humorous outlook on things.
Self-Defeating: This is self-deprecating humour; it's about being open to, or encouraging, jokes at our expense.
Perfect, now let’s go ahead and break down why laughter belongs in your office.
Culture is a focal point for many of the blogs written by WhiteCollarBlue, and there is a reason why... Culture is the set of behaviours, values, artifacts, rewards systems and rituals that make up a business. Culture is one of the biggest factors that people take into consideration when looking for new employment opportunities with a career in mind. Stand two cultures side by side. One that has time for laughing, they may have a person that focusses on bringing humour into their daily rituals... Now let’s look at a culture where laughing is seen as being unproductive, unprofessional and inappropriate. Laughing does not belong in this workplace.
I know which culture grabs my attention! I spent a very big chunk of my day laughing, usually at myself.
02: He Who Laughs Last, Thinks Slowest
The inability to share in humour at work can make everything that you do feel like a chore. People who are happy can solve problems in much more of a constructive way. Allowing time to laugh as a team before a big project or a time of the day where high-level work is expected to be produced motivates people. Think of a time where you have joined in on some laughter and the level of productivity that came after it – ‘work’ didn’t seem like work, did it?
03: Team Building
Laughing with your team members creates camaraderie, bonding, trust and strong foundations that lead to a fantastic culture within a business. Laughter connects people, people that you spend most of your time with. It promotes positive teamwork and also produces greater outcomes. Let's compare two days.
Day one: Your boss or team member comes into work, and you instantly see that they are not in a good mood what so ever. What do you do? I would probably be the person that puts in my headphones and focusses on work, nothing else. In this situation, there would most likely be tumbleweed rolling around the office... it would certainly set the tone for a very uncomfortable day.
Day two: Your boss or your team member skips into the room, singing good morning with a sparkle in their eye – they tell you a hilarious joke, show you a video that has you laughing so much you’re crying, or they come in dressed up... What does the energy feel like in the office? Light?
“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”
By the end of the week, we are all exhausted. We have been working smart all week – smashing targets, doing over time and giving all that we have. It's Friday, and you have 8 hours to go – these 8 hours feels like 88 hours. You’re probably thinking to yourself “please computer, crash...” Allowing yourself to focus on being tired and counting down the seconds left of your day will decrease your productivity, and there is an excellent chance that you won’t accomplish much, and if you do, the quality might not be there what you would usually like. Taking a ten-minute break to laugh takes you away from the mundane, lifts your spirits and gives you that extra push to keep going! You’re almost there.
05: Let’s Be Creative
Think of laughter as the creative juice that feeds your brain. Allowing yourself to laugh at work frees you from stress and anxiety. These are the two common factors that will crush your creativity. Laughter and happiness increase your chances of being innovative. According to brain researchers, three parts of the brain light up when you laugh at a joke.
1. The thinking part that allows you to understand the joke.
2. The area that controls your muscles.
3. An emotional area that makes you feel good.
Creating or understanding humour is a process and a practice of lateral thinking. So really, if you think about it..if you allow yourself to be around humour, you will have the ability to think outside of the box.
There we go, five reasons why laughter belongs in your office – but I don’t believe that it takes a rocket scientist to see the benefits. Being able to laugh, having that opportunity on a daily basis feels great, it soothes the soul, and it boosts health. To be able to laugh in the workplace shows comfort, trust, and strong foundations! If you are unable to laugh at yourself, who are you able to laugh at?
Laugh more! Life is too short, and it doesn’t need to be so serious all of the time.
Are you struggling with a culture where laughing is unheard of? Do you feel as though you may not have the right mix of personalities to welcome a fun, enjoyable team? We can help you.
When working with WhiteCollarBlue, our clients expect a certain level of quality in candidates we represent - and we deliver. Working closely with Managers and Key Decision Makers, our Practitioners will create the plan that suits your needs and work closely with you to create a culture any prospective job seeker would jump at.
If you are an SME that is struggling to bring humour, enjoyment and employee satisfaction into your every day, contact us. With a team of Qualified HR Practitioners at the ready, WhiteCollarBlue is in a position to work closely with you to evaluate your business culture. Whether it be your onboarding, interview and induction process – or your management style, training, and incentive programs or your employee satisfaction, development planning and training assessment needs. Our HR Practitioners can give qualified, unbiased and beneficial advice to you. Our HR Practitioners will work closely with you to ensure that your goals are accomplished. We understand that without the right team and talent, achieving your business goals could seem like a stretch.
With the recent launch of our HR Services, we are excited to offer our readers a complimentary Business Healthcheck. In this Business Healthcheck, you will gain the full attention of a qualified HR Practitioner to come in, assess a particular area or multiple areas of your business and then work with you to turn these struggles into strengths. These changes could improve your bottom line.
There are no negatives to booking your complimentary Business Healthcheck. To take advantage of this offer and to find out more about our services, give WhiteCollarBlue a call today and mention this blog post.
Our Specialists would be more than happy to assist you in your business and HR needs.
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