Having a good sense of humor is no child’s play. Especially in professional settings, where even the best puns can fall completely flat—or worse, it can cause offense to someone.
But we choose to take that risk and tell that joke anyway. Why do we do this?
Truth is, workplaces can often be very stressful. In a place full of hierarchy and the constant pressure of goals to achieve, a little joke here and there goes a long way in making your workplace a good place to be.
In fact, many would argue that a good sense of humor is an important part of any workplace.
Here are 10 reasons why a good sense of humor is essential to a workplace:
1. Makes You Likeable
It is no secret that a sense of humor can create a light atmosphere that people enjoy being in. If you have a good sense of humor, people will keep flocking to you all day to relieve stress.
It can make work go a lot smoother if your employees or coworkers love having you around. People will be willing to go the extra mile for you and it never hurts to make friends with people you spend the majority of the day with.
Remember that you need to be funny, not sarcastic or snarky. If you cross the line one too many times, people will start feeling alienated and like they are being singled out.
2. Relieves Stress
If you work in a high-stress atmosphere, a good sense of humor is the best stress buster you can hope for. We spend so much time at work that it often gets monotonous and boring.
Coupled with the daily stresses of work, it can make an office downright unbearable. Having light interactions and sharing a good laugh a few times a day can be very beneficial for everyone in the office.
People will feel a lot better about working for the rest of the day if they engage in some good-humored chit-chat once in a while. Otherwise, you might find your employees dozing off at their desks.
3. Builds Trust
With all the technical jargon and professional courtesies we spew all day, it is easy to feel like we don’t know each other at all. A good sense of humor can help you build better relationships with your coworkers.
I, for one, always feel like I have a professional ‘mask’ on when I’m at work, which comes off only when I leave the building. It is difficult to build trust among employees when you never get to see their social side.
A good sense of humor makes you seem a lot more trustworthy and intelligent to your coworkers. If you’ve got new recruits, there is no better way to break the ice with them.
4. Boosts the Morale of the Office
If things have been seeming a little down around the office lately, a good sense of humor is the best tool in your arsenal to raise morale.
It gives people something to look forward to and nobody wants to be left out of a joke. If people feel like they are having fun at work, you can always depend on them. You will also find that people do better work when they lighten up and feel refreshed.
If your employees or coworkers are always disgruntled and nothing fun happens in the workplace, it is a recipe for disaster. Work should feel at least partly fun. It shouldn’t feel like servitude or an obligation.
5. You Become Approachable
It is no secret that a good sense of humor makes you more approachable. Who are you more likely to talk to at work, the senior employee who seems grumpy and serious or the employee who always makes you laugh?
If you have people working under you, this is a great way to connect well with them. It humanizes you and makes you seem like one of them rather than an outsider waiting to penalize them.
People perceive you as a good boss who they can relate to rather than a taskmaster breathing down their necks. They are also more likely to come to you with their problems and suggestions if you are more approachable.
6. Better Bonding
Workplaces where people have a good sense of humor form much better bonds than those where people are serious and professional all the time.
Laughing together makes people form bonds that they wouldn’t otherwise. You find out new things about each other and laughing at the same thing together lets you form a connection with each other.
A team with good bonding works very well together and the quality of work also increases.
7. Builds Team Spirit
There is no better way to build team spirit than to spend time laughing together. The energy in the room is very different with a good sense of humor and it unites you.
You really come together as a team and start clicking with each other. Coworkers start gelling together and this reflects in their performances too. Workplaces with a good team spirit are able to overcome any challenges they face.
8. Better Mental Health
Stress from the workplace is one of the leading causes of bad mental health among employees. People who are having a difficult time coping in the workplace will obviously not be able to perform well professionally.
Having a good sense of humor keeps things light in the office. People get a chance to unwind and mistakes at work don’t feel like the end of the world anymore.
A good sense of humor will turn out to be in your favor in the long run. Employees will be refreshed and you taking care of their well-being will motivate them to perform to the best of their abilities.
9. Better Conflict Resolution
Tempers can run high in high-stress environments and workplace conflicts are very common. Conflict resolution becomes much easier when there is a good sense of humor in the workplace.
People are much more likely to reach amicable solutions and things don’t have a chance to escalate into bigger conflicts.
Additionally, people around the office have better bonds and share a connection with each other. They are much more likely to come to a resolution on their own and won’t require as much supervision.
10. Encourages Creativity
A good sense of humor encourages people to think outside the box. The atmosphere is always charged with energy and people are able to think better. This also increases productivity in the long run.
When people have fun with their work, they are more passionate about it. They start showing renewed enthusiasm and the energy is always contagious. Everyone is motivated to brainstorm and come up with new ideas every day.
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Types of Humor
With regard to management and the professional environment, there are 4 distinct types of humor. Let’s take a look at each of them:
This is a great way to create good relationships with people. It is light and inclusive of everyone in the room. It helps avoid awkwardness and is effective in breaking the ice. You can talk about amusing personal stories or tell light jokes.
You can also go one step ahead and conduct team-building exercises or practice improv to help initiate bonding.
This type of humor is great for relieving stress. It involves making light of tough situations and remaining positive in the face of difficulties.
If you are going through a stressful situation at work, try to keep the mood light by playing a little music or talking jovially or in a funny accent. People appreciate the light atmosphere and feel refreshed.
Worrying will not improve the situation anyway. This kind of humor ensures that temporary complications do not loom too large in your employees’ heads.
This is something you must be familiar with. Self-defeating humor involves making fun of yourself. If you have a lot of employees looking up to you, this is a very helpful way to become more approachable to them.
You do need to be a bit careful with this kind of humor. Too much of it and your employees will lose respect for you. Make sure you maintain a balance—you are an approachable, friendly boss but still a superior they need to respect.
Aggressive humor is when you use jokes to manipulate people into doing what you want. It is almost always at someone’s expense and can come across as sarcastic or even a little mean.
Tread carefully with this kind of humor. It is not always appropriate, so you need to pick the right moment.
A good sense of humor is a must in every workplace. It has so many advantages and makes your employees’ lives better.
We spend such a large portion of life in our workplace—it is only appropriate that it becomes a place people like coming to. A good sense of humor will greatly benefit both the boss and the employees.