It is a glaring fact that work is one of the top causes of stress in a person. We encounter many problems at work and we need to face them every single day. We may get more tasks in a day then usual, handle difficult co-workers or even bosses, and extend work hours to meet deadlines. Sometimes, too much stress level at work is the reason for absenteeism, employee burn out, and even health problems. There is no running away from these problems unless you decide to stop working. But there is an effective technique to handle work pressure and this is through applying humor in the workplace.
We all know that a good laugh can dispel stress in a busy and hectic day at work. It is said that an individual needs twelve good laughs a day. Some companies have decided to incorporate humor and make it a part of the company culture. They have found out the benefits that good humor can bring to the employees and the work atmosphere in general. But when you apply humor at work it does not necessarily mean that you do not take your work seriously. It is just a strategy to lighten the busy and stressful atmosphere in the office.
Tips in Using Humor at Work
Humor is like salt. Put just enough and the atmosphere will turn vibrant to eliminate stress. Put too much and humor loses its sense. So, in injecting humor in the workplace, remember to choose the right timing and choose the right kind of humor. You cannot just simply crack a corny joke in the middle of a discussion or an urgent meeting about a decrease in the company’s revenue. So, you need to pay attention to the general mood of the office and even your co-worker’s mood.
In giving out humor, take yourself lightly and do not exert too much effort pretending you can make everyone laugh. Make the humor effect seem natural. If you feel you have the talent, trust your instincts. But if you think people will find you corny and clichéd, do not take hopeless attempts to humiliate yourself. Another important tip is to avoid laughing at another person’s failure. Avoiding playful insults is better than starting a heated argument with a colleague. Remember to laugh “with”, not to laugh “at” your fellow officemate.
How to Create Humor in the Workplace
If being a naturally humorous person is your skill, then you are also creative. Humor is not just about telling a good joke or sharing a really funny story. It is being creative in a way that you involve gestures and facial expressions which add up to the laughter. An employee can be creative in putting humor in the workplace other than exerting an effort to make everyone laugh by pretending like some stand-up comedian .You can make use of your resources if giving out humor and laughter is not your talent.
During breaks, you can visit humorous websites on the internet and give yourself a nice ice breaker. A book all about humorous jokes and funny stories can also be handy in case stress starts to develop. There are also email humor lists that you can subscribe to. Change your boring and dull-looking coffee mug into one with designs of comical characters. Listen to the old school humor stories of the stand-up comedian Bill Cosby through your mp3 or a saved audio file in your office computer. Join in humorous chats with officemates and laugh with them.
The Benefits of Humor at Work
Humor is a natural work stress reliever—it is already a given. But there is more to it than being just a proven stress buster. Shared humor with work buddies strengthens relationships and develops camaraderie which results to an increased work productivity. A good dose of laughter with the office colleagues is stimulating and refreshing.
The use of good humor actually helps iron out work conflicts and leaves an open communication among employees. Along with its benefits of decreasing stress levels in the office, laughter keeps employees from illnesses. It is a natural medicine for emotional tension. It may not necessarily eliminate the problems at work but at least it lightens the feeling while taking your job seriously.