How to Bring More Laughter to Your (Work) Life
Sadly, as we get older, we tend to laugh less. According to a Gallup survey, by age 23, the rate of laughter per day decreases dramatically. Whereas a 4-year-old laughs up to 300 times a day, when we reach the age of 40, the average person is only laughing about three times a day.
And yet according to an article by Better Up, using humor at the workplace has important short and long-term effects that include benefits such as:
- Reducing stress
- Faster interpersonal bonding and belong
- Overall workplace cohesion
- Better mental health
- And faster resolved disagreements
What the data is telling us is, that used correctly, humor can be a strong tool to help teams work better together, with the key being “used correctly.” Employees need to know how far to take the joke, and what may be considered off-putting rather than inclusive humor. According to a University of Singapore survey of 400 workers, they concluded that not all humor is the same and that the use of “aggressive humor” or too much sarcasm can actually have the opposite effect of what leaders may intend.
So how do you add more humor in the workplace without forcing it? Here are five ways to deliver funny without failing:
- Start with yourself. Self-depreciating humor from colleagues and leaders can actually garner respect, and make colleagues have a stronger relationship.
- Go to the experts. These days, there is a never-ending supply of LOL-worthy content online. You can find humor in the workplace quotes, silly stunts gone wrong, and compilations of memes. Sharing content you find funny with others can help you bond and get to know each other without sharing personal details. Just make sure the humor is work-appropriate.
- Share a funny story. Everyone has a Zoom story, an embarrassing anecdote, or something random that happened outside of work. Sharing these shows you are human and don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Engage in a game. Lots of websites offer fun games like Two Truths and a Lie that can offer fun ways to take a break from the grind of daily work tasks. And hopefully they can garner a few laughs along the way as you play.
- Start a meeting on a fun note. In an age where every minute counts, take a second to slow down and share a childhood snack, a fun icebreaker, or even show a funny video to get the right tone for the meeting.
Work on infusing humor into your conversations, meetings, and work life. Striking a healthy balance of working hard but having fun can only help create a more positive, engaging, and inclusive environment for everyone.