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Why Having a Sense of Humour Matters at Work

In honour of fun Friends star and Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc’s birthday we’re celebrating humour in the workplace.Tweet: In honour of Matt LeBlanc’s birthday we’re celebrating humour in the workplace. @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday

Self-styled Humour Engineer Andrew Tarvin of Humor That Works says workplace efficiency alone doesn’t get results.

In his TEDX speech stresses that people who use humour at work are:

More productive – Psychology Today
Less stressed – American Physiology Society
Paid more – Harvard Business Review
Happier – Journal of Aging Research

Laugh More + Stress Less

As opposed to comedy which is often about laughing at someone else’s expense Tarvin is keen to emphasise that humour at work is about making the workplace more fun and inclusive – both things which help lower workplace stress.

Just think: in 2015 alone a record 17 million working days were lost to stress, costing the economy at least £2.4billion, according to the UK Statistics Authority!

Bad Boss Jokes

Done badly or thoughtlessly of course humour can be a turn off at best and downright offensive at worst. A study from London Business School, even found that badly done boss jokes could damage staff morale – think The Office’s David Brent!

Getting It Right

Get it right and humour can be your best workplace and career friend. Another recent study found that nearly 80% of chief financial officers said an employee’s sense of humour plays an important role in how well they fit into the company’s corporate culture.

So how to do humour right? Well, Stylist magazine’s How to Be Funny at Work whistle stop guide to humour dos and don’ts just about covers it.

In essence:

Don’t – Use humour to put colleagues down – that’s bullying
Do – Use humour appropriately
Do – Use banter to encourage team solidarity and empathy
Don’t – take yourself too seriously. Poking fun at yourself, at times, makes you appear more authentic and approachable; and is the easiest way to use humour if you’re worried about offending!

What Next?:

We’d love to hear your ideas and comments around using humour at work. Is it part of your workplace culture? If not could it be? Should it be? Let us know!
Any particular issues or insights? Need help? Let us know!

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